What are the habits of successful people?
If you’ve ever wondered what successful people do that’s different than everyone else, you’re in the right place. Learning about success habits is one of the first things one can do in order to become successful. After all, knowing the success habits is half the battle. Actually implementing them is the other half.
Here are some habits of highly successful people that can, if implemented, truly change your life.
They read. A lot.
Elon Musk (founder of Tesla and others) supposedly read at least four hours a day growing up. Warren Buffett reads about eight hours per day. Mark Cuban reads for three hours per day, and Bill Gates read for one hour before bed. You get the picture.
Books contain a wealth of knowledge and it’s incredible to think how many people never take advantage of their local library. Heck, you don’t even have to go to the library anymore. You can literally type a book title into Amazon, click the buy button, and have it delivered to your Kindle in less than two minutes. I can’t even get in my car to go to the library in less than two minutes. You have absolutely no excuse for not reading, even if it’s only for ten minutes per day.
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On a superficial level, you might understand that successful people read a lot. Then, you might even take action, reading for an hour or two per day. As the weeks pass, you forget the quotes, insights, and valuable knowledge you just learned.
This is a big problem for people trying to accomplish their goals, because the chances of instantly implementing all the knowledge from a book are slim, especially if you’re reading as much as you should be. Imagine reading one of Dave Ramsey’s debt books. Are you going to get through all six baby steps in one day? Nope. How about three weeks? Not likely. You should have the information organized and contained for time-saving easy reference when you actually need it.
I personally highlight passages and take detailed notes. When I’m done, I put all the notes and highlights onto a few condensed pages and file them away for future use. When I want some help on advertising, I search for “advertising” in my notes. If I need help with real estate, I search for “real estate”. The point is that I already have all the notes organized and I know exactly where and how to find them when I need them.
They plan out their day the night before.
I can’t remember where I first heard this tip, but I’ve been doing it for quite some time. I never go to sleep unless I have a plan for the next day.
I noticed that it was almost always a struggle for me to get my days started because I would spend precious time thinking about what I needed to do, what I could be doing, etc. I don’t know about you, but my motivation is lowest right in the morning. It was a tremendous help for me to have a list on my desk, ready to go. There would be no questions and no confusion – just get started on the list. This way my time is maximized and I am super productive.
I feel like this is the most underrated productivity tip of all time. Everyone is searching for the next great app or browser extension. This is underrated because of its simplicity. It prevents you from getting derailed by all the little emergencies that pop up during your day. Instead of running around putting out fires all day long, you can circle back to your plan and get back on task.
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They are concerned about their health.
Successful people have great health habits. They know that if they’re going to be productive, they have to keep their body in excellent condition. Think of it this way… if you had a million-dollar racehorse, would you feed it candy and junk food? Of course not! You would give it nothing but the healthiest foods and tons of exercise. Here’s the truth: you are your own million-dollar racehorse.
One of the things I’ve noticed (that I’m working on myself) is that successful people schedule their meals. They understand that sporadic snacking leads to inconsistent energy, which makes for inconsistent results. Successful people organize their meals in such a way that they avoid massive highs and lows. By putting consistent rhythms on their meals, they have less focus on hunger/thirst and more focus on the important things.
They also get enough sleep. It’s easy to get caught up in this “no sleep” culture that corporate America and young entrepreneurs put on a pedestal, but sleep matters. Successful people make it a habit to get quality sleep so they can rejuvenate. Besides, successful people realize that getting enough sleep helps them attain maximum performance. They know that it’s better to get eight hours of sleep and be more productive than only get six hours of sleep and be less productive.
This goes hand-in-hand with personal productivity. Successful people understand that they need to get the most out of every minute in the day, whether it results in financial gain, better health, or stronger relationships. Maximal productivity is a must, because every wasted minute is a minute that one can never get back.
Like the late Muhammad Ali said: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
They keep up their momentum.
Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch as long as you keep going. I personally feel that it doesn’t matter how slow you’re going as long as you know where you want to end up. Don’t be a drifter. Have an end goal in mind and keep moving towards it. If you stop, you ruin your chances of ever getting there.
This applies to almost everything in life. If you want to enjoy fantastic health, you can’t just exercise one time. You have to keep doing it; you have to keep the momentum. It helps to work your goal-oriented activities in a way that they’re consistent with what you enjoy doing. This reduces the chance of losing momentum and giving up.
It’s also important to create a solid support system filled with people who push you to keep going towards whatever it is you want. It could be a partner, a family member, an online community, or a mentor. Just make sure that your support system will actually hold you accountable. Too many people confuse talking about their goals with actually taking action towards them. Don’t be one of those people.
They don’t compare themselves to others.
At some level, comparison can be a good thing, if you let certain people show you what NOT to do. But don’t stress yourself out by comparing yourself to those who are (at a particular point in time) seemingly miles ahead of you. You can’t work on other people – all you can do is work on yourself. Have faith in the process and have faith in yourself.
There will always be the temptation to compare your progress to other people. Every time you chat with a friend and every time you check in on social media, the temptation is there. “Look at how I’m doing” and “See what I just bought?” is all over the place.
Speaking of social media, let’s talk about Instagram. Five minutes on Instagram is enough to fall into the comparison trap. You see people eating delicious food, going to the beach, traveling, etc. It’s not a fair comparison! People don’t post photos of themselves when they’re doing mundane things. People don’t post about their insecurities, their boredom, their procrastination, or their arguments with others. If all you see is the great stuff, of course you’ll feel like crap. Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking social media is reality, because it isn’t.
Just remember that you have a particular set of gifts and circumstances that will allow you (and only you) to accomplish whatever it is YOU desire. You can’t exchange yourself with another human being, so don’t compare yourself to others. Instead of looking at other people, see the good stuff right in front of you.
They surround themselves with smarter people.
This habit is HUGE. It makes no sense for you to try to learn everything in the entire world. Find the people who are great at certain things and put them to use. If you need legal help, don’t try to read a legal dictionary or spend hours putting together a case – get a great attorney. Take advantage of other people’s skills, talents, and experiences. Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to make mistakes if someone else has already made those mistakes for you. Shorten your learning curve as much as possible.
Tai Lopez (someone who is pretty cool – I watch his YouTube videos every now and then) says that you should spend a third of your time with people are below your level, a third of your time with people who are on your level, and a third of your time with people who are beyond your level. This is a pretty good rule of thumb, but I think you should spend much more time with people who are smarter than you because it just makes so much sense.
Do you want to get in shape? Find out who is the absolute best at getting in shape and take advice from that person. Do you want to build a business? Don’t reinvent the wheel – find a business consultant or a mentor to help you.
I think it was Henry Ford who said: “I am not the smartest, but I surround myself with competent people.”
David Ogilvy (the father of modern advertising) is credited with this quote: “If you ever find a man who is better than you are – hire him. If necessary, pay him more than you would pay yourself.”
There’s also a cool story about Ogilvy that says he presented each of his board directors with a set of Russian dolls. The board directors opened the dolls until they found a note inside the smallest one. The note said, “If you always hire people who are smaller than you, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you, we shall become a company of giants.”