What makes successful people different from rest of us? It is their habits. The good news is that anyone with little bit of determination can adopt these habits of successful people and become successful oneself too. In this post, I am sharing top habits of successful people, which I discovered to be valuable after reading about lots of successful people. Moreover it will be interesting for you to know that I am also working on each of these habits myself. I must say, it’s not an easy task for sure. It takes a lot of time to forget old habit, adopt a new one & make new habit part of your daily routine naturally. It’s not easy but not impossible too. I am determined to bring each one of these habits into my life and make them part of my daily routine in a natural way.
How hard could it be to form a new habit. Let me give you a real test to see it for yourself. It will be a fun exercise for both of us. I promise. Try these steps in exactly as mentioned below:
- Stand up on your feet
- Fold your arms as you are feeling cold
- Come on fold your arms
- Now is your left arm below your right arm? or vice versa? Just keep a note of it
- Open your arms now
- Next fold your arms again but this time put different arm below
- Did you notice, you had to tell your brain to specifically pay attention and do it
- Surprisingly it will be hard in first couple of attempts
- It becomes natural after trying couple of times, try it out
This is the power of habits. Once they are imbibed into our memory, they become natural part of our unconscious thinking. In this post, we are going to look at few very important habits of successful people which once adopted, can make us successful too just like them. Before we start going through the list of habits, I want to be clear about one thing, which is; the definition of being successful. Well everyone has different scale to measure their successes. Some might measure their successes based on their bank balance, while others will measure it on scale of number of lives they could impact & help. But irrespective of how we measure our success, I think below list of habits of successful people will still be relevant for anyone. So, let’s get started.
Top Habits of Successful People
Effectiveness: 9/10 ♦ Difficulty: 5/10
This is number one habit of successful people – setting clear goals. Imagine going somewhere without first thinking about it. How can we reach there if we didn’t plan it beforehand. Same is true with success in our lives. We need to set goals which clearly define what we really want to achieve at end of it. Without a clearly defined goal, we won’t reach our destination. Guaranteed. So, we should stop sleep walking in our lives and set some goals and work hard towards them every single day. I personally prefer writing goals in my journal. I learned about goals from a wonderful book about setting goals that I highly recommend you to checkout.
Effectiveness: 7/10 ♦ Difficulty: 8/10
Learning from our failures is one of the most vital part of being successful at some point of time in the future. Everyone suffers setbacks but a person who could stand up and start walking again is the person who will most likely achieve success. Never blame others for our failure like we don’t give enough credit to others for our successes, right? We and we are only responsible for any outcomes and results of our efforts; whether success or failure. Our actions and hard work will define our results and nothing else.
This phrase has helped me over years to keep this thing clear in my head – I am the master of my destiny, I am the master of myself. I say this every day to myself while brushing my teeth in the morning and in the night. I recommend you to try this too; its part of training our mind to think in the right direction.
Effectiveness: 10/10 ♦ Difficulty: 9/10
The most important trait of successful people is their discipline. It is something that can be developed step by step. Here’s a powerful question that we should us to evaluate where we are in terms of being disciplined. What we do when we are alone? The answer to this question defines how serious are we about achieving our goals. Discipline helps us stay on track and move towards our goals few inches every day. Without discipline, no one will ever get success; even if they do get it by sheer luck at a time; they won’t be able to sustain it for long in absence of discipline.
This is one of the hardest habit to develop as well. What I recommend is to start with baby steps first. I assigned simple daily goals to myself first few days to see if I could effectively work on them seriously. Even if I had something more important to work on the day, I make sure that I stay a bit late in night and finish my goal for that day. This enforces me to stay disciplined and be serious about my work. I use my journal for managing my action items for the day. You can use same if you like.
On a side note, quick message for parents out there: It’s our responsibility to save our kids from TV violence. Here’s my plan on how to protect kids from watching TV violence.
Effectiveness: 8/10 ♦ Difficulty: 7/10
More we learn is more we earn both financially and spiritually. Are we ready to grasp opportunities that fly our way today? Are we ready to manage $10 million if handed over today? We all want things bigger than we can handle. What will we do if we get them today? Do you know how many people win lottery every year but almost none of them could keep their winnings for long. Why?
Personal development is very important to be ready for the moment when we get what we desired. We should continuously keep working on developing our skills which we will need when success comes our way. The skills are not only needed when we reach our destination but also on the way to get there. We should work harder on ourselves than on our jobs. Here is a YouTube channel that I love to listen to while driving to keep developing my mind and skills. Their collection has helped me open up my mind and think about new ideas. I also take courses on udemy to learn new skills from time to time which I highly recommend you to follow as well. One course in a month is ideal for anyone who is set on correct path.
Read a lot
Effectiveness: 10/10 ♦ Difficulty: 3/10
Why top billionaires of the world spend most of their day reading books? Ever thought about it? Reading builds new connections in your mind and helps us in shaping our thought process. Reading is probably the most common habit of successful people that I discovered. A $20 book can teach us how to make $2 million. We should read as many good books as we can. What we read is equally important. If we put garbage in our head, garbage will come out. Remember that.
What we can do is find out what successful people are reading and then buy those books and read them too. Here are few my favorite books which I advise you to read as well: link, link, link. If you don’t enjoy reading books, then try out audio books or YouTube. Listening to audio books can save a lot of time which is normally get wasted such as when we are driving or taking shower. I bought these water proof bluetooth speakers which I sync up with my phone to listen to audio books while taking shower. This strategy has helped me speed up learning process. Now instead of reading 1 book a week, I get to read 1.5 to 2 books (including audio books). I hope this strategy would help you as well.
Effectiveness: 6/10 ♦ Difficulty: 8/10
I feel everyone is talking about managing time to achieve goals, but I think nobody can manage time. When I tried to go with a time-table approach, I felt I was in more stress to complete my tasks within allotted time period and most of the mental energy was stuck to watching the clock. Then I heard Warren Buffet mentioning in one of his interview about how he achieved his goals – using energy management approach. So, I starting deploying same strategy in my routine and I am very happy with its results.
Energy management works as follows. I plan my mornings doing things which need more focus as such. In morning hours, I have fresh mind and lots of energy just after a good night sleep. So, harder tasks get completed easily. In the afternoon, the body gets a bit tired, energy levels are low and focus is also 50% reduced; so I prefer to do mundane tasks during those hours such as social media, arranging stuff etc. After few hours of rest & relaxing; the energy levels are raised up again in evenings and I can again do work that requires more focus. Your body may work differently throughout the day so I recommend you to adopt a plan that works best for you. From time to time, I also consume energy drinks specially when I need energy boost. I like these because they come in different flavors and taste good too.
Effectiveness: 6/10 ♦ Difficulty: 5/10
Big rewards often earned after big risks. But most people are afraid of taking risks in their lives, mostly due to the fear of failure. What I found is that the successful people do not see their failures as end of the world.
In fact, they treat their failures as lessons which would teach them what not do next time. This is how they learn and grow richer. Never be afraid of failures rather treat them as your learning lessons. If a failure caused you monetary loss then treat that as if you paid a fee to learn that lesson first hand. Try to educate yourself before you take bigger risks. Learn new skills and do your homework to minimize the loss. This is what is called taking calculated risk – almost all successful people spend a lot of time analyzing the situation to ensure that there’s no risk of breaking their bank completely. They make sure that risk is limited but reward is limitless before getting into the game.
Effectiveness: 9/10 ♦ Difficulty: 9/10
I have observed this first hand and with people around me as well. After one or two attempts, people start thinking that it’s impossible to make things work in their favor. Even if they didn’t fail literally they stop working on their goals just because it didn’t show any good results so far. My advice to myself and everyone reading this is that; Never stop working on your goal. Never. You might need to tweak the plan to adjust for the road blocks or setbacks but we shouldn’t stop working on our ultimate goals. Many people have the problem with changing the goal post & then saying I never get anything done. How will they? If their goal isn’t fixed.
In one of the most famous book – Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the author has explained how we can keep positive thoughts in your head working all the time to make us succeed in life. We must have a clear vision of what exactly we want to achieve, and the impression of this vision should be so strong in our mind that nothing can stop us from achieving it; not even setbacks. When a child is trying to learn how to walk, & he falls down, what he’s supposed to do? He needs to get back up on his feet and try again, isn’t it? We (adults) need to apply same principle here, in order to achieve our dreams and goals in life, plain and simple, isn’t it?
Find ways to win
Effectiveness: 7/10 ♦ Difficulty: 9/10
Whatever it takes to win and achieve our goals, we should do. In other words, do not leave any rock unturned. If we hit a wall on our way, we need to find a way to go around it or break it. There are many ways to solve a problem, so why don’t we just find multiple ways to reach our goals. That will give us more options to get it done and may be sooner than we originally anticipated.
We need to remember that there will never be a straight line between us and our destination. We always will have to go around, take small u-turns, and then take a detour in order to move towards our destination. To draw a simple analogy between life and roads, I would ask what would we do when we see the road we are travelling on is blocked for construction? We detour, right? But we still go where we were going. We normally do not turn back and say let’s travel some other day when road is clear. We need to do same things in life also with our goals. There are many ways to reach our goals; we just need to find them.
Do what you love
Effectiveness: 9/10 ♦ Difficulty: 5/10
Unless I truly love what I am doing, I will not be 100% into it. Thats I believe is applicable to anybody. We need to make sure that we do what we love doing because then we will not mind if we are working 18 hours a day on it. We will enjoy doing it every moment of the day as long as it takes to get it done.
Normally, people work 8 hours a day in office which means that they are spending 30% of their time in office. If accumulated over the life span, this means 30% of our lives are spent working in offices. So, the obvious question to ask here is, whats the point of spending our lives on something that we don’t even love, right? If you are not sure about what you love to do? Then, try this exercise. Ask these questions to yourself;
Question#1 – What is it that you will do even if you are not paid for it?
Question#2 – Why you want to do it? (e.g. I want to be remembered for it after I am gone)
Question#3 – Will you still spend time on it if today is the last day of your life?
If you can answer these questions truthfully to yourself, then I am sure that you will find what you want to do for rest of your life. Once you find it, do it as much as you can. Think of it as you are an expert in it and you are sent to the earth to do that one thing for rest of your life. You are on a mission to do it. This is what you will be known for after you are gone to another world.
Wake Up Early
Effectiveness: 7/10 ♦ Difficulty: 9/10
Specially for people who start their day late; this would be the most difficult habit to change. All successful people know that if they have to start a day early; they have to go to bed early. When we wake up early, our energy and focus levels will be at their peaks. We will feel as if day is slower & we got a lot of time in the day left. I personally have felt as if I am far ahead of others on the days when I started my day early. Feeling like this boosts our confidence and motivates us to complete our tasks. I am personally trying this and it has greatly improved my productivity. I can focus better and chain my thoughts easily like I am doing it now while writing this post.
In order to stick to this routine, I go to my bed early then read a book for a while and in no time I fall asleep. Since I slept early in the night, I automatically wake up early in morning too. In past, I had tried to use alarm clocks, but they didn’t help me much as I found it difficult to fall asleep when I know an alarm will ring soon and I have only few hours left to sleep before it goes off.
Effectiveness: 8/10 ♦ Difficulty: 2/10
Warren Buffet started investing when he was 6 years old. Bill Gates was a teenager when he was working on building Microsoft’s operating system. I strongly believe after studying about various successful people that starting early in age, on our dreams and goals definitely gives us great advantage over others.
You can read about top 10 rich people in the world and you will be surprised to see that almost all of them started working towards their goal in their early ages. If you are already late in realizing this, then don’t be disheartened you can still do it. There are some people who started working on their goals very late in life and got success too. For instance, KFC founder; who started Kentucky Fried Chicken with his retirement money. Walmart founder who also started Walmart stores very late in his age. Starting early will give us advantage over others for sure. We will have more time to fail, learn & grow ourselves. So, let’s not wait and start today on our life’s goals.
- How to Become a Millionaire – Things I Wish I Knew in my 20s
- How to become rich when you are in your 30s
- My plan to retire richer than my friends
Make Money Work
Effectiveness: 9/10 ♦ Difficulty: 7/10
This is my personal favorite. The most effective way to grow rich is to learn this one lesson in life. When you earn $100, do not spend entire $100. If that’s what you do; then you will never get rich or financially free.
Here’s what rich people have learned early in their lives which most people don’t throughout their lives. Rich people (or ones on track to be rich soon) invest $30 or more (if they can) out of every $100 back into some investments which would earn them even more money. This is something like money producing children and its children producing more children. If we can set up something like this then we will get rich in no time. One thing we need to make sure is that we shouldn’t be actively working for growing our money. It should be on an auto pilot, meaning that we shouldn’t be working as if it’s a 9-5 job. It should be invested on regular basis and in assets which would earn more cash immediately or in near future.
This approach will free our mind to focus on other important things in life. In short, once we invest, our money should work for us even while we are sleeping and generate more money for us. Once we have more money earned this way, where our money worked for us rather than we are working for it, then we just need to reinvest it back into similar investments and repeat the cycle. Thats the secret of getting rich doing nothing. Here are few books (book-1, book-2, book-3) which helped me learn a lot about money. I highly recommend you to read them too.
Effectiveness: 7/10 ♦ Difficulty: 5/10
Successful people are connected with a lot of people. They are very resourceful. This helps them get things done very quickly compared to others who do not know right people. Having a large network also helps someone spread the word about their products or services that they are working on and get some early clients sooner than anticipated. It can really work wonders if we have right people in our network. Imagine we need to build a website but don’t know how to do it. If we have some web developers in our network of people that we know, then we can easily get a website created in no time & sometimes with no or little money.
Another good example would be knowing great influencers who have millions of followers in their social profile. Imagine what it would do for us when they post a message for our upcoming products. So, networking is a must to be successful really fast.
Effectiveness: 8/10 ♦ Difficulty: 6/10
I found after reading numerous biographies about successful people that almost all of them have an exercise routine. Most of them had personal trainers because they could afford one. Even if we can’t afford a personal trainer now, we can always get a membership to local fitness center and exercise there. Most fitness centers provide free coaches too for their members. If someone is more of an outdoor person, then going for a walk may be ideal for them.
I believe we must be physically fit to enjoy the time after reaching our goals and becoming successful. I enjoy going for walks myself and so far sticking to an hour of walk daily is going good for me. This has helped me focus my mind and clear my thoughts too while walking. Recently I also bought a nice treadmill & rowing machine to workout at home when outside weather is tough which I am pleased with too.
Effectiveness: 9/10 ♦ Difficulty: 3/10
Exercise is needed to be physically fit and meditation is needed to be mentally fit. Meditation improves our power of concentration and staying focused for long hours. I have noticed first hand that the day I miss my mediation in the morning, my mind wonders a lot on unnecessary things, and it becomes harder to focus on anything. Simple breathing exercises also helps in getting back on track and improves our mood too. Here is a YouTube channel that I listen to while meditating. They have a great collection of relaxing sounds.
Keep a Journal
Effectiveness: 8/10 ♦ Difficulty: 3/10
Besides reading a lot, successful people always maintain a journal too. I have noticed this with Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Warren Buffett and many more. The great minds of our time know a secret which most of us don’t that; we should not rely solely on our mind’s memory to keep track of all the important things we are learning throughout our lives.
I had started keeping a small journal 3 years ago and jot down any important things or ideas or thoughts on my journal book. Now I can go back in time on my journal and see what I was thinking on a particular day. What ideas I had and what actions did I plan on that day. I can also evaluate the results of those actions now (after years). Writing a journal is a wonderful method to keep track of our ideas, thoughts & results of our actions in future. I highly recommend you to buy one hard copy of journal today and start using it. This is the one which I am using myself.
I hope you liked this post. I would love to hear about your favorite list of habits that you want to start working on today. Join me and let’s work together on these habits of successful people and become successful ourselves. I will be sharing updates on my progress from time to time in this post and would love to know how you are doing too in comments below.
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