Today’s biggest innovators share one thing in common: vision. This is the kind of vision that gave us Microsoft, Facebook, the iPhone, and Tesla, to name a few.
All world-changing innovations were born out of the idea of one person or a group of individuals with that burning drive to lead a successful life. Calling them ‘lucky’ is a sloppy attempt at giving credit to their accomplishments.
It goes without saying, however, that no matter how big your vision is, it will never come to fruition without dedication, hard work, and good habits. It does sound a lot like a cliché but the right motivation, constancy in purpose, a healthy mind, and a strong will to make things happen are key ingredients to taking that first step.
Case in point: leaders of the biggest and most successful businesses and global projects. Isn’t effective leadership the pillar of any successful enterprise? People who breathe inspiration and exude leadership are worth emulating.
For years, the great debate on whether leaders are born, not made has polarized the world. While we concede that some innately possess leadership skills, others argue that anyone can make a mark in the world by embracing the daily habits and mindset of highly successful people.
Here are 10 of the most common habits highly successful people take as their life and day-to-day guide. We hope this list helps you to achieve your very own success story.
- Stick to a Morning Routine
- Be Proactive, Not Reactive
- Welcome Failure
- Welcome Change
- Welcome Help
- Stay Humble
- Prioritize Health
- Be Frugal
- Value Integrity
- Why You Should Develop Good Habits
- The Power of Practicing Good Traits
Stick to a Morning Routine
Want to be ahead of the game? This is one of the simplest yet most effective habits of successful people. Most successful people will likely tell you that being “a morning person” comes naturally to them. Ask any CEO, President, or Olympic athlete: one of their daily habits is to start their day early. Waking up early is a habit they all share.
One research concluded that “self-control or willpower is a finite resource.” Numerous studies seem to argue this, however, as they liken willpower to a muscle that is prone to fatigue and depletion. That said, you have to take advantage of it while the gratification is fresh and fulfilling. And because willpower is at its strongest in the morning, develop in creating a great morning routine and stick to it.
Early risers typically take their daily practice to heart, and this includes:
- Wake up an hour early.
- Eating a hearty breakfast.
- Visualize your day and make it happen.
- Prioritize your day’s most dreaded tasks—and get done with them first.
- Letting go of the things that you cannot control.
- Motivating yourself to finish your day strong.
- Go to bed early at night; you’ll need it for the next day.
The snooze button on your alarm should be a thing of the past. Get a good night’s sleep, get up and start your day right—and start it early. Soak in all the willpower and mental energy you need for the day and own it!
“As a leader, you need to have a strong voice and you need to know when it’s time to listen,” says Amy Jen Su, co-owner of Paravis Partners, a team of specialists devoted to training and coaching would-be executives.
Strong leaders are perceived to be opinionated and take decisive actions and have complete control of the entire team. There’s no denying that this is a strong leadership attribute. Equally important, however, is a leader’s genuine interest in what others have to say. Not everyone is a listening leader, but it can be learned. And it will do wonders for your organization.
Facebook CEO, and founder Mark Zuckerberg is known for being a listener and for giving credit to whom it’s due. For one, he acknowledges his people’s brilliant ideas and different functions for saving the company a lot of money.
When the situation calls for it, he consults his people and takes their new ideas into account before making the final decision.
To be appointed a leader, you are expected to be the crème de la crème of your organization. Successful people tend to believe they know all the things they should. But the truth is, you do not have all the answers. Learn to stand down and listen.
Develop an open mind and welcome other people’s suggestions. Most importantly, validate and verify, and be thankful for the shared information. Taking responsibility completely on your own will only drain your mental strength. You don’t have to agree with everything; all you have to do is to listen.
Be Proactive, NOT Reactive
One of the most significant habits highly effective people share is being proactive. They’d gladly tell you “Action” is their middle name. Planning, setting up meetings, making connections, brainstorming, and conceptualizing are all good but they all require action. For proactive leaders, the focus should be on working toward completing the job at hand and looking at the bigger picture—without discounting the possible problems and taking charge of them before everything goes on a downward spiral.
At a certain point, your organization will experience setbacks. Because of circumstances beyond your control, your expectations might not always be met. Your focused thinking might somehow get compromised. Perhaps you get poor results despite your efforts. What if the changes within your organization are affecting your performance or your team’s? Will you allow yourself (and everyone else) to fail? How are you going to stay focused will all these?
Be proactive. Take the initiative to make use of the resources available at your disposal while intentionally thinking ahead and planning the next step. Proactive leaders also acknowledge the role that the employees play in problem-solving. Together, they all share the same vision and act on it.
Take it from successful people. They act quickly on pressing matters and think ahead while at it. They refuse to spend time crying over spilled milk.
If you really think about it, the road to success is far from magical. Sometimes, the journey is laced with a series of heartbreaking failures that plant seeds of doubt. But it’s true what they say: if you are not ready to fail, you are not equipped to succeed.
We never hear the most successful individuals talk about how Lady Luck smiled on them or how a genie made their wish come true. On the contrary, many successful people believe they made it through the difficult journey by maintaining a positive attitude despite the setbacks. They welcomed failure to appreciate success and learned a habit to learn new skills to reach their own goals.
If you find yourself working so hard for your dream every single day and not getting what you believe you deserve, take with you the lessons life is teaching you. Appreciate the tiny achievements as much as you celebrate the significant ones. Remember how the hurdles and failure themselves made a huge impact in shaping the most successful people into the resilient individuals that they are.
Remind yourself it will eventually get better- that things will turn out the way you planned them as long as you focus on your own goals and you’re open to self-improvement. And don’t forget: failure is always better than regret.
Accepting change is one simple yet vital success habit. Some people easily embrace change, while many of us dread it. Seriously, who wants to leave their comfort zone? But it’s counter-intuitive, really, because we all know that change is inevitable. While sticking to the conventional is the “safer choice”, change is the only way for us to grow—daunting as that may seem.
Did you know that highly successful people thrive on change? If you strive to make an impact and contribute to society, give the conventional a rest; dare to be different.
Reinvent yourself. Focus on self-improvement. Practice a healthy daily routine. Stay focused. Adapt, and try something new and different to perk up your mundane everyday routine. Be wary of your time management skills. You might be surprised at how amazing things will fall into place when you have a positive attitude.
Similarly, your workplace does not have to be boring. Change it up a bit! The negative people in your staff? Inspire them to practice the best habits to bring out the best in them. Teach them to be people-oriented and to look at the day with more energy.
Fuel that energy and spirit to achieve success by embracing change.
You can’t do everything on your own. All successful people have mentors at some point in their lives to prove this fact. They were guided by these people, in one way or another, in achieving the success they celebrate today. Bill Gates credits Warren Buffet for his ability to face tough situations. Oprah is highly influenced by the late Maya Angelou whom she adores and loves. It may be safe to say that without their mentors these people might not be the successful people we look up to today.
How important is mentorship? Keeping a relationship with someone whose principles you admire can be a special source of motivation. A mentor is someone whom you can trust and expect to empathize with you, all while keeping you grounded and helping you look at your best self.
After everyone who is in complete awe of your success leaves the party, your mentor is that person whom you run to for guidance and advice– one who can help you to focus on your most important goals.
How hard have you worked to achieve a successful life as you have? You have every right to feel entitled but is it the right way to go about your life? Here’s the short answer: arrogance won’t get you anywhere. It is utterly pointless to forget humility. Nothing good comes out of it.
Humility is one of the ultimate marks of a successful person. Being humble is not about choosing to be passive or submissive; it is actually a sign of competence and confidence! When your own life is less of the success they all say you are, you develop a sense of genuine awareness of and concern for those around you. When you set aside pride, you realize that your success shouldn’t only be for yourself. Because in this life, we all need to give back.
What’s more, studies show that humility and modesty help you retain long-term relationships. And as you conquer bigger feats, you need the right people by your side.
Staying humble after a great success is possibly the greater achievement.
The incessant quest to remain on top of your game is clearly a driving force for the ambitious. In a world where everyone attempts to climb the ladder of success, work and business always come first. But when you eat, sleep, and breathe ambition to the detriment of everything else, will it still be worth it?
Sacrificing close relationships, family, rest, focus, exercise, and enough sleep to further your ambition is a life tragedy waiting to happen. Eventually, your irrational notion of success will get the better of you. Why make an effort to generate multiple incomes and achieve success when your rest, and life in general, is compromised?
It’s worth saying over and over again: health should be your top priority. Always. Dare we say, the first step to achieving success is staying healthy! It makes sense to be in top shape; it’s the only way to successfully run a business, ace an exam, or complete a job.
Make a conscious effort to eat healthily and exercise as part of your daily habits. Take care of yourself and success will follow.
“It’s not your salary that makes you rich; it’s your spending habits.”
It’s not surprising that the richest among us embrace penny-pinching habits. They live frugal lives. By being frugal, they spend wisely and know their priorities. The result: fat bank accounts and, for some, massive donations to charity.
Big spenders don’t surprise us anymore. But for many of those whom we categorize as the most successful or the richest, the definition of success has little to do with money. Mark Zuckerberg drives a $30,000 car with manual transmission. Bill Gates wears a $10 watch. Because really, having more money than you can spend isn’t all there is to be successful.
If you don’t spend above your means, you’re one step closer to becoming a billionaire.
Success is pliable, but integrity lasts forever. Integrity is manifesting your core values and clear vision in your professional and personal life—and standing by it. It means setting priorities and always doing the right thing regardless of the consequences to your business, or even to your ambition. Speak and live the truth; it always wins out. You see, a little display of dishonesty is what it is: dishonesty.
As you journey towards becoming a successful person, you’ll meet all kinds of people. Stay alert and be careful not to be associated with individuals who are untrustworthy. You can’t avoid being judged based on the friends you keep and the people you surround yourself with. But more than tarnishing your reputation, being with the dishonorable and the dishonest can break your moral compass.
Learn from today’s biggest and most successful names that make a conscious choice every day to be respectable and integrity-driven. Cutting corners just to get ahead of the game just isn’t worth it.
Have a go at these 10 life-changing habits and, just like the successful people you admire, be ready to make a name for yourself!
Why You Should Develop Good Habits
To have healthy well-being and a positive disposition, successful people practice good and healthy daily habits. But have you ever wondered why it’s essential to do so?
Apart from creating a good daily routine with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise to achieve better mental clarity, there are other reasons why you practice a daily habit. Here are some of them.
Your habits reflect who you are.
A habit is something you regularly do without actually thinking about it. The habits you develop, like creating a good meal plan, or doing regular exercise, will eventually take part of your day-to-day life. Ultimately, these habits become who you are.
Your routines significantly improve the old version of you.
It can be challenging to break your old habits back in the day. Maybe you weren’t so keen about leading a healthy life, or your decision-making skills were not so impressive, thus leading you to make wrong decisions.
But when you start practicing the habits of successful people, this improves your overall way of life. For instance, the simple act of making a to-do list of what and what not you should eat is a good start. Or maybe, giving yourself some positive self-talk can boost your self-confidence and lead you to become successful in the long run.
You can reach your goals efficiently when you practice a good habit.
Let’s say you have been dreaming to join a dance competition. Of course, you will not just jump into the very first competition you hear about without proper training. You must focus on the bigger picture and prepare. You need to practice a lot before you can compete.
A common habit of successful people are preparation. This is the first step toward reaching a goal. Establishing a good habit will take you to places and helps you achieve goals you never thought you can.
The Power of Practicing Good Traits
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit“– as Aristotle’s famous adage goes.
In a 2007 study by the National Library of Medicine, it was suggested that the success of our personal lives is not motivated only by goals. After some time, we eventually become more motivated by the routines we set up to reach those goals, more than the goal itself.
People also become motivated after they reflect on their progress towards reaching their goals. In fact, a study back in 2010 reinforced this. Researchers monitored people trying to practice eating health habits. It was found that those who took their habits to heart and became more adjusted were more successful.
So how do you develop a habit?
Know what you wish to achieve.
Note down your professional and career goals. Successful people are successful because they come up with habits in achieving their goals. You need to be clear with your goal. From there, think about positive daily habits that you can incorporate into your schedule.
Incorporate positive habits into your Daily routine.
Some habits of successful people include building a good practice around their routine. Successful people will always block out their regular time to give way to a habit that they think is necessary.
For example, your goal is to learn how to make a computer program, but you need more time to develop your skills. You are also aware that you are a morning person, and that, studying in the afternoon is too draining for you.
Work your habit around your schedule. In this case, resolve to hit the bed by 10 PM every night so you will wake up early at 6 AM.
Ponder on your attitude.
As you go along with your new routines, check if these are working well for you. If you find it a struggle to stick to those habits, ask yourself why. Was it too ambitious? Then maybe you need to set a more manageable and realistic goal.
Successful people practice self-discipline. One study showed that you need 66 days to form and get used to a habit. With this duration, self-discipline is crucial. One effective way to practice self-discipline efficiently is to make a Treasure Map— a visual representation of the goals you want to achieve.
This map will serve as your constant reminder of why having a positive habit is very important. This also lets you see how far you have gone with your goals, and how far you will have to go to achieve them.
Ask for support.
Especially if you have a running list of goals, it can be challenging to stick to your new routines on your own. It’s okay to seek support– whether from your peers, your family, or your managing partner at work.
Practicing good routines is indeed powerful. It helps you achieve your goals, improves brain function, and gives you an overall positive outlook in life.
For these routines to stick, follow these simple steps:
- Know what you wish to achieve.
- Incorporate positive habits into your daily routines.
- Ponder your attitude.
- Ask for support.