“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
The goal of creating habits is to create long-lasting behavioral changes that move you towards big goals.
Habits are simply behaviors wired so deeply in our brains that we perform them automatically.
Certain actions are so ingrained in these individuals that they simply “do” without much thought. Essentially those actions lead to habits.
Some of the most successful people in the world (based off of how you define success) share a handful of things in common and do some pretty outstanding things automatically.
Many books have been written on this topic and further understanding of what was necessary for these people to become successful CAN potentially leave a blueprint to mimic their success.
It’s important to understand that developing habits is a challenging thing. It surely doesn’t happen overnight and in some cases, it may take years. That majority of habit building is formed on rituals, schedules, consistency, and triggers.
So when it comes to being Modestly Refined, which is fluid and changes day by day, I’ve come up with 7 of the most important Habits of Highly Successful People.
Successful people are productive. Notice how I said “productive” rather than “busy.” They are constantly GSD’ing. GSD’ing means Getting Shit Done.
In most cases being busy is a form of procrastination. Constantly being busy and doing tasks that don’t get you to your goals is essentially wasting time.
I can make up a bunch of shit right now and be busy. The problem is that won’t get me anywhere near where I want to be. You need to be productive.
For me productive means getting 2 CRUCIAL tasks done daily and that’s it. Some cases it might be more based on how extensive each task is. Crucial simply means you can’t move forward if it’s not completed
If you do two major tasks a day for 365 days you will be getting somewhere. Somewhere farther than about 99% of the population.
Successful people set higher standards for themselves (a choice we can all make). Successful people believe in themselves. They wake up daily with expectations that their life means something. If things don’t go their way they accept it and figure out a way to change it.
By setting higher standards you can expect a greater level of commitment. You are in it to win it, which will produce momentum, a better work ethic and RESULTS.
Setting high standards also goes hand in hand with having confidence. If you don’t believe you deserve to be successful or you set low standards for yourself then you have no shot.
Set a high standard for yourself and hold yourself accountable. Expect big things and work toward them each and every day.
Successful people learn how to say NO. This is a very challenging thing to do and it’s discussed often by James Altucher. Simply put, it’s far better to say no to projects that you won’t put 100% effort into rather than say yes and produce poor quality work.
Time is valuable and the more shit you do that doesn’t get you closer to your ACTUAL goal the worse off you will be. Learning to say no when it’s in your personal best interested is a very valuable skill and it’s something you should become really good at.
It’s ok to upset a few people along the way. As time goes on they will have a greater respect for you simply because you were honest.
Successful people take calculated risks. If you want to grow a company from 1 million to 100 million there will be a variety of risks along the way. If you want to become the first African-American President of the United States there will be a variety of risks along the way. Whatever you can think of, there will probably be a handful of risks in which you will have to deal with.
As mentioned earlier, if there isn’t, you aren’t doing enough.
Successful people essentially live in “risk.” Take for example the PayPal Mafia. These 20 guys are essentially credited for creating PayPal. That’s all cool but what was created afterward is more impressive.
The risks that were taken to DO MORE than just PayPal produced Tesla Motors, YouTube, and Yelp (just to name a few). The internal drive that these individuals had outweighed the obstacles, problems, challenges, and limitations that they faced. I’m sure if you ask anyone of them the risk for failure was tremendous. It didn’t stop them and it shouldn’t stop you.
Successful people finish what they start. This may sound like a no-brainer but it’s much harder to do than you would think. I’m not talking about starting a Season on Madden 2014 and finishing it two weeks later by winning the Super Bowl.
I’m talking about writing a New York Times Best Seller or starting a Commercial Real Estate Company from scratch. That’s challenging and only a few people actually follow through.
Idea creation is a rather easy job. Many people dream big (which is good) and slowly start embarking on the task. As mentioned earlier with risk taking, many challenges, problems, and obstacles will get in the way. The once great idea now becomes difficult making it much easier for you to quit.
Whatever it is that you do in work, life, projects, relationships you will have challenges preventing you from finishing what you initially started. Plans never go according to plan. The most successful people roll with this. They cut their losses when needed or move forward when needed by consistently evaluating and staying true to their initial end vision.
Whatever you’re working towards, stay true to it and get it done.
Successful people are lifelong learners. Jim Rohn said it best that you should “work harder on yourself than you do on your job”. Successful people are constantly educating themselves either formally (academically), informally (watching, listening, asking, reading) or experimentally (doing, trying). Most likely it’s a combination of all three.
Your mind is like a muscle where it only develops when you use it. That’s’ why it’s extremely important to work out your mental muscles in order to get a stronger mind. It’s like a sport, the more you play the better you get.
The more you learn the more you increase your capacity to learn more. It’s a beautiful thing and will last until your last breath.
Successful people align themselves with like-minded people. Throwing out Jim Rohn again he famously said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” It’s simply the law of averages.
I saved this one for last because I think it is one of the most important. Who you surround yourself will have a direct influence on your thoughts, your self-esteem, your feelings, your attitude and your emotions. You are a product of your environment more than you think.
Time is valuable and it’s critical that you spend it with people that are in line with your ideals. Avoid negative people who are holding you back and widen your network to cultivate positive relationships inline with your objectives.
A good read is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
Do you have any habits that you would like to add? Comment below!
I drink coffee, watch very little TV and enjoy writing about Fitness and Nutrition “stuff.” I created IGETITIN Fitness to share all of this content, and arm you with wisdom and knowledge so you can build muscle and lose fat. I also have a dope online coaching platform where my clients get results. Join me on Instagram where I provide you insight into how I train and get fit.