I’ve always been interested in the psychology, mindset, and habits of high achievers. I think it’s fascinating to hear what different industry leaders from around the world do differently from their peers – and of course, it never hurts to try adopting some of these practices for yourself. Here are a few habits of successful people which I think would be beneficial for just about anyone!
1. Successful people are early risers
Individuals who experience business success simply don’t have time to sleep in – nor should they want to. Research has shown that not only are early risers more optimistic and conscientious, they are also better problem solvers, and stay calmer under stress. Successful people wake up early, fit in a healthy breakfast, making their bed, and often some exercise before heading off to the office. If you start the day off right, success is more likely to follow.
2. They use Sundays to plan out their week
It’s all about planning! Successful people need to be organised, so many adhere to the practice of using Sundays to plan out the week ahead. Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary says planning all his exercise for the coming week each Sunday ensures he’ll have no excuse to skip it. If you’ve got a schedule, you’ll be able to fit in social events, an exercise regime, healthy eating, appointments, and errands around your work life.
3. Then, they stick to that plan
Successful people are nothing if not disciplined. Planning out your week is an act full of good intentions, but it takes someone with mental strength to actually achieve it all. High achievers are able to ignore that voice telling them to switch off the alarm and get an extra hour sleep, and instead they get out there and stick to the plan.
4. Successful people embrace failure and try again
In order to achieve success in the business world, you’ll need to change how you feel about failure. Everyone fails sometimes, but it’s important to remain calm and look critically at the situation. What could you have done differently? What will you do instead next time? It’s all part of learning and growing, and successful people have certainly had their share of this. Sony co-founder Akio Morita’s first product was a rice cooker that burnt rice. Luckily he didn’t get bogged down in his failure and moved on to bigger and better things!
5. They can let go of the past
Following on from the need to embrace your failure, you also need to move on from it. Successful people are able to leave the past in the past. Stop dwelling over the mistakes you once made and start thinking forwards like a real industry leader.
6. Successful people take risks
It’s called the ‘comfort zone’ for a reason – because it’s so comfortable. But if you want to achieve greatness, you’re going to have to leave it. Successful people aren’t afraid to try new things even if there’s no guarantee that they’ll work out. Remember – failure is only a learning experience but imagine if the risks do pay out! Think about Bill Gates in 1974 dropping out of college to pursue his vision that the personal computer would become so widely adopted – despite not having access to any computer hardware at all!
7. They are avid readers
When I was researching the habits of successful people for this article, one thing that kept coming up was reading. Successful people read a lot – and not just books. High achievers read blogs, news articles, newsletters, emails, and books both related to their industry and beyond. They subscribe to and download various media to make sure they’re always up to date. Podcasts are a popular one now too!
8. Staying active is important
We often think about success as a purely mental achievement, but in reality, there’s definitely a physical side too. Successful people are holistic in their approach to health, and recognise the importance of regular exercise and activity to keep healthy. Ben Midgely, CEO of Crunch Fitness Franchise, explains the key to fitting exercise around your lifestyle. You could try waking up early, going for a run at lunch time, or even going for a walk while taking phone calls if you’re really pressed for time!
9. Successful people have a list of goals for improvement
Successful people aren’t successful by chance. They have worked hard to get there, and their journey has often been meticulously planned. Many high achievers keep an active list of their goals – from a list of goals they hope to achieve that day, to a list of what they want to work towards over 5 or 10 years. This practice forces you to commit your goals to writing. You’re taking the first step towards turning your desires into something real.
Of course, not every successful person follows all – or any – of these 9 habits! You have to find what works for you. For me, what this list makes clear is that even though successful people are naturally rather time poor, they are disciplined, organised, and adaptable. After all, if you’re not keeping a healthy balance between your effectiveness at work, and your time off at home, how successful are you really?
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