Habits For Success
Habits are defined as those things we do on auto pilot, Wikipedia says “A habit (or wont) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously.” while the free dictionary says “A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.” Thus habits for success are those habits which push us to reach our ultimate goals.
Today I thought I’d focus on a few habits that if picked up can make your journey to success all the more easier, so without further ado here are my top 9 habits for success.
Successful people are simply those with successful habits.
Read, Read, Read.
Reading is not just a sin on cinema sins, but a vital way in which we humans assimilate information. It is an amazing tool that enables us to learn from the experience of others, drastically reducing the time needed to acquire new skills. Its also a pretty kick ass way to relax and pass the time on a long journey, while waiting or just before bed. Its cheap, since books do not cost much and effective.
Don’t have books to read? That’s fine, you can always get a Kindle Paperwhite, and get your books here. Read everything, read fiction, read non fiction, read for fun, read to learn but more importantly, read to improve yourself.
Note: I am going to be publishing something later this month that deals with the e-book readers, e-books et al.
Reading increases the amount of information at your disposal, with more information you make better decisions. While we are on the topic of getting more information…
Listen more than you speak
The saying goes, we have two ears and one mouth so we need to listen twice as much as we talk. A lot of communication problems can be avoided if we all started listening a little bit more. I read somewhere that often times we listen to reply not to understand, we would have made up our minds before the other person even starts talking and thus we miss out on the other person’s insights because we love the sound of our own voices.
So what if someone doesn’t use the correct technical terms when trying to express an idea, just chill and trying to get the thought process behind what they are trying to say, you’d be surprised that genius something comes from the most unlikely places.
Wake up early
Scientist claim the first few hours after we wake up are our most productive, and I tend to agree. There are people who say they get better as the day goes on but I’m not one of them, I’m a morning person through and through and waking up early gives me a little more morning, if that makes sense. What do you do in the morning?
For what is a man profited , if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:26 (KJV)
That quote is not exactly one to one with what I want to show, but very close. What is the point of making a billion dollars, if when you do you are unable to enjoy it? Your body is like a car, it will get you to places you never dreamed you’d reach if you keep it maintained properly. This habit is one most people see as very hard but can be quite easy if done right. Start small, do not go diving into Insanity on the first day, instead focus on small goals like run 2 km today and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts. Make it a lifestyle, a hundred small steps will get you further than one leap.
Spend less than you earn
I’ve written about this before, and basic idea is, you need to develop the habit of never spending everything you make. This habit is common among all rich people who stay rich. Its simple but effective logic. Every single dollar you do not spend is as good as a dollar earned. Use this money to build up your emergency fund and to drive your investments. I think I’ll touch on investments later but for now the idea should be, put that money into something that keeps the principal safe and gives you a profit. This habit alone will guarantee your financial freedom, sooner or later. But how do you get to spend less?
A budget is a road map, a plan of how you are going to spend your money. It breaks down the most important things you need to do and allows you to allocate your money to those things. Its not a ball and chain but the key that frees you from bondage. I recommend that before anything else, pay yourself. Paying your self means, you take a percentage of what you’ve made and use that for your savings, emergency fund and investments and then do what you want with the rest of the money.
Make everything you need to do fit in what ever is left even if you need to cut out somethings. As I said above, if you do this regularly you will be financially free even if you do nothing else. While on the subject of planning…
plan your day the night before
A lot of people just sort of wing it, they arrive at the office in the morning and wait for work to find them. When it does they just go with whatever is pushing them at that moment, like a piece of paper being blown around by the wind. That’s one way to live, the only problem is that everything is left up to external forces. They do not focus on what they want, what is important to them, or what will bring the best results.
Cultivate the habit of setting clearly-defined written goals; they are the road maps that guide you to your destination.
Another way to live is to plan out everything you need to get done the night before, list out all things that need to be done, order them by importance and by which tasks, if done to completion, will produce the greatest positive outcome and…
Eat Brian Tracy’s Frog
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse things that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
Gratitude, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The benefits of gratitude have been documented over and over and over and over again. Its not even in doubt, its a fact, being grateful makes you happy, it changes your frame of reference and shifts your focus from the negative to the positive. It is the magic pill that changes the glass from being half empty to being half full. It strengthens relationships, improves health, reduces stress, and makes us happier. So even if you got nothing from this list, at the very least try to cultivate the habit of being grateful for what you have.