What is success? Merriam-Webster defines success as a “favorable or desired outcome.” Also, “the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.” Ultimately, you are the only person who knows what success means to you, what you want to attain or your desired outcome. A list of the most successful people in the world may include Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Pele, Billie Jean King, Nelson Mandela, Sir Isaac Newton, and more. When studying the lists, tips, habits, and hints a pattern does emerge. Below is a list of the “10 (most common) Things Successful People Do Everyday.”
1. Follow Your Dreams. Have a Big Dream. Take the Leap! Your dream should inspire you to create a plan and take the key steps to achieve the dream. Easier said than done? Probably. But that is one thing that successful people have in common. They dream big and do it. Many people never succeed in achieving their goals because they don’t try. You may be worried about failure, or the idea has already been done or avoiding taking the risk. It’s the people who take the risk that achieve the dream. Remember, Martin Luther King, Junior was famous for, “I Have A Dream..” This leads us to the next point:
2. Be Patient. Be Able to Think, Endure, and Wait. Don’t Give Up! It is extremely important not to give up. John Quincy Adams said, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” Success isn’t instantaneous, quick, or easy. It takes work! Perseverance is that inner drive that keeps you working and striving when others would quit. Consider the Navy Seal program — very few worthy men and women make it into this elite group. Why? They give up and quit. Successful athletes keep shooting at the basket, the net, the goal over and over again. And remember, that many people who succeed have had challenges and failures along the way. They resolved to put one foot in front of the other and keep ongoing. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
3. Get a Jar of Awesome. Visualize Success. Keep Failure in Perspective. Celebrate Small Successes. Author Tim Ferriss talks about getting a Jar of Awesome. Each day, write on a piece of paper something good that happened. Fold the paper and put it into a jar of awesome. (Basically a decorated Mason jar.) When things don’t go your way and you feel down about your progress, pull out a few of those papers and read about your successes along the way and celebrate your success. This optimism helps you spot opportunities for improvements rather than focusing on the setbacks. Keep your dream alive by visualizing continued success.
4. Use Your Network. Ask for Help. Have a Support Group. You may not be able to achieve your dream alone. You may need help. You don’t need to join every networking event, professional association, or leadership conference. Really, this is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and rather than trying to fix all your weaknesses, you leverage one. Bad at using social media? Hire someone to handle it for you or acknowledge that you are weak and make that part of your brand. You don’t have to be perfect. Seek feedback from your network and use that to improve. Look for a mentor. Evaluation and reflection from an outside source that you trust is invaluable.
5. Set Goals. Create Milestones. Make Meaningful Markers. This is not a new concept, but surprisingly, many people forget to make goals! Goals have to be achievable. If your goal is unrealistic or too nebulous, you will not follow through. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals so you can achieve your goal in a set timeframe, and your smaller goals (milestones) can help you achieve your dream goal one step at a time.
6. Create a Balance. Be Mindful. Unplug. You may want to spend all your time working towards your dream, however, you need to create a healthy balance. Make your quality time TRUE quality time. Ignore the pings from your phone or smartwatch. There are times when you should just shut off your phone and enjoy the moment. Longer hours do not guarantee success. Setting limits is valid. Studies show that excessive work hours affect physical and mental health. Avoid the potential of burnout by maintaining a mindful balance of time at work and time away from work.
7. Have an Evening Ritual. Have a Morning Ritual. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, you may have a time where you are merely reacting to what is happening around you. Your inbox is full, you are pinged with alerts, and you are worried about the stuff you left undone. Take time to get focused. Start your morning ritual with a warm drink, meditating, exercising. Do something that you can integrate into your routine with ease. Then when you are comfortable you could add something else. The same is true for the evening. Create that mindful time where you clear your mind of stress from work. Write down what you can not get out of your mind. If clearing your mind is a struggle, then choose a task to think of before bed. Like Thomas Edison said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” While you are sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work. Review your thoughts in the morning and see if this mindfulness before bed has helped you resolve your problem.
8. Manage Your Money. Develop a Budget. Invest. Budgets and investments go hand in hand. The old adage, “You have to spend money to make money” is true to some degree. You will need to invest in some areas, but also you could outsource to save money. Creating that balance of spending money in frugal ways will help you stockpile money for larger investments you will make in the future. If you are going to manufacture a product, you could outsource the manufacturing. Companies fail because they bleed money without evaluating other options.
9. Be Authentic. Be Real. Be Honest. You will stand out in a world of copycats and knockoffs. It is easy to get caught up in the herd mentality. Your success is dependent upon you–not your copy of someone else. When you are real, others see you as more human, approachable and trustworthy. This, in turn, could lead you to new opportunities or a new network of associates that will support you. Staying true to yourself allows you the energy to overcome obstacles and find solutions. Avoid being shallow and selfish. The reward you gain from having good relationships will also help you build your self-esteem based on accomplishment, rather than false pretenses.
10. Personal Care. Self Care. Me Time. Personal care with regard to diet, exercise, and hygiene is always on the list of those who are successful. You may have a more complex routine than others. You may drink water, say positive affirmations, exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, cut down on TV watching, or even read inspirational or uplifting books. Whatever you need to do to give yourself a boost, consider it. Never underestimate the value of a good night’s rest. Just be consistent! You have probably heard “dress for success.” Basically, the type of clothing you wear is part of the image you present. You never know who you’ll meet when you are out and about. This personal care sets the stage for the successful person you want to be.
We all want to succeed. One path to that is identifying the most common things that successful people do and taking what works and implementing those habits into your own life. You are in charge. Stephen Covey said, “Without a doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness.” You can do it; you can be a success!