While sitting in a plush conference room, staring out at a beautiful lake, and sipping the green tea that was automatically dispensed for me at the push of a button, I found myself eager to get to know the gentleman responsible for building this empire. He was a handsome man in his late forties, wearing a sharp-looking suit, and walked with an air of confidence almost expected with such success.
I found myself wondering if he understood just how intimidating his demeanor and words could come across. “Yes, I’ve gotten that feedback several times throughout my career,” he said. By the end of the meeting, I learned that nearly every relationship that was not strictly business related had disappeared, and he was struggling with loneliness and isolation in a profound and disturbing way.
Success has very little to do with the dollar amount in your bank account, and everything to do with the way you spend your resources—time, money, etc. A joyful experience of life, most days, has become my barometer of success. The more often one feels and shares joy, the more successful they are.
From this context, the following are the top 9 habits successful people practice every day:
By choosing to focus on what there is to be grateful for, successful people naturally look for and attract more of the same.
Try this: Before a meal, share one thing you’re grateful for that happened in that day. If you’re eating with someone, consider sharing one attribute you’re grateful for in them—it’s a great way to strengthen relationships and focuses your attention on the goodness in others.
Give – time and resources
The act of giving is in itself a gift to oneself. Giving is receiving—helping others is helping yourself.
Try this: Focus on giving (time and resources) every day, without the expectation of receiving something in return.
By appreciating and acknowledging others, successful people get to feel both connected and appreciated.
Try this: Intentionally look for reasons to appreciate others, and point out the specific act/behavior/attitude you appreciate in them. Focus on this every day for six weeks and notice how you feel at the end of the six weeks.
Provoke (challenge) themselves and others
By focusing on challenging themselves, being vulnerable and going for greatness, successful people naturally inspire others to do the same.
Try this: Identify a specific outcome important to you, gain clarity about why it’s important, share it with your team and then go make it happen. Authentically share your struggles (fears) and your triumphs, ask for their support and encourage (challenge) them to do the same.
Successful people figure out what’s working (and not working) by consistently carving out time to reflect.
Try this: at the end of each day, grab a notebook and write about what went well and what didn’t go so well. What would you do differently, and why? Your surroundings are consistently providing feedback—the challenge is in stopping long enough to benefit from the wisdom you receive.
It is natural to want to hear how great you are. When you learn to validate yourself, freedom is the outcome. Being able to experience external kindness as so-nice-to-have, but not critical to your joy in work or life, is liberating.
Try this: At the end of each day, write down three good qualities you demonstrated. In a couple of weeks, go back over and read what you’ve written about yourself. If you see the same qualities repeated, challenge yourself to look for new ones, while appreciating the ones you’ve noted.
Whether you go for a brisk walk, lift weights, swim or play a game of tennis, the key is to elevate your heart rate, connect with your body and release joy-inducing hormones.
Try this: Block time every day for exercise and treat it like one of the most important meetings of your day. Doing a little bit (20-30 minutes) every day is a great way to begin building the foundation for your fitness.
Whether in the mind or body, stagnation leads to stench. Successful people keep their mind/brain vibrant by carving out time every day for learning.
Try this: Grab that handy notebook and take note of what you learn each day. Consider writing a list of all the thought-provoking activities you engage in each week. These two exercises will help you see the truth about the time you spend learning and they’ll keep you on your toes, learning and growing.
Finding ways to contribute to the career and life of those around them makes perfect sense to successful people. Beyond recognizing that giving is receiving, they understand that your success is their success.
Try this: Make it a habit to take note of at least one way you contributed to someone else’s career/life at the end of every day.
The key to each of these habits is to do them every day.
As you slowly add in new habits, you may notice you don’t have enough time to do everything you’ve been doing and your new habits. This tension is a natural part of change. Slowly, over time, you will weed out the activities that provide less benefit so that you can focus on the ones that bring joy to your life.
Here’s to your greatness,
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