In today’s article, we’re going to talk about some of the most common habits of successful people.
One of the classic mistakes that we make is putting successful people on a pedestal. We tend to believe that high-achievers are simply “wired differently” than us.
But they’re not. They simply make different choices.
The key difference between successful people and unsuccessful people comes down to one thing — their daily habits.
There’s no magic pill. There’s no secret trick. It’s what you do every day that determines the level of greatness you reach in any area of your life.
Here’s a list of ten habits of successful people that you can copy and start implementing into your daily life.
#1: Waking Up Early
When was the last time you heard about a high-performer in business or sports who sleeps in until noon every day? My guess is that you haven’t.
That’s because successful people recognize the importance of getting a jumpstart on the rest of the world.
They realize that every hour counts, and that there’s no point in losing 2-3 hours of time that could be spent moving their life forward.
I’m not saying you need to go overboard and start waking up at 4 a.m. But being productive in the morning will lay a solid foundation for the rest of your day.
When your alarm clock goes off, don’t retreat to comfort and hit snooze.
Get up. Get moving. Get busy.
Rising out of bed and avoiding the snooze button is a small act of courage that can massively impact the rest of your day.
Habit Suggestion — Place your alarm clock on the other side of the room before you go to bed.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that meditation is one of the most common habits of successful people.
Arianna Huffington. Oprah Winfrey. Jerry Senfield. Ray Dalio. Joe Rogan. What do these people have in common? They all meditate every single day.
Hundreds of studies have proven that meditation reduces stress, increases focus, and helps you regulate your emotions.
The skill of being present and detaching from your distracting thoughts is an incredibly useful skill. It’s a keystone habit that has the potential to impact many different facets of your life.
Personally, I meditate for 10 every single morning.
And to tell you the truth, it took a few months to start seeing the benefits. But I’ve definitely noticed that my ability to be fully engaged in my work has increased significantly.
More importantly though, I feel more present in my day to day life. Meditations has helped me develop the ability to detach from thoughts that don’t add any value to my life.
Habit Suggestion — Start meditating for two minutes per day in the morning and work your way up to 10 minutes per day.
#3: They Fail Often
As backwards as it sounds, repeated failure is one of the most common habits of successful people.
Successful people simply view failure differently than their peers. While the majority of people avoid situations where they might encounter failure, successful people run towards these situations.
Failure is one of the stepping stones to growth. So when you avoid failure, you’re actually avoiding the opportunity to learn useful information that will help you make better decisions in the future.
Without failure, you have no feedback that you can utilize to improve yourself.
If you’re not where you want to be in life, there’s a good chance you haven’t put yourself through enough failure and rejection to make massive success a real possibility.
#4: Leaving Their Comfort Zone
Success is not a comfortable procedure. It’s a very uncomfortable thing to attempt.
When you hear successful people talk about their life, two themes are constantly present — overcoming fear and getting uncomfortable.
Living in the comfort zone means you’re not truly living up to your full potential. The fact of life is that we grow when we face challenges and feel discomfort.
Being successful requires you to face rejection, experience failure, and take risks.
None of this takes place in your comfort zone.
When you start facing fear every day, it starts dying, and you start growing. Suddenly, you become addicted to that growth.
Most people will never be successful because they buckle under stress. When faced with the possibility of failing, they’d rather not try to protect their ego.
In order to achieve success you need to first become the type of person who deserves it, and is capable of handling the challenges that come with it.
As you build up your courage muscle by taking action in spite of fear, you become the type of person who deserves it.
Habit Suggestion — Make a list of comfort zone challenges and cross one off your list every day.
#5: Making a To-Do List
Making a to-do list is one of the simplest ways to be intentional about your life.
If you want to learn my favorite method for setting up a to-do list, I suggest you read this article that talks about the Ivy Lee Method
It becomes far easier to accomplish your goals when you have a clear plan of action outlining the daily actions that will move you closer to achieving them.
Do you really think people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos start the day without some idea of the things that they need to get done? Of course not! They’re meticulous and intentional about what they need to get done on a daily basis.
The key to creating an effective to-do list is to focus your energy on your MIT’s. (most important tasks)
The first 2-3 tasks on your list should be the ones that require the most amount of effort, and the next 2-3 should be tasks that don’t require nearly as much brainpower.
By starting each day working through the tasks that require the most energy, you’ll be attacking these tasks when your focus and concentration are at their highest levels.
Habit Suggestion — Perform the Ivy Lee Method at the end of every day/first thing in the morning
#6: Taking Action
One of the key habits of successful people is that they prioritize action instead of motion.
Unsuccessful people tend to conflate these two concepts.
Let’s say that you have a goal to lose weight.
Things like calling a personal trainer, joining a gym, and buying running shoes are one-time actions that signify motion.
On the other hand, actually putting your shoes on and going to the gym represents taking action. If you want to be more productive, things like buying a weekly planner, making a to-do list, and rearranging your workspace signify motion.
Actually sitting down and getting work done signifies action.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be in motion. Oftentimes, motion is the precursor to taking action on your goals as you build momentum towards your desired behaviors.
But the truth is that motion is easy. Action requires conscious discipline.
Unsuccessful people are masters of being in motion without taking action.
Setting goals and making plans are great, but they’re useless if you don’t get to work when the time comes to make progress on your goals.
Habit Suggestion — Apply the Two Minute Rule and start building towards your desired identity with a habit that takes less than two minutes to do.
#7: They Practice Self-Control
Multiple studies have shown that self-control is the most important quality when it comes to achieving success.
Self-control is simply about saying no to the things that don’t align with your goals and values, no matter how appealing they are in the present moment.
Successful people are masters at delaying gratification. Success is going to be an uphill battle if you continually binge-watch Netflix and procrastinate important work.
I’m not saying you should be locked in to your goals 24/7. Everyone needs breaks and rest periods that allow them to recharge and get after it the next day.
You just can’t allow yourself to choose instant gratification and take the path of least resistance every day.
Because once that becomes a habit, you’re in trouble.
#8: They Value Their Time
Everyone has 24 hours in a day, and successful people simply use that time in more efficient ways.
You can use that time to procrastinate, ruminate over the past, and watch television etc. Or you can use that time to be productive and start fixing the things you know you need to fix about your life.
I encourage you to start using the “time pockets” of your day more efficiently.
Time pockets are those short-term time blocks throughout the day where you feel like you have nothing to do.
For example, it’s 4:00 and you’re scheduled to leave at 5:15 to go to a friend’s house.
What do most of us do to fill this hour?
We fill the hour by watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through social media, and then before we know it it’s time to leave. Meanwhile, you’ve just squandered an opportunity to do something productive for 30-45 minutes.
Once again, I’m not saying that you should spend every waking hour of the day working. You can fill these time pockets with anything that moves your life forward — calling a friend, reading a book, etc.
Just remember that wasted time adds up quickly. By the end of the day, you may unintentionally end up with hours of lost time that you spent doing useless shit.
Depending on the size of your ambitions in life, you probably need to double or triple the amount of time you spend engaged in focused, distraction-free work every day.
Habit Suggestion — Get up and immediately turn your phone off. Don’t check it until 11 am (if circumstances allow you to). Dedicate that time to focused work and hammering through your to-do list.
#9: They Read Daily
The average CEO reads 52 books per year.
The typical American citizen? Just 4 books per year. Successful people are constantly seeking out information by learning from other people.
As Warren Buffet says, “The more you learn, the more you earn.”
Reading is one of the most positive habits you can develop because it’s considered a meta-habit that improves other aspects of your life.
The more educated you are in the nuances of your chosen field, the higher the chances that you’ll end up successful in that field.
The more knowledge you have about how to improve your life, the easier it becomes to achieve personal growth.
Self-improvement books are especially valuable because they lay out roadmaps for improving any aspect of your life — productivity, mindset, habits, finances, etc.
If you want a list of the best self-improvement books that you can start reading now, I recommend reading this article — 19 Best Self-Improvement Books of All Time
Habit Suggestion — Read 10 pages of a self-improvement book per day
#10: They Surround Themselves With Winners
At this point, it’s well-known that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Due to the fact that we evolved in small tribes, we have a natural instinct to want to belong and seek approval.
Thousands of years ago, abandonment from the tribe meant certain death, so wanting to fit in is a completely natural survival instinct. This means that we’ll often adopt the habits and beliefs of the people closest to us in order to feel like we belong.
When your friends have healthy, positive habits, this natural human instinct will work in your favor to shape your behavior and values.
However, if the people you hang out with engage in self-sabotaging behaviors , you’ll likely follow suit.
You need to be very careful about who you choose to spend your time with. Whether you realize it or not, you are choosing the kinds of results that you will tolerate in your own life.
Habit Suggestion — Find a group where your desired behaviors are the norm and start spending more time around those people.
You can’t control everything that happens to you in life.
Loved ones will get sick. People will leave you. Adversity will strike in ways that you couldn’t even imagine.
You have zero control over the external world, but you do have complete control over yourself — you ultimately choose the daily behaviors that you engage in.
The habits of successful people are no secret. We all know what we should be doing on a daily basis, but I hope that this article gave you a good place to start.
No matter where you find yourself right now, keep this in mind — if someone like you has achieved success, so you can you.
But it all starts with your daily habits. Once you develop a habit of winning, you’ll become the type of person who is deserving of the life you want.
And once you become the right person, you don’t need to “chase” success. It finds you.