The habits of successful people as compared to those who don't find success might be one of the most stark contrasts in any comparison of achievement levels. In this page we'll go into those different outcomes that follow different outlooks.
Dr. Stephen Covey wrote a brilliant book titled "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People." He also wrote a follow up titled "The 8th Habit," which I consider to be his finest work. Both books can be found in our list of classics, located in the left margin of every page.
Those editions were very specific and certainly enlightening. I would highly recommend both books. For today however, we're going to write in more general terms using a format that describes both of the viewpoints mentioned in the first paragraph.
I'll also include what I believe to be the most important among the habits of successful people. It is also the most difficult to develop. It gives me the most trouble. But by acquiring this single ability, a person is virtually certain of success in any endeavor they attempt.
Brian Tracy is also featured in our list of classic books. He suggests there 6 common habits of successful people. This link expands on the list in the next block.
* Goal oriented
* Results driven
* Action Oriented
* People Oriented
* Health Conscious
Without a doubt there are some of these traits found in people who do not find long-term success. There are honest people who just seem to be perennially stuck in an endless quagmire of difficulty. There are health conscious people who cannot seem to get out of financial bondage.
But in nearly every case, you will find that truly successful people have developed all of these traits. And that last sentence is probably the most important point in this page. All habits, good and bad can be developed. Just because we may lack them right now, doesn't mean we cannot develop them.
I'll begin with some mental habits. Some will overlap between mental and physical. I'll also include the opposite choice which reflects the message in Steve Maraboli's quote in the image above. "The difference is what they see"
So we'll start off with some habits of successful people along with those of people who struggle. Both groups are looking at the same world, but not all are seeing the same opportunities.
So do you:
* Embrace change or do you fear change?
* Accept responsibility or blame others?
* Share credit or take all the credit?
* Talk about ideas or talk about people, (gossip?)
* Take chances or fear failure?
* Want others to succeed too or secretly hope others fail?
* Seek to always gain more knowledge or just hope to skate by on what you know now?
* Listen first or are you compelled to speak first and then get in the last word?
* Look for ways to improve and to help others or do you only think of yourself?
* Remain honest and transparent or are you untrustworthy and secretive?
* Maintain a positive attitude including servant leadership or is it all about you?
* Manage time or waste time?
Procrastination is one of the two major roadblocks to success at any level. It holds us back from acquiring that most important habit of successful people, which is coming up later in the page.
A great little book to help with overcoming procrastination while also helping you become an effective time-manager is "Eat That Frog" by Brian Tracy. It won't take you very long to read, and the results will be very positive.
Mental and physical habits are both critical to lasting success. We need to get our thinking right first, because nearly all of us will need a mental boost from time to time to keep us working on the necessary physical habits of successful people.
So now that you have your mind focused on the right things, do you:
* Get up early each morning or do you hit the snooze button over and over?
* Allow some quiet time to get your priorities and plans organized or do you race off with no plan in mind?
* Read for a few minutes from an empowering book or stare at the television until you need to leave?
* Eat a healthy breakfast or just grab some sugar-laced or processed junk from a convenience store or drive-through lane?
* Attack the biggest thing on your to-do-list right away or put it off in hopes that you don't have to face it?
* Exercise every day or just plunk down on the couch and watch sit-com reruns or "reality shows?"
* Pack healthy snacks for the day or do you gobble up doughnuts or more processed junk?
* Get to bed early enough to provide sufficient rest and recharge your body or stay up late?
Goal-setting is a habit that is both physical and mental. I believe visualizing success also falls into this category. I'm also convinced that we must make a conscious effort to clear out the physical and mental clutter in our lives.
That means working to keep ourselves, or get ourselves in the best physical condition possible. As I've written in other pages, the Mediterranean diet is a a great tool to develop this vital habit.
The necessary habits of successful people, from both the mental and physical side require us to develop this final, most important trait. It has been the most challenging for me. But as is so often the case in life, the most important things require work.
People who succeed, who achieve, who do great things, have all developed one common, amazing habit.
They are finishers. They finish what they start. The world is full of people with good ideas. We all have intentions of doing big things. The problem comes in seeing them through to a successful conclusion.
National weight-loss companies make fortunes on people starting, quitting and then re-starting programs to drop pounds.
How many of us dutifully write down our goals in January, make resolutions and then forget about them as life takes over? I'm raising my own hand in this group.
People who succeed, finish things. They run into the same problems as all of us. They get knocked down. They have major setbacks. They get sick, they face job loss or personal trauma. But they are finishers.
Every personality type is different. My melancholy personality utilizes lists. I write it down and work to cross it off. This link will help you understand your own personality trait which will help you understand how you can also become a finisher.
At the end of this page I've included some other postings to help you become one of those people who complete the tasks and move on to other great things. You will become an example of someone who possesses the habits of successful people and you will inspire others to do the same.
We'll all face challenges. Finishers adapt, improvise, and overcome. Be a finisher.