Daily Habits of Successful People
There is a beautiful abundance of articles covering topics on what habits the most successful people practice and what they do on a daily basis. I have been recently soaking up so much of this information and applying it to my own life that I wanted to share it with whomever is paying me any attention. As I continue down this journey of self-mastery, I look forward to expanding my habits and routines to better fit my evolution as a creator, thinker and whatever else I am.
Create a Morning and Night Routine
Ah...the power of morning and night routines. This has seriously changed my life. I became interested in creating a morning and a night routine for myself after doing research on daily habits of successful people. I wanted to know exactly how these people lived their lives so that I could pull anything useful from it to incorporate into my own.
Some of the most successful people in the world wake up and do either the same routine or a variety of routines daily. They end their evening with another routine suited for helping them unwind and prepare for the next day. I only employ routines to my early mornings and right before bed. The rest of my day is open for living and doing. I believe there must be a balance. I personally feel as if routines are great to start and end my day.
Billionaire Bill Gates has a night routine that involves cleaning. He washes the dishes after dinner in the way that he likes. Tasks that do not require a ton of mental energy free up space in the mind to explore creative thought as well as increasing opportunity to figure out problems, according to a study done at The University of California, Santa Barbara.
I have personally adopted a variation of this routine into my nightly schedule. I like to have the main areas of my house tidy before bed so that I can wake up to a fresh, clean and inspiring environment. I take the time from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. to organize, clean and prep the house for the next day. Plus, I just feel so good about myself and my work when I spend the time cleaning up. Whether your morning routine looks something like Morgan DeBaun's, CEO of Blavity and 21Ninety, or if it consists of only stretching your arms to the sky and setting your intentions for the day, you will benefit from doing it consistently.
Elle Russ, a best-selling author, has a morning routine that focuses on scheduling her day with intent. She takes some time to stretch before getting out of bed. After stretching, Elle expresses gratitude for her health and body, then says her intention for the day out loud. A cup of coffee or tea follows a glass of water. Candles are lit to accompany intentional daydreaming. She then checks her emails and gets as much work done as she can before she leaves to workout.
Wake Up Early
People who wake up early have a larger advantage in productivity. Kobe Bryant discusses this strategy in his Shanghai interview. Kobe talks about how he created such an incredible gap between him and his competitors by waking up at 4 in the morning consistently to practice over many years. His efforts began to compound and caused him to have an almost unfair advantage because of it.
The lesson here is to wake up and work or practice when everyone else is sleeping. Work in the off season. I lived my life like this in high school. I'd get up early to practice my violin. I'd go to summer camps to study, and when I returned back to school, I'd be ahead of most of my peers. I know first hand this is the way to extreme success if you keep at it.
I wanted to share a clip of him explaining this strategy, but I ended up including the entire interview because none of the video editors I tried wanted me to succeed. But that's not going to stop me from getting this information over to you! Jump to 14 minutes into the video to get the words right from Kobe Bryant himself.
Gratitude is so incredibly beneficial to our minds, bodies and relationships. When we are grateful for what we have, we will receive more in abundance. It's like when you beat a level in a game and are allowed to enter another level. It is the golden key to success. Just to summarize, the benefits of gratitude affect us emotionally, socially, occupationally, and with our health and personality.
A couple of examples include the emotional benefit of us becoming more resilient to thoughts or actions that would normally negatively affect our mood. Resilience is key when it comes to the pursuit of success in your life. You must be resilient to any thought or action that could slow your momentum. Occupational benefits of gratitude include increased productivity and decision making. Gratitude allows you to focus on what's really important, which as a result gives us greater levels of productivity and a clearer mind for making decisions.
In general, gratitude reduces stress, therefore positively contributes to health. There are so many more sources of the benefits of gratitude. I can't fit everything I want to say on the subject in this post so I will make another post covering the glories of gratitude.
Self-made billionaire and co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products, Jean Paul Dejoria, states in a post about his morning routine that "For the most part, I can't tell you how important it is to take those first five minutes [of the day] and be thankful for life." There are many celebrities and people alike who follow five minute gratitude strategies and journaling to start their days off right and primed for success.
Constantly Read and Absorb Information
The average CEO reads about one book a week. The average person may read closer to two or three books a year...Successful people are constantly absorbing knowledge that will increase their success. They are always adding tools to their belt. I personally am able to absorb about one book a week thanks to audio books. You can either get an Audible subscription or download apps that link your library card for free rentable audio books.
These CEO's are reading a lot of nonfiction books in topics such as personal growth and development, business and entrepreneurial expertise, industry-specific, spiritual growth, biographies and etc...They study principles that bring long term results in the various areas of their personal and professional lives.
Bill Gates has stated that he reads around 50 books a year. Reading will give you an advantage. Honestly, it's THE advantage, next to waking up to train or work before your competition does. Reading can either illuminate new concepts, test your understanding on an idea, or provide you another way of seeing something you've already gandered upon.
Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
What is the worth of sleep? Sleep will provide you the way to having a more productive, inspiring, and happy life. Getting the right amount of sleep will help tune your perception so that you are not as easily blindsided by obstructions that could knock you off of your course. Think of your goal in life as a physical destination that you have to drive to. Your journey is a road trip in a sense. We all know that one must be alert and able to deeply concentrate in order to drive for so many hours on end. There is a time when you must stop and rest so that you don't crash your car.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, wrote a book called The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time. Huffington explains in this book just how important sleep is to our success in life. She scientifically explores how we as a culture have dismissed the importance of sleep, which has led to many of the health, social and professional problems we face. Arianna Huffington became very passionate about sleep after an incident she experienced when she collapsed from exhaustion on her desk, waking up in a pool of blood from cutting her eye and breaking her cheekbone. See what I mean about crashing your "mental" car. It actually happens.
It's very simple. Sleep more, make less mistakes. Getting more sleep gives you a stronger immune system, sharpens your mind, and allows you to recharge yourself enough to function properly the next day. For people who seek high levels of success, sleep is even more important because you need to exceed your normal level of output. The key is coordinating your sleep habits so that you can wake up earlier as I discussed in the previous section. If your goals are important to you, you must realize that the early morning hours are proven to be more effective than late night when it comes to productivity.
Mindfulness. Meditation. Prayer.
The daily habits of successful people seem to always include one common aspect, and that is some sort of mindfulness, meditation or prayer.
Steve Jobs wrote in his biography "If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it."
So many successful people incorporate some sort of meditation in their morning routine, and even throughout the day. Once you realize that it is a tool that you can use throughout the day to stabilize yourself, any cliche stigmas attached to the words meditation or prayer seem to melt away.
Mindfulness is a technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them. I first learned about this technique during one of my therapy sessions. I can say this technique has changed my life. The more I practice it, the more regularly I am able to do it and sustain it. Mindfulness and gratitude go hand in hand as mindfulness allows you to tune in and become aware of that which you are grateful for.
I've recently begun incorporating meditation into my morning and night routines. I look forward to that time especially because I use a free app called Oak that is so beautifully designed and structured. Headspace and Calm are both popular meditation apps, they aren't free but you can do a free trial if you want. Also, Oak is IOS only so I plan to do some app testing on my husband's phone soon to see if there are any comparable Android apps. I will come back and update this article if I find anything good.
When it comes to prayer, I have always been a praying person as it is a part of my faith. No matter what one's faith is, prayer is a wonderful way to connect and sort out the mind, state intentions and ease anxiety and troubles. Prayer, mindfulness and meditation are all wrapped up in this category and at least one of these tactics should be able to work for anyone. Even if it means you just sync back in with your present life and notice how wonderful various aspects of it are.
Healthy Diet and Exercise Routine
After you wake up in the morning, one of the best things you can do is some form of exercise. Exercise is the perfect way to get the blood flowing through your body, rushing oxygen to all the sleepy places that need that jolt of energy. The feeling of accomplishment after you've gotten your heart rate up will rollover and build momentum with each task you complete after that.
The discipline you gain from exercising on a regular basis will transfer over into your work habits, therefore allowing you more focus and productivity which ultimately sets you up for success. The daily habits of successful people include scheduled workout routines. This is what it takes for a lot of people to become disciplined enough to reach their goals. If you happen to be looking for health and fitness guidance, I'd suggest following an industry maven such as Body Trace Fit for consistent, straight to the core tips and tutorials for transforming into your best physical self.
I believe most people, at least deep down inside know that the benefits of healthy eating habits include increasing life expectancy, increasing energy, decreasing body fat and fighting disease. Even knowing this information isn't always enough to get us into the habit of eating healthy. When you start getting all of the areas of your life in formation to succeed, you'll realize there is just no room for unhealthy eating habits.
Think of your existence as a successful person as a basketball team. The individual players are successful habits, like sleeping 7-8 hours a night, waking up between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., meditating, charging your phone outside your bedroom at night, exercising in the morning and so on.. Eating healthy is also a player on this team. If you make the decision to eat better one day, and change no other part of your life, then that player will show up to the court alone, have no backup, get exhausted, probably injured and be out for the season. Support healthy eating habits with other healthy habits so that the entire team is strong.
Don't Blame Others
To blame another for why you are not moving forward in life is like facing the sun and wondering why you're blinded by the light. There are two directions you can face in this scenario, and that direction can greatly determine your success in life. One person faces the sun and cannot move forward because he or she cannot see. The other person puts the sun behind them and uses the light to find his or her next step. By putting the sun behind you, you are accepting that what is done is done, even if it be someone else's fault. It is up to you to take responsibility for your own next step.
In addition to digesting the concept of fault vs responsibility, I like to remind myself that there is someone out there in the world right now who would be able to use my exact resources and skills and make something great out of it. This idea always snaps me out of self-pity and finger pointing. Someone out there could only dream of having the tools you have. Even if you think you have nothing, it could be everything to someone else. This gives you no excuse. Successful people take responsibility for the outcome of their lives.
These are some of the daily habits of successful people that I've been deeply drawn to. Many of these habits I've incorporated into my own life and have seem such a tremendous improvement in my overall well-being. I now truly believe I am closer to reaching my goals. If you feel like you are missing a piece of the puzzle to your success, employ some of these habits in your life. Become like those who are great. Watch what they do and make it your own. What will your new routines look like? I wish you the deepest of success, peace and happiness. Also, be kind to people.