08th March, 2019
There are people we consider universally successful, people whose achievements impress us, and whose experience we want to learn from. Is there a formula to their success? Maybe. What is certain thought, is that there are recurrent success factors that achieved people often reference when they speak of their journeys. Good news? They are accessible to all of us. Here are eight behaviors from highly successful people you should adopt to put yourself on a winning path.
Sure, there’s something to be said for being at the right place at the right time, but for the most part nothing comes easy – success and opportunities look a lot like hard work. The key is to pick a project you are passionate about, devise a strategy, and stick with it. Don’t let the enthusiasm fizzle, or initial rejection discourage you – often rejection is a reflection on how slow the industry is on adapting to change and embracing new ideas, rather than on the quality of your work. Resilience goes a long way – it took Ryan Reynolds 11 years to bring Deadpool to life, now a highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, and J.K. Rowling got rejected by 12 publishers before a small publishing house took a chance on Harry Potter. If you are passionate about your project, be patient, keep knocking on doors, or explore creative solutions off the beaten path to lead your idea forward.
2. Planning Ahead
Expecting to be successful without a plan or strategy is equivalent to going survival camping on a whim– it might turn into a great adventure, but more likely you’ll get eaten by bears while screaming at Siri for help. You can’t prepare for everything, but planning ahead gives you a clear overview of what needs to be done, how it will be done, what your definition of success is, and how it will be measured. It also allows you to hold yourself accountable for your outstanding tasks and timelines. Having an initial structure laid out helps you to check in on your progress, assess what is and isn’t working, and modify your tactics as needed to steer towards your outlined definition of success. Even doing something as simple as planning out your day the night before is a great way to keep organized and build up momentum.
3. Learning From Mistakes
To quote Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes–understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” Mistakes can be a good thing – there is a great opportunity for learning and bettering yourself, your approach, your effectiveness. The key is in perspective. Successful people do not dwell on the “failure” aspect, but rather analyze what could have been done differently, and how this new learning experience can be applied in the future.
4. Making Time For Self
“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” Michelle Obama’s statement rings true for many of us, as we often make personal sacrifices for the sake of our work. The secret to staying driven without burning out is in finding the balance between your “on” and “off” time. Successful people work on fulfilling their personal needs outside of work – spending time with family and friends, engaging in activities they enjoy, tuning inward to better understand themselves.
5. Waking Up Early
Mornings are key to controlling our schedule, and to developing habits that allow us to lead productive, happier lives. Amid the many notable early risers are Apple CEO Tim Cook, TV Show Host Rachael Ray, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, all of whom share that waking up early gives them a good jump start to the day with minimal distraction, puts them ahead on business matters, and allows them to be more flexible on spending time with the family or working on creative projects. Many also noted that waking up early allows them to reset their mind by starting the day with a workout and a proper breakfast.
6. Exercising And Eating Healthy
The vitality of the body is directly responsible for the vitality of the mind. Eating healthy and exercising daily are great ways to reset your mind and maintain the energy levels needed to stay focused throughout the day. Here’s an easy eight-move cardio circuit to get you started.
7. Investing In Personal Growth
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, committed to reading at least four hours a day in his formative years, while Steven Spielberg went back to school in his fifties to study film and electronic arts. A big part of overall success is having a diverse range of knowledge and experience that allows to approach a problem from multiple angles, or strategize with understanding of various moving parts. Successful people are outstanding performers. To maintain this level of performance they seek out lifelong learning opportunities. Reading a lot, attending conferences or talks by industry thought-leaders, or learning new skills are all great ways to inspire fresh ideas and broaden your perspective.
8. Giving Back
Success never happens in a vacuum – there are always people who support us, believe in us, guide us – and highly successful people acknowledge that. They tend to be generous with their time or finances by mentoring, volunteering, or engaging in charitable work. Paying it forward, by recognizing potential someone once saw in them has a number of benefits. By sharing their expertise they feel valuable, fulfilled, and connected to diverse groups of people. And if that’s not enough of a reason, let’s be honest- there’s no cap on good karma.