John Dryden, an English poet and playwright, said that we first make our habits—and then our habits make us. The habits we develop in our lives either contribute to our success or deter us from achieving our goals.
Unless we intentionally foster habits that lead to success from an early age, most of us mindlessly develop habits in our lives. Maybe I should speak for myself here first. Although I began reading and studying personal development books and articles at an early age, I didn’t make the connection between my habits and my life until much later.
As I decided to earnestly start researching the habits of successful people, I noticed the same habits showing up over and over again. Extremely high achievers are successful in large part because of the habits they have developed in their lives.
As I strive to make small improvements in my life every day, I realize there is a lot to learn from looking at the lives and habits of ultra successful people.
Below are three habits that we can all cultivate to achieve more success in our lives. If you will intentionally implement just one of these habits in your life, you will begin to see improvement not only professionally but in your personal life as well. Try them and see for yourself.
1. High Achievers Manage Their Emotions
Have you ever been frustrated and said things you later regretted? I have. Unlike me and maybe you too, high achievers have learned to manage their words and emotions.
Remember your teacher telling you to be quiet if you didn’t have anything nice to say. The same can be true if you don’t have anything important to say. High achievers have learned to be extremely careful with their words. They don’t talk just to talk. They speak when they have something important to say. They have cultivated a habit of listening more than they speak.
Dr. Travis Bradberry reports in his book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 that successful people constantly monitor their emotions, understand them and use this knowledge to react with self-control even in challenging situations. They remain calm and in control realizing that to stay happy they need to adapt and adjust to ever changing people and situations.
2. High Achievers Read More
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
– Margaret Fuller
Successful people are lifelong learners. They are constantly striving to learn more about themselves and the world around them.
Simon Sinek, who wrote a book entitled Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, says that he wakes up with a hunger to learn every day. Leaders make a habit of reading and learning every day. They may learn from books, podcasts, interviews, trade magazines, articles, blog posts and even take informal classes on sites such as lynda.com.
If you can read or listen to at least 20 full pages a day, that amounts to about 36 books a year. That information came from James Clear, a coach and habits researcher. Listening to books on Audible while driving, working out or walking is the one of the easiest ways to consume information. I also listen to podcasts and interviews on my iPhone when biking or driving.
Another way to incorporate reading into each day is to add reading to your morning routine. Hal Elrod makes this suggestion in his book The Miracle Morning. Make reading part of each and every day.
3. High Achievers Value Honesty
Honesty allows for genuine connections with people. That’s what super successful people are looking for as they foster valuable relationship with the people in their lives. Even though it may be painful at times to be honest, it is the best policy. Being dishonest always finds a way to bite us in the end.
Warren Buffett has said that honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people. Being honest is more than just a good habit to live by. Studies have shown that dishonest people suffer from more mental illnesses than people who are honest.
Whether in business or in your personal life, cultivating a habit of honesty will pay off in the long run.
These are habits that set successful people apart from the rest of the crowd. Try to integrate at least one of these habits into you daily routine. You may be surprised by the difference it makes in your life. High achievers have proven that over time our daily habits can help launch us into a life of unimagined success.
“Successful people are simply those with success habits.”
– Brian Tracy
Question: Do you practice these habits on a daily basis? Do you practice other habits that lead to success? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.