Writing on Career Success once again, let us look at some simple habits common to successful people. I call them simple habits because they are actually what anybody can cultivate in order to develop a positive change in their lives. We have always considered climbing the ladder of success a herculean task because of certain conditions perceived to be attached to it. Well, it is true that success requires such virtues as persistent, consistency, hard work, determination, perseverance and so on. These virtues could be misinterpreted by some of us who do not have a better understanding of what they mean. Many really work hard, they are determined; they are persistent etc without putting into consideration other simple conditions that guarantee success. It is like saying that a huge capital automatically guarantees a huge profit. No! a huge capital, if poorly managed could actually lead to a huge loss. There are numerous ways to oil the wheels that drive success. Permit me to share ten simple habits of highly successful people.
1. They are Early Risers:
The great Philosopher, Aristotle who was also re-echoed by Benjamin Franklin once said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man wealthy, healthy and wise” Successful people believe that everyday that God creates is an opportunity that must be utilized. They do not over sleep as many of us think. As early as four, most successful people are up and busy, planning the day or reviewing the previous day. Early rising is what a kiosk operator can apply; it pays a whole lot. And William Pitt Chatham said, “If you do not rise early, you will make progress in nothing”. I believe him!
2. They Plan.
Planning is all about setting goals and targets as well as stating the strategies for achieving such goals. Every individual or organization needs to plan for all activities. Successful people do not carry out any engagement without planning for it. They have daily plans, weekly plans, monthly plans and yearly plans and even long term plans of many years. They do not live each day as it comes; they plan their tomorrow today. They plan their finances, their marriages, their learning, their businesses etc. That common quote says, ‘’By failing to plan, you have planned to fail”. Whatever we stumble on without planning for it: leadership, business, financial breakthrough, marriage, academics etc. is bound to fail; it’s just a matter of time. Richard Cushing said “Always plan ahead; it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark”
3. They Read.
Reading is one of the habits common to successful people. It forms an integral part of their daily routine and hobby. They set out an hour or two reading anything readable-the holy books, motivational books, newspapers, magazines, online blogs etc. There is this sense of fulfillment we get when we spend time reading something that gives us some sort of information. Wealth of knowledge, ideas and wisdom are gained when we read. Successful people don’t miss this. Dr. Seuss says, “The more you read the more things you know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go”. Permit me to add, “…the more heights you achieve”. Start reading for an hour or two today.
4. They Practice Good Health Habit:
Successful people find time to rest; they exercise and they practice good eating habit. Health they say is wealth; those who pay attention to their health are more likely to be more productive than those who don’t. They indirectly save the time and money which could have been spent treating ailments common to those who care less about their health. This quote from Bridgette Collins says “We are the custodians of our bodies. We must take action to employ healthy lifestyle habits to prevent, reduce or manage illnesses”
5. They Practice Their Hobby:
Many who claim to have this and that as hobbies never practice any. One of the habits that successful people don’t joke with is their hobby. Reading, writing, travelling, singing, swimming, sports of all kinds, playing a musical instrument etc are all common hobbies. But, how far do people engage in their hobbies. Many people became successful through their hobbies because Psychologists believe that doing non-work related activity stimulates creativity and creativity is an element of success. Doing what we like also makes us feel happy and fulfilled and as such improves on our productivity. Our hobbies produce high positive psychological benefits that help in reducing stress. What is your hobby? How often do you do it?
6. They Keep Quality and Productive Friends:
We must have read or heard a lot on friendship. It is a common knowledge that we are all influenced by the kind of friends we keep. Successful people make friends with those that influence them positively; those that inspire them and those that create opportunities for them. If you have six friends, for instance, a psychologist says you are likely to behave like three of them. So, who are your friends? What do they do? What are their belief patterns? Are they progressive and productive? If you cannot sit down on a table of business, motivation, knowledge etc with your friends, you have no business sitting down on a table of drink with them. Whoever cannot influence your way to success should not be in your way for consumption. “Associate yourself with people of good quality for it is better to be alone than in bad company”. If your friends cannot change you, change your friends please.
7. They Meditate:
Meditation involves spending quality time alone in a very quiet place and in a quiet thought. Many people who operate at the top of the ladder of success find time to be alone. Meditation is all about mindfulness; it helps us stay calm, reconnect with our inner selves and recollect our actions. Mediation clears the mind of all sorts of garbage and sets it clean for an improved critical thinking which in turn gives room for an improved creativity and productivity. We must be careful not to misconstrue meditation to be thinking and worrying which would rather aggravate stress and restlessness.
8. They Have Mentors:
Successful individuals always look up to and learn from someone. Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO was a great mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Oprah Winfrey was mentored by the great poet and author, the late Maya Angelou. Mentors are different from role models. You may not have met your role model in person but you must have a one-on-one relationship with your mentor. Nobody survives in isolation somebody should be showing you the way. When it comes to public speaking, leadership and capacity building, Dr. Nelson Ayodele, the CEO of Standard Mandate International is always there for me. He is a great mentor. Who is your mentor?
9. They Recognize and Leverage on their Weaknesses:
Successful people do not live in denial of their weaknesses; they know their Achilles’ heel; they know they are not perfect. One weakness common to successful people is usually lack of tolerance especially for mediocrity and ineptitude from their subordinates but they always recognize this and ensure it does not affect their success journey and experiences. Many of them rather than exhibit lack of tolerance, see it as an opportunity to educate and mentor the ignorance thereby using the weakness as a tool to achieve more success. For St Paul, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2Corinthians 12:10).
10. They Know When to Quit:
Successful individuals know when to take a detour or quit the journey completely. Just as they multitask, they are involved in many endevours (multiple sources of income). They know when to close an unproductive channel; they know when to quit an unproductive job. They know when to shut down and unproductive business. They are not afraid to take risks and hard decisions. What you consider failure is an opportunity to them.
These habits, if judiciously applied and faithfully practiced alongside other success tips, can change our thinking process completely and open our eyes to the opportunities we hitherto never knew existed.