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14 Things Phenomenally Successful People Do Differently

14 Things Phenomenally Successful People Do Differently

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”-Bill Cosby

What quality do you think differentiates the winners from the losers? Why are some people so successful in reaching their goals while others can’t achieve them? Because of their mindset, beliefs, and habits. Your brain is the first keystone to success. The second is your everyday actions, your daily habits. This list consists of 14 habits and beliefs that characterize phenomenally successful people—14 things that can transform your life as soon as you put them in your arsenal. If you want to become successful, you should get some paper and start taking notes.

1. They Know That Time Is Their Most Valuable Asset

They don’t let others make them invest time in activities they consider boring and counter-productive to their self-development. You shouldn’t do that either. When you think that something is a waste of your time, don’t do it. Your time is an asset that IS NOT INFINITE. Nobody on this planet has unlimited time, yet people tend to spend their time like garbage. The first thing you MUST DO if you want to change your life, become more successful, and achieve your goals is to change your perception of time. Realize that your time is not infinite and that you should spend it wisely, because it doesn’t come back.

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2. They Step Out Of Their Comfort Zone

The only path to personal growth is doing things that make you feel awkward. When all you do is walk inside your comfort zone, you can’t grow as a person. You stay static because your activities can’t change you. If what you do doesn’t challenge you, if it’s not uncomfortable and difficult, then you should raise your standards and increase the game difficulty. You can’t build muscle if all you do is lift feathers. You have to lift heavy rocks.

3. They Create & Pursue Specific Goals

Most people don’t have goals at all. They don’t know what they want to do in their lives. They are just walking around like zombies. Would you ever take your car and start driving endlessly without knowing where you are going? Well, of course not. So why are you doing the same with your life? This is not a game, you don’t have 8 lives, only one. Setting up goals and having a destination is essential if you crave success. But that’s only the first step. The second step is to take these goals and make them specific. A goal like “I want to lose weight” isn’t specific. A goal like “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 3 months” is what you should have in your mind.

4. They Focus on Small Continuous Improvements

Most people try to achieve overnight success. They want results instantly! Those who succeed in life know that things take time. How much time will it need? It takes as long as it takes. There is no certain period of work that guarantees success. Instead of trying to get rich in one month, you should focus on making little daily improvements. These improvements add up as the time passes, and after months or years of daily commitment, the progress is HUGE. That’s what every successful person does. Unfortunately, people can’t see the daily effort, as they only see the final outcome. Don’t ignore the progress. It might take some time, but it will be worth it. Focus on getting better every single day instead of trying to achieve a huge leap forward in just a week or so.

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5. They Dress to Impress

When you dress like a winner, people tend to respect you more. In psychology, this is known as The Halo Effect. In particular, people tend to make a perception of your whole character based on a single quality that you have shown them. If you look great and you take care of your appearance, then people assume that you are someone who deserves their respect—someone who is also successful, reliable, and kind. When Aristotle Onassis went to America, before becoming a millionaire, he spent all his money to buy clothes that would highlight his style and class. If Onassis gave such importance to his physical appearance, I don’t see any reason that you shouldn’t do the same.

6. They Maintain a Positive Mindset

Your thoughts are the brush that paints your destiny. Successful people think positive and don’t look at their disadvantages. They fight with what they have and always seek improvement. But this improvement can’t come if your mind is continuously occupied by negative thoughts and stress. Positive thinking has been found to reduce stress and, according to Mayo Clinic, it also offers benefits like:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

7. They Embrace Failures

Phenomenally successful people carry the belief that failures are the stepping stones to success. Each failure yields rewards bigger than a win because it can offer you an invaluable life lesson. Start seeing your failures as an opportunity to become better instead of letting them bring you down and disappoint you.

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8. They Surround Themselves With Winners

Jim Rohn has said that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” People with who you associate play a significant role in your life because they form your lifestyle and beliefs. If you are around people who are full of negativity, you won’t be able to maintain positive thoughts. On the other hand, if you are around people who write down their goals, focus on daily improvement, and dress to impress, you will be pushed to become the best version of yourself. Surround yourself only with like-minded people who have big dreams and are eager to take the necessary steps to achieve them. They will take you to the top with them.

9. They Don’t Seek The Perfect Moment, They Make a Random Moment Perfect

What are you waiting for? The right moment will never come. The circumstances will never be ideal, and if you wait for tomorrow to get started, it will never come. Tomorrow is just an excuse for inertia. There is no perfect moment. What matters is to get started as soon as possible and make the best out of what you have.

10. They Don’t Brag, They Listen

Successful people are ALWAYS eager to learn new things. They ask questions and they listen carefully to other people’s advice. They usually don’t talk too much because they are focused on listening and processing information. On the other hand, losers always speak about how much they know and how amazing their accomplishments are. They are so blinded by their need for acceptance that the only thing they care about is to brag about what they know. And in most cases, they just talk the talk. They don’t walk the walk.

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11. They Know That Education is a Constant Process.

Do you believe that you should stop learning when you finish school or college? If the answer is yes, then it’s crucial to change that belief before it’s too late. Education shouldn’t stop at school or college; you should learn new things every single day. It isn’t a coincidence that the most successful people are those who have read countless books and have spent a lifetime acquiring new skills.

12. They Help Other People

Success isn’t about caring for your selfish needs. It’s about caring for the needs of others. EVERY successful person accomplished his goals because what he did really helped others in some way. Mark Zuckerberg gave the world a tool that made it easy to connect with their friends. Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave world a system (Google) that made it easy to find unlimited information in milliseconds. Famous singers and actors help people by fulfilling their emotional needs. If you want to succeed in life, you shouldn’t focus on yourself, you should focus on how you can improve other people’s lives!

13. They Have The Courage to Say NO

This is actually a quality that really separates the winners from the losers.When you are not afraid to say no, you have already avoided the need to please everyone. Trying to please everybody is impossible and can only lead to disappointment. When you don’t want to do something, just say no without apologizing for your decision.

14. Successful People Take Ownership Of Their Actions

Most people make the mistake of pointing fingers to others for their faults. They never accept responsibility for their actions and always believe that someone else is responsible for their misery. Targeting others for your frustrations won’t help you achieve your goals, it can only hurt other people’s feelings or even create enemies. In fact, your actions or your inertia is what actually determines the quality of your life. Blaming others is just an excuse to avoid the hard work needed to change your life. Stop blaming others and take care of your future, because it depends only upon YOUR ACTIONS.

Featured photo credit: TechCrunch via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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