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4 Uncommon Habits Successful People Have That Make Them Stand Out From The Crowd

4 Uncommon Habits Successful People Have That Make Them Stand Out From The Crowd
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Have you ever stopped to wonder why some people appear to draw success to them? It’s as if they’re a magnet to an abundance of opportunities.

Sadly, for most of us, life is little more than a daily chore. We work for hours on end, with little job satisfaction, and a pitiful income. The high-achievers climb ever higher, while we’re left to dream of what might have been.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, we can learn to adopt some of the habits that all successful people do. Let’s take a look.

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1. Consistency is the master key to success

Every major achievement has been brought about by certain actions being performed time and time again. For example, a world-class violinist is likely to perform the same warm-ups every day for years. They may even have specific pieces of music that they play repeatedly. They know that to be great at something requires constant and consistent practice.

How can you use consistency to help you be more successful? Well, one thing you could immediately try is to wake up an hour earlier than you currently do. The secret here is to use that extra hour per day to do something useful. If you’re a student, use the time for studying. If you’re building a business, use the time for creating income-generating ideas.

2. Blaming others for your problems is no solution

Successful people don’t take life for granted. They instinctively know that to get far in life requires bucket loads of personal effort, energy, and persistence. What’s more, they also realize that blaming others for problems is a surefire route to failure.

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It’s important to realize that life doesn’t owe you something. If you have this mindset, you’re likely to be forever disappointed. Instead of blaming people and circumstances for your problems, start taking charge of your life – and your destiny. And remember, problems are just situations waiting for solutions.

3. Surround yourself with smart people

As popular author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, you’re likely to become mentally and emotionally similar to those you closely associate with.

This is potentially good news. Because, if needed, you can surround yourself with smart, positive, and upbeat people. Their influence will (over time) act as a natural booster to your goals, ambitions, and happiness.

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Let’s be clear though, it doesn’t mean removing negative people from your life. Instead, try to focus on spending more time with friends, colleagues, and family members who support and strengthen you.

4. Criticism is worth more than praise

High-achievers have learned the hard way that criticism is a more valuable tool for success than praise. Many of these successful people actually go out of their way to seek criticism of their plans and ideas. The reason is simple: constructive criticism can help us to learn and grow far more rapidly than would be possible without it.

Unfortunately, today’s fragile society has made most of us averse to criticism. We’d much rather wallow in the warm waters of compliments and praise. While there is certainly a place for praise, if you want to join the high-achievers club, you need to be ready and willing to listen to criticism.

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A good example can be taken from the world of sports. Professional players (with a few exceptions) all have coaches. Often, these coaches focus their time on looking for faults in their players’ sporting behaviors. Once they’ve found a fault, they’re able to highlight it to the player and suggest ways to resolve it.

Successful people may appear lucky on first observation. But look again, and you’ll see that they’ve adopted powerful habits that continually propel them towards success.

If you learn and adopt these habits, before long, you’ll be likely to stand out from the crowd and succeed in life like you’ve never done before.

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More by this author

Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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