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

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

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 October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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