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10 Beliefs of Highly Successful People

10 Beliefs of Highly Successful People

Success seems like an unobtainable goal. When you see someone like Jay-Z standing over a musical empire while you’re rapping in a Baskin Robbins parking lot, it’s easy to blame illuminati. The reality is you’re not on your grind like Hov. They make not walk the same path to success, but highly successful people take the same steps with the same beliefs.

1. They believe in creating their own opportunities

Opportunity never knocks. It never calls, and it never stays the night. If you want a seat at the table, you have to hunt down every opportunity yourself. You’re not entitled to anything.

When I started blogging, I did what everyone else does. I found a place to host it, and I wrote the best blog post I could. Just like every other blog, nobody read it – they had no reason to, and they couldn’t find it within the avalanche of blogs on the Internet even if they wanted to. Instead of waiting around, I started sending pitches to other blogs. I’m a professional blogger not because of the blogs I write, but because of the emails.

2. They believe it’s better to be best rather than first

If you watch the Hollywood version of success, you can easily get duped into thinking you have to be the first to hit the market in order to win. That’s true if you’re a reporter and want credit for breaking a story. Otherwise keep in mind Myspace predates Facebook.

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The first person out the gate may get the competitive advantage and land early sales, but when the honeymoon phase is over, people want quality. So long as you focus on creating quality, you’ll always have something to offer.

3. They believe in serving others over themselves

Back in the 1970s when the U.S. started attacking the tobacco industry, Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds responded in two very different ways. R.J. Reynolds executives backed off their product – they didn’t believe in what they were selling. Phillip Morris executives, on the other hand, brazenly lit up in their board rooms and defended the benefits they provide to people.

I realize tobacco companies are a strange way to illustrate the point of serving others, but, regardless of your personal feelings about cigarettes, they exist and people want them. When the public backlash against the industry began, Philip Morris stood by their commitment to provide products to its customers while R.J. Reynolds backed off. Because of this, when you walk into any gas station, convenience store, smoke shop, or Walmart to buy cigarettes, Marlboro and the other Phillip Morris brands are much more prominent than Camels and the other R.J. Reynolds brands.

4. They believe quality is important

A truly successful person isn’t successful because of their position in life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a janitor or a CEO – success is defined by how content you are with where you are. Kevin O’Leary will tell you success means being rich, while Gandhi successfully led a revolution and freed both India and Pakistan while living poor.

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The quality of life you live isn’t defined by what you own or how high up the ladder you’ve climbed. It’s defined by your satisfaction with what you have. No matter where you are in your life, strive to create quality experiences for those around you.

5. They believe execution trumps ideas

Everyone has great ideas. There should be a website where people can socialize online – I just invented Facebook. It’d be cool if you could shop online – now I’ve invented Amazon. Lennon and McCartney’s best songs use a handful of basic chords. Those names didn’t rise to prominence because they thought of something no one else did.

They took action and accomplished something no one else did, and most of them continue doing so to this day. Ideas are important, but anyone can come up with ideas. Backing those thoughts with action is how you create success.

6. They believe respect is something you earn

The advice I’ve heard the most in my life – at home, in school, in the military, in corporate America – is that respect is something that’s earned. You’re not entitled to respect. You’re entitled to common courtesy and politeness, but you have to prove yourself worthy of peoples’ respect. It doesn’t come from a title; it comes from your daily actions and attitude. Respect everyone’s time, act ethically, and always follow through. People will respect that.

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7. They believe in their place in history

A successful person knows their place and they’re comfortable with it. Whether or not you’ve made a blip in the history books they teach out of in school, you have your own history, a family history, and a history in your community. With time comes memory. People remember your actions in the past, and they judge you in the present based on them. If you understand your place in history, you’ll be prepared for successful results.

8. They believe quitting is the only failure

Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine. We dated briefly a few years back. Although the timing wasn’t right, we remained friends. She knew me back when I started my whistleblower journey and is aware of some of the obstacles I’ve struggled with over the years. When we talked last night, she shared some words of wisdom. The phrase that’s stuck in my head at the moment is “keep swimming.”

Some people talk about treading water or keeping your head above, but that’s only enough to remain in the same spot. In order to actually reach your goal, you can’t tread water, you have to keep swimming. If I only kept my head above water, I’d be in the same place I was back then. While my struggle against the banks hasn’t gotten any easier, I’ve come so much further since then. I’ve made progress I can only see by looking back and forward, but it gives me the confidence to keep swimming.

9. They believe success is about more than money

Money does have its uses. While it may be the root of all evil, it’s also a resource that can be used to enact good change. If you define your worth by how much money you have, you’ve a ways to go before you’re as valuable as anyone on Forbes’ billionaire list. You’ll also never reach that billionaire list, because it takes a belief in your own value to reach that level. Which brings me to the final point.

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10. They believe in themselves

Successful people think they’re successful – it’s what makes them successful. Perspective is everything in life, and the only way to reach success is to move with a successful perspective. You become what you think. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

Featured photo credit: Kaylene Mathews via ksmlifecoaching.com

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Last Updated on September 22, 2020

How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

You have probably heard the success stories about people who wake up early. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, and Olympic medalist Caroline Burckle all talk about the positive impact of waking up early on their lives.

Even though many assign a portion of their success to waking up early, many find it difficult to make the switch. While most people know what needs to happen to change their life, they find then difficult to implement consistently. To understand how to wake up early, you need to tap into the wisdom of those already doing it.

Here are the 6 things early risers do:

1. Stop Procrastinating

The first thing you need to do when you want to learn how to wake up early is to go to sleep earlier. Stop procrastinating. You will find it much easier to wake up when you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Set a bedtime that allows you to get 8-hours of sleep and hold yourself accountable.

The problem most of you will have at first is how tired you will feel. If you are someone who goes to sleep after midnight, waking up by 6 a.m. will not be easy. The reason you need to push through that initial difficulty is that you are going to be very tired at the end of the day. Realistically, you probably would fall asleep at your desk or doze off on your lunch break. Either way, waking up early no matter how you feel will motivate you to go sleep at the proper time that night.

Think of it as someone who procrastinated until the night before their project was due. Having done this myself, you do what you need to do to complete the project, whether that means working all night or cutting some corners because you don’t have time to triple-check your work.

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After you turn in your project, you feel both exhaustion and jubilation. After you make it through the workday and crash at home, you promise yourself you’ll never wait until the last minute again. This same feeling will happen when you force yourself to wake up early no matter what time you went to sleep. You are going to promise yourself you will go to bed at the right time.

Most people don’t go to bed when they should because they know they will ultimately make it up in the morning.

2. Pace Yourself

If you want to start waking up a couple of hours earlier each day, you may not be able to make that change all at once. It stands to reason the more drastic the shift, the more difficult it will be.

So, instead of trying to adjust your sleep pattern by several hours, start in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals.[1] If you wake up 30 minutes earlier each week, you will be a morning person by the end of the month. This may feel like you are drawing out your goal but in reality, you are accomplishing it much quicker than most. Most people who are naturally night owls find it difficult to completely change their sleep habits overnight.

Think of it as someone who is trying to quit drinking coffee. Outside of the fact you may enjoy the taste of coffee, your body is used to operating with a certain amount of caffeine and sugar. Some will be able to quit overnight and their body will adjust accordingly. And if you are one of those people, then do what works for you.

However, if you were to take an incremental approach, then you may first start drinking your coffee black. Then, you could switch to decaf before slowly lowering the amount of coffee you drink each day. As you can see, this approach will help minimize the feeling of withdrawal while getting the results you want.

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3. Watch Your Lighting

Light reduces your body’s production of the sleep-inducing melatonin hormone. In practical terms, your body naturally wants to be awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when the sun is down. This is called your circadian rhythm.

In the technology-driven world we currently live in, you likely look at a screen or two before bed. Studies show television and phone screens trick your body into thinking the sun is up. As a result, your body starts producing less melatonin. To help you fall asleep, you should stop looking at screens at least an hour before bed.

This can also mean that if you want to wake up before the sun, looking at your screen when you wake up can help you to stay awake.

Peter Balyta, the President of Education Technology for Texas Instruments says he wakes up at 5:20 a.m. and scans his emails before starting his day. This is also true for M.I.T. president L. Rafael Rief. He wakes up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. and checks his phone for anything urgent.[2]

4. Make It Worth Your Time

Have you ever woken up early but went back to sleep because you didn’t have a reason to stay up? To put it another way, have you ever fallen asleep because you didn’t have anything better to do?

If you want to be excited about going to sleep and waking up early, then you need to give yourself a reason to be excited. You can accomplish this by listing the three things you want to accomplish the next morning. Notice I said “want” and not “need” to accomplish. You don’t want to be dragging yourself into the next morning kicking and screaming.

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Your list should not only include what you want to accomplish but also why you want to accomplish it. If you want to take it a step further, list the consequences of not waking up early.

People who have figured out how to wake up early are shown to be more successful, persistent, and proactive in their life. They tend to be happier and handle stress better. It is also shown that people who wake up early procrastinate less.[3] If you find any of these benefits something you want to add in your life, then waking up early is shown to help.

5. Avoid Binging

There is a difference between sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. Sure, you can drink alcohol and fall asleep, but you will not be getting quality rest. You will wake up feeling as though you slept for only a couple hours.

It is best to stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime. Binge drinking is known to impact your sleep-inducing melatonin hormone levels for up to a week. The same holds true with eating a large meal right before bed. It is not that your body can’t process food and sleep at the same time. The main concern has more to do with the possibility of indigestion or heartburn than anything else.

If you find yourself dealing with either of these symptoms, then you may want to stop eating at least two hours before bed.

6. Get the Blood Flowing

Those who have mastered the technique of how to wake up early tend to start each morning with movement.

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Your first movement is to get out of bed. To help you get out of bed, have your alarm far enough away that you need to get up and turn it off. Before you allow yourself to contemplate going back to sleep, take a moment, and do 10 push-ups or 10 jumping jacks. Think of each exercise as you taking one step further from being able to go back to sleep.

Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning. She starts each day by exercising. Her exercises include running, weight lifting, swimming, and cycling.

You decide for yourself how you want to get your blood flowing. Whether you want to go on a walk, workout at the gym, or do something at home, make sure you are scheduling time to exercise.

Final Thoughts

The key to understanding how to wake up early is to recognize that it is heavily driven by the actions you take the night before. You will wake up early if you go to bed at a good time and get the proper amount of sleep.

By taking the time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically each night, you can ensure you are positioned for success the next morning. Once you have taken the proper actions the night before, make sure you use that momentum to start your day, on time.

The goal is to make the actions you want to take as easy as possible. The key to changing your life is to discover a way to have the wind at your back, going in the direction you want.

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Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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