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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 July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, 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.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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