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10 Weird Traits Successful People Have That You Probably Share

10 Weird Traits Successful People Have That You Probably Share

Are you weird?

Has your life deviated from the 9-to-5, married-with-two-kids-and-a-picket-fence norm? Never quite fit in with the “popular crowd” at school? Been known to bend a rule or break an occasional law here and there? (I promise not to tell. Shhhhh…)

If so, you have a lot in common with some of the most successful people on Earth. Here’s what I mean:

1. They were over 40 when they figured it out.

Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. Grandma Moses had never picked up a paint brush until she was in her 80’s. And of course Ronald Reagan was just shy of 70 when he was elected President.

Your weird trait: You don’t believe that life ends just because you have a few gray hairs.

2. They are or were musicians.

Spending hours in a basement or practice room playing scales instead of swilling beer and watching TV isn’t exactly normal behavior. But musicians are pretty common among the successful, whether they’re classically trained pianists like Condoleeza Rice or play in a rock band like venture capitalist Roger McNamees.

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Your weird traits: You know when to start, when to stop, and how your “voice” fits in with the whole.

3. They are or were athletes.

Let’s face it, voluntarily making yourself huff and puff, day after day, year after year, rain, shine, or snow is kinda strange. I’ll bet you can’t remember the last time part of you wasn’t sore. George S. Patton – credited with taking Hitler down in World War II – was a pentathlete.

Your weird traits: You don’t give up until you’ve achieved what you want, and you know that pain is part of the process. You’re also a hella team player.

4. They were inspired by the darndest thing.

James Cameron used to drive a truck for a living. His movies have now grossed more than $2 billion. What inspired him to change careers? Watching Star Wars. Now, that’s weird!

Your weird trait: You are creative, and can find inspiration in the strangest places.

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5. They were homeless.

Halle Berry briefly stayed at a homeless shelter in Chicago while pursuing her career as an actress. Here’s what she said about her experience: “It taught me how to take care of myself and that I could live through any situation, even if it meant going to a shelter for a small stint, or living within my means, which were meager. I became a person who knows that I will always make my own way.”

Your weird trait: You know that you can survive, with or without a paycheck.

6. They weren’t always very well-behaved.

Mechanical genius Soichiro Honda acted more like an American than a nice, team-playing Japanese businessman. As a result, he managed to piss off his peers and get turned down for a job with Toyota. However, he ended up leading the Japanese car revolution.

Your weird trait: You don’t particularly care about other peoples’ opinions.

7. They were high school dropouts.

Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and is now worth $4.6 billion. Other dropouts include Kirk Kerkorian (8th grade, now worth $3.3 billion), Quentin Tarantino (age 15, two Academy Awards), and George Foreman (age 15, now in the World and International Boxing Halls of Fame).

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Your weird trait: You don’t necessarily fit in the box of formal education and are willing to forego it if it’s distracting you from what you really want to do.

8. They chose wisely.

“A young Lyndon Banes Johnson turned down a lucrative oil investment because he knew, down the road, that being allied with oil companies could hurt his chance at sitting in the Oval Office.”

https://theweek.com/article/index/254361/what-very-successful-people-have-in-common

Your weird trait: You delay gratification, look ahead, and keep your short-term decisions in line with your long-term dreams.

9. They were addicts.

Elton John struggled with alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide attempts, and eating disorders during his self-termed “lost years”. He has now been clean since 1990. Other former addicts include Robert Downey, Jr., Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jordan Belfort.

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Your weird traits: You don’t believe that your current situation is permanent. You embrace the pain needed to change, and you don’t let the past get you down.

10. They had desire.

Nelson Mandela allowed the plight of the black people in South Africa to create in him a burning desire for their freedom, and nothing could stop him.

Your weird trait: You allow the negative experiences in your life to create a burning desire to make things better.

A Final Thought:

If you haven’t succeeded yet, it might be because you keep trying to “fit in”. Embrace your weirdness! Step into the flow of your life, and allow your passion to carry you toward success instead of trying to do it the way you’re “supposed to”.

“To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful” ~ Carl Jung

Featured photo credit: Psychedelicological III / Derrick Tyson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2020

Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Exist (And How to Stay Sane)

Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Exist (And How to Stay Sane)

If you’ve ever felt like work-life balance isn’t really possible, you may be right.

Actually, I think work-life balance doesn’t exist. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a rising star in the corporate world, work is always going to overflow from your 9 to 5 into your personal life. And if you have ambitions of becoming successful in just about any capacity, you’re going to have to make sacrifices.

Which is why, instead of striving for the unrealistic goal of “work-life balance,” I use a combination of rituals, tools, and coping mechanisms that allows me to thrive on a day-to-day basis.

Of course, moments still arise when I may feel overloaded with work and a bit out of balance, but with these daily rituals in place, I am able to feel grounded instead of feeling like I’m losing my mind.

Here are five daily practices I use to stay focused and balanced despite a jam-packed work schedule:

1. Pause (Frequently!) to Remember That You Chose This Path

Regardless of which path you take in life, it’s important to remind yourself that you are the one who chose the path you’re on.

For example, one of the joys of being an entrepreneur is that you experience a significant amount of freedom. Unfortunately, in moments of stress, it’s easy to forget that choice goes both ways: you chose to go your own way, and you chose the obstacles that come with that journey.

Remember: tomorrow, you could choose to leave your job, shut down your company, and go move to a farm in the middle of nowhere. The choice is yours.

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Whenever I catch myself thinking, “Why am I doing this?” I simply remember, “Oh, wait. I chose this.” And if I want to, I can choose another option. But at this moment, I own it because I chose it.

That simple mental shift can help me move from feeling out of control to in control. It’s empowering.

2. Use ‘Rocks’ to Prioritize Your Tasks

Sometimes having a to-do list is more overwhelming than it is helpful.

The daily tasks of anyone in a high-stakes, high-responsibility role are never-ending. Literally. No matter how many items you check off your list, each day adds just as many new ones, and even after a full day it can often feel like you haven’t accomplished anything.

So instead, I use “rocks”—a strategy I learned from performance coach Bill Nelson.

Say you have a glass container and a variety of rocks, divided into groups of large, mid-sized, and small rocks, and then some sand. If you put the small rocks in first, you’re not going to be able to fit everything in your container. But if you put the big rocks in first, then the mid-sized, and, finally, the small, they’ll all fit. And at the end, the sand fills the extra space.

The point of this strategy is to designate a handful of your biggest priorities for the week—let’s say five tasks—as the things you absolutely have to get done that week. Write them down somewhere.

Then, even if you accomplish nothing else but those five things, you’re going to feel better, since you completed the important tasks. You’ve made progress!

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Identifying your “rocks” is a better way of tracking progress and ensuring that you focus on the most critical things. You can create rocks on a weekly or even daily basis.

Some days, when I’m feeling the most frenzied, I say to myself, “You know what? Let’s boil it down. If I accomplish nothing else today and I just do these three things, it will be a good day.”

3. The PEW12 Method

Of all the daily practices I follow, Purge Emotional Writing (PEW12), which I learned from Dr. Habib Sadeghi, is my favorite.[1]

Here’s how it works:

Pick a topic, set a timer for 12 minutes, and just write.

You may be dealing with a specific issue you need to vent about, or you may be free-writing as emotions surface. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing or what your handwriting looks like, because you’re never going to re-read it.

At the end, burn the pages.

As the paper burns, you will feel all of those emotions you’ve just poured out either being reduced or dissipating completely. Both the writing process—which is literally unloading all of your unnecessary stuff—and the burning of the pages feel incredibly cathartic.

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And you can do PEW12 as frequently or infrequently as you feel you need it—once, twice, or multiple times a day.  

The reason I find this exercise so helpful is because, sometimes, I get in my head about a difficult issue or troubling interaction with someone, even when I know there is nothing to be done about it.

But as soon as I do my PEW12, I feel a sense of relief. I have more clarity. And I stop circling and circling the issue in my head. It makes things feel resolved. Just try it.

4. Set Sacred Time (Like a 20-Minute Walk or Evening Bath)

Outside of work, you have to try to protect some time for restoration and quiet. I call this sacred time.

For example, every single night I take a bath. This is a chance to literally wash off the day and any of the energy from the people, interactions, or experiences that I don’t want to take to bed with me.

I actually remodeled a bathroom in my house solely for this purpose. The bath ritual—which includes Himalayan bath salts, essential oils, and a five-minute meditation—is the ultimate “me time” and allows me to go to bed feeling peaceful and relaxed.

And while sacred time to end the day is crucial, I like to start the day with these types of practices, too.

In the mornings, I take my dog Bernard for a walk—and I use those 20 minutes to set my intention for the day. I don’t take my phone with me. I don’t think about the endless to-do list. I just enjoy listening to the birds and breathing in the sunshine, while Bernard stops to say hi to the neighbors and their dogs.

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These might seem like ordinary daily activities, but it’s the commitment to doing them day after day that makes all the difference.

5. Forgive Yourself When You Fail to Use the Tools

Sometimes our intention to follow “daily” practices falls flat. When this happens to me, I try not to beat myself up about it. After all, these things are tools to make me feel good. If they just become another chore, what is the point?

At the end of the day, my daily practices don’t belong in my jar of rocks or on my to-do list or in my daily planner. They are there to serve me.

If, for some reason, life happens and I can’t do my practices, I won’t feel as good. It’s possible I won’t sleep as well that night, or I’ll feel a little guilty that I didn’t walk Bernard.

But that’s okay. It’s also a good practice to acknowledge my limits and let go of the need to do everything all the time.

The Bottom Line

For most people, accepting that work-life balance simply isn’t possible is the first step to feeling more grounded and in control of your life.

Don’t waste your energy trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist. Instead, focus on how you’re feeling when things are out of balance and find a way to address those feelings.

You’ll have a toolkit for feeling better when life feels crazy, and, on the off chance things feel calm and happy, your rituals will make you feel absolutely amazing!

More Work Life Balance Tips

Featured photo credit: Dries De Schepper via unsplash.com

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