Advertising

10 Weird Traits Successful People Have That You Probably Share

10 Weird Traits Successful People Have That You Probably Share
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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).

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

More by this author

When You Start to Pursue Your Dreams, These 13 Things Will Happen 10 Brilliant Features Of Google Now You’ll Regret Missing Henry David Thoreau Quote 11 Free Life-Changing Books and Essays in the Public Domain 17 Benefits of Having an Animal as Your Best Friend 7 Success Tips Musicians Can Teach Us

Trending in Productivity

1 How To Boost Employee Motivation During Difficult Times 2 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 3 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 4 5 Values of an Effective Leader 5 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

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)
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next