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11 Successful People And Their Unique Habits

11 Successful People And Their Unique Habits

Have you ever wondered about the habits of history’s most successful people? What is it they do that helps them earn money, respect and a good reputation? Becoming more successful with the help of simple daily habits is easier than you think when you have focus and are committed to reaching your goals.

Read on to learn about 11 successful people and the unique habits that helped them succeed.

1. Benjamin Franklin

Waking up early in the morning

    Benjamin Franklin is one of the most successful and well-known men in history, being not only known as a politician but also as a printer, inventor, scientist, and much more. One notable habit of his was to rise very early each day before he started work. He would wake up at 5 a.m., bathe, review his business for the day, and have breakfast. This way he would be fully focused by 8 a.m. and would be able to work without getting distracted.

    2. Evan Williams

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    Evan Williams Co-Founder of Twitter

      Evan Williams, founder of Blogger and Twitter, keeps his mind sharp by making sure his body gets a workout. Every day he takes some time off in the middle of the day to go work out at the gym, and when he returns, his energy level is higher and he is able to focus more easily on his work.

      3. Arianna Huffington

      Arianna Huffinton Founder Huffintonpost

        Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, practices yoga and meditation each day to help her keep stress levels down and increase mindfulness in her life. When people don’t have as much stress in their life and they are more aware of their own feelings and needs, they are happier and healthier. Happy, healthy people can provide their best work to the companies that employ them or to the companies they own.

        4. Randy Garutti

        of the Shake Shack Randy Garutti

          Randy Garutti, CEO of the Shake Shack franchise, attributes his success to the habit of focusing on one thing at a time and “being present.” No one can do everything at once, so it is better to give your whole focus to one task at a time. Otherwise you’ll spread yourself out over numerous tasks and not be able to give as much time and energy to any of them as you could if you gave yourself more room to focus.

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          5. Barack Obama

          US President Barack Obama

            Among the many successful habits that Obama practices, one of the most significant is making it a point to have breakfast with his daughters and the first lady, help his daughters get ready for school, and have dinner with his family again in the evening. Like Obama, successful people are careful to strike a good work-life balance, working hard but also making sure to prioritize spending time with family.

            6. Stephen King

            Famous Fiction Writer Stephen King Playing Guitar

              The famous fiction writer Stephen King makes a habit of keeping his work space arranged the same way every day. He sits down to work at around the same time every day and in the same chair, has a glass of water, keeps his papers arranged in the same way each day, and listens to the same music. This is his way of getting himself ready to focus on working, and when you are focused on your work, you are bound to succeed.

              7. Franz Kafka

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              Franz Kafka Writer

                Another famous fiction writer, Franz Kafka spent his days as an insurance agent but always made time to feed his creative urge. He would start writing at 10:30 p.m. and keep going into the early hours of the morning. His day job was very stressful and busy, but creative writing was his release. No matter how busy your day job, everyone should nurture their passions when they have time in order to stay motivated. And who knows … perhaps your passion will be your calling.

                8. David Zinczenko

                Men's Health Editor-In-Chief David Zinczenko

                  David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health magazine, practices the habit of keeping healthy snacks and drinks around his office. This way he stays energized and won’t experience a sugar crash later in the day from eating unhealthy foods. Plus, when he already has snacks stocked, he doesn’t have to leave the office while he is working just to waste time buying food.

                  9. Cindy Ratzlaff

                  Cindy Ratzlaff, a consultant, speaker and author

                    Cindy Ratzlaff, a consultant, speaker and author, comes up with a “success goal” each day and writes it on her white board in her office. It’s then in front of her all day to remind her to ask herself before each action if the action will serve her chosen goal. Keeping focused on a goal brings purpose to each choice she makes, eliminating time-wasters and distractions.

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                    10. Albert Einstein

                    Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein

                      Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, philosopher and author, enjoyed taking the time to go for long walks on the beach or gazing at the ceiling during the workweek so that he could listen to what was going on in his mind. By spending some time in solitude, you can reach deep within yourself and focus on the thoughts in your head.

                      11. Warren Buffett

                      Warren Buffett CEO Berkshire Hathaway

                        Warren Buffett, the oracle of Omaha, likes to play online bridge with three other partners almost every Monday because of the emphasis it places on “playing a hand right rather than on playing it successfully.” Successful people know that luck comes from working hard over time and positioning themselves for success rather than hoping to just get lucky.

                        These successful individuals have great habits that work to help them stay successful. Develop some unique habits for yourself and soon you will be on your way to success and time well spent.

                        Featured photo credit: Silhouette of successful business man /KieferPix via shutterstock.com

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                        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                        How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

                        How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

                        Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

                        However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

                        Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

                        Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

                        Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

                        In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

                        What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

                        To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

                        The Biology

                        Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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                        Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

                        The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

                        A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

                        Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

                        So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

                        Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

                        Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

                        Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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                        Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

                        The Psychology

                        Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

                        Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

                        Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

                        Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

                        What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

                        Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

                        Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

                        1. Identify Your Habits

                        As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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                        2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

                        Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

                        It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

                        3. Apply Logic

                        You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

                        Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

                        4. Choose an Alternative

                        As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

                        Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

                        5. Remove Triggers

                        Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

                        Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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                        6. Visualize Change

                        Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

                        For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

                        7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

                        Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

                        Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

                        Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

                        More About Changing Habits

                        Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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