15 Ways Successful People Think Differently

15 Ways Successful People Think Differently

What determines if one is successful or not? It is all in how one thinks and approaches situations. Are you one to actively go all in or do you wade in the water, testing it first?

1. Focusing on What Matters

There are only 24 hours in a day, but of those hours, where are you spending your time? Successful people know what has to happen day in and day out. It’s getting the necessary work done before watching viral YouTube videos.

2. They Don’t Have Endless To-Do Lists

To-Do Lists exist but they include only the top projects that need worked on today. Usually completing three key items a day will mean that the day has been productive. If you complete those, then you can continue on to the other projects. Looking at an infinite To-Do list is not how people think. Make the tasks at hand manageable and they will get completed.


3. Bouncing Off Ideas with Other People

Have a great idea that you want to launch? Well, do not keep it a secret. Start sharing that idea with others in your industry, friends, strangers, people at the coffee shop. See what their feedback to the idea is. Maybe they will point out something that you have never thought of before and help make your idea soar.

4. They Use the 80/20 Rule

The Pareto Principle is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Identify that 20% and focus on it. Tim Ferriss recently explained it with Lifehack here.

5. Learning to Quiet the Mind

Meditation is key with successful people. It’s taking time out whether it be 5 minutes or 30 minutes to clear your mind and set the day off on the right foot. We are inundated with information and your mind must have a way to cut through all of the noise.


6. Having an Optimistic Outlook

Stop thinking of all the ways that your project or idea will not work and believe in the one that will work. When you think positively, the project will have a better possibility of being successful. Negative thoughts just destroy your mind and everything that you work on.

7. They’re Not Afraid to be Unconventional

Popular thinking does not always lead to the expected result. It takes being unconventional and risks to get the result that you want. If the conventional thought does not lead to your intended result, maybe it is time to start doing things differently.

8. They Follow Through

Successful people always follow through. If you say that you are going to do something, do it. The other person or organization will recognize this, and you will rise above the crowd.


9. They Collaborate with Others

Have a great project that you want to launch? Perhaps partnering with someone to make it even better and have a greater reach will make a world of difference. Many successful people realize that their project can use an added creative spark from others. Maybe you are a photographer who ends up partnering with a graffiti artist and a writer to create an amazing project.

10. They Know They Can do It

If you think you can, then it is possible. It all starts with believing in yourself. If you want to be a NY Times Best Selling Author, you first have to believe that you are a writer. Believing is key to your success.

11. They Develop Their Thoughts

That great idea may not happen overnight. It takes willingness and time to let it develop. It’s not a one day project that leads to that successful launch, but it takes patience in making sure that the idea is fully developed and that you have put in 150% effort to make it your best.


12. They’re Not Afraid to be Different

Doing the same things as the top person will not get you where you want to be. As Chase Jarvis says, “Be different not better.” Don’t be an exact replica of someone. Be yourself and be unique.

13. They Stand for What They Believe in No Matter What

Successful people are willing to make a stand for what they believe in. You’re not always going to have an army of people supporting you, but it takes a willingness to stand up for your ideas and beliefs no matter what the situation.

14. They Go All In

No, we are not playing a game of poker here but instead, the game of life. You must be willing to risk it all at times to do what you believe in. Will it work every time? No. However, you must be willing to learn from what happened. You never know if it will work or not unless you try it.

15. They Learn from Their Failures

Whether something worked or not, you must analyze the situation afterwards. What went well? What did not? What can be improved? Successful people always step back from projects after it is said and done, look at the results and learn from their failures so it does not happen again.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.


This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.


Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.


Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.


Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via

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