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5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results

5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results
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Why are successful people successful? What makes them achieve things most other people can only dream about? In most cases it is not luck or a very special talent they have. Sure, it may seem that way, but when you look at it more closely (and you ask them), things turn out quite differently. Let’s explore.

When I study successful people by reading biographies and by talking with them, I see a clear pattern in their actions. The power of the five things below lies not in that you know them all, or you know some. The real strength is in hearing and seeing them again, and this time taking action. Apply what you read and grow.

Here are five things you should take into account in order to create amazing results in your life.

1. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Don’t do something today and stop doing it tomorrow. Don’t hop from one ‘life changing’ idea to the next because the other one is looking even more amazing to you. Being consistent, longer than a couple of days, will create changes in your life.

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Usually people say that on average habits are changed in about 3 to 4 weeks. Decide what you want to do, and do it for one month. I am sure after that month, you acquired a new skill, habit, attitude that will help you the rest of your life.

And with all this marathon living, you can of course take a few sprints every now and then. Just as long as you are never stopping or moving in the opposite direction.

2. Successful people do things other people don’t do.

I believe people are by nature lazy creatures. We go for the shortest route, even if that isn’t bringing us to where we want to go. Sounds strange? Then why are you reading lots of articles on making your life easier and 90% of the information is never used?

There are lots of amazing ideas, tips and techniques right under your nose, you just have to take action. Get up earlier, study, have discipline, don’t chase the money, take responsibility. Do that and you are about to get more out of life than most other people.

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3. Successful people know their outcome.

No matter what you change, know why you are changing and what you are changing into. Have a clear goal, and take the appropriate action. The moment you know your outcome, change will be a lot easier. Getting up earlier to write 10 pages for your book is easier when you know you want to write a book, right? Going on a diet is a lot easier when you want to fit in your wedding dress.

4. Successful people are willing to trade short term fun for long time happiness.

Understand that change normally comes with a little (or lots of) discomfort. This isn’t strange. Your body and brain will try to keep you in the state they are in. That is nature. What is in balance must stay in balance. And you are about to change the equilibrium in your life.

That simply has to hurt a little bit and cause stress. Get over it. You are not doing this to remain in the same situation you are in right now. You are doing this to improve your life and the lives of your family.

5. Successful people are almost just like other people.

Almost… and that is the big difference. They tweak their lives a little bit and make amazing results a reality. Big changes come from taking small steps consistently.

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    Perhaps this is what this entire article is all about. You can make your life amazing, just as long as you identify the small steps and take them, day in and day out, no matter what.

    Putting it Into Action

    In short, successful people are able to make simple and small changes to their lives that in time end up in amazing results. Think about some of the small things you can do right now, from today for the next 6 months.

    Action point 1: Become smarter. Stop watching TV 15 minutes earlier, or use the commercial break to read and study (this one will do wonders, especially for people who watch TV a lot).

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    Action point 2: Do something more productive. Get up 10 minutes earlier and use that time for a couple of push-ups, crunches, preparing a good breakfast, or studying.

    Action point 3: Stop something bad in your life. For example stop eating that one candy bar at the end of the day. This may not save your health immediately, but by cutting back on your sugar intake each day or week, you will make a difference in your life. You can also replace the word candy bar with coffee, snacks, fast food, etc. and reduce other unhealthy eating habits.

    My question for you is simple: What small change will you make and what will be the outcome?

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    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)
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    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.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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