Success is not a skill you practice to get good at. It’s more of a mindset. If you look at the habits of the world’s top performers, you can’t help but notice they all have similar characteristics and daily routines.
They say that success leaves clues. Here are 7:
- Wake up earlier than the competition
High-profile executives are an open book when it comes to their morning routine, and the majority of them have accomplished more by 8 am than most people do all day. Instead of pressing snooze or rolling out of bed with barely enough time to make it to the office, top executives are often up before dawn.
Many of them, like General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, are in their office by 6 or 7 am, while others use the time for creative thinking or getting a headstart on their never-ending task list. Heavy hitters like Michelle Obama and Virgin America CEO, David Cush, are up by 4:30 am to get an early morning workout checked off their list.
Early risers do more than just get the proverbial worm; they run circles around the competition
- Get physical
Speaking of exercise, this habit is another trait that successful people have in common. Whether it’s a pre-dawn gym session or a workout after a day at the office, people who’ve achieved success often list physical activity as a cornerstone of their daily routine.
Not only do you benefit from having a structured schedule and healthy goals, you get a rush of endorphins after exercise that can take you through the day. Many people report that if they had a stressful problem on their mind before going to the gym, they either found a solution during the workout or realized their challenge wasn’t all that important, anyway.
The ancient art of meditating has recently made a resurgence as a daily habit among the world’s most successful people. It turns out that the act of clearing your mind allows you to be more centered, focused, and creative.
Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief, Ariana Huffington, says that taking time each day to reduce stress and become more mindful makes her not just happier and healthier, but has also proven to be a competitive advantage.
- Plan the day
We’re all busy with task lists a mile long, so how do the most successful people manage to accomplish so much and still have time to take on more?
The answer is planning. It’s easier than you think. Brendon Burchard, a personal development coach with a client list full of top achievers, developed a simple system called the High-Performance Academy Worksheet. In this system, which that vast majority of successful people use in one form or another, you identify your top three tasks, projects or goals for the day and outline a basic plan of what you need to accomplish them.
Do this before you go to bed each night, and you might find that when your alarm goes off in the morning, you’re no longer mentally rattling off your to-do list.
- Get uncomfortable
Being comfortable is easy, but it’s impossible to grow that way. The problem many people face is that they fall into a routine, and they’re scared to try anything new or do something that feels unfamiliar. According to one study, the part of your brain that releases dopamine, the “happiness” chemical, is only activated when you’re experiencing something new.
So, while it may feel “uncomfortable” in the beginning, your brain actually enjoys the challenge.
Think about the brave business mavens of our time. Do you think they got to where they are by living in their comfort zone?
- Keep smart people in their circle
Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich,” was a strong proponent of mastermind groups. He believed that collaborations and discussions with other intellectual powerhouses was the key to solving problems and progressing in life. The adage that you become the average of the five closest people you surround yourself with is evidenced time and again. Said another way, “birds of a feather flock together.”
- No is not an option
Not everyone will agree with your ideas or want to invest in your newest project. However, a simple “no” will never deter the will of a top achiever. Maybe they need to approach things differently, refine their process or focus on finding another solution.
History is full of stories of people who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Walt Disney was fired from a job because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” and a concert hall manager told Elvis after one of his early performances that he was better off sticking to his day job, which at the time, was driving trucks.