We all want to have more success in life, and we can go a long way looking for the secrets for becoming more productive, achieving more, and excelling at what we do.
The truth is much simpler. There is no magic pill that we can take. Only some simple principles that, when applied, will consistently improve the results we get.
From Steve Jobs to Hellen Keller, Oprah to Warren Buffet. Success has patterns we can duplicate in our own lives to get better results.
Here are 15 fundamental principles successful people apply every day:
1. They Wake Up Early.
The world places constant demands on our time and attention, all the more so now that we have a cell phone capable of interrupting at any time. Highly successful people know that large chunks of uninterrupted time – 1 to 2 hours – is possibly the biggest key to success. Steve Jobs is just one of the few prolific individuals to advocate this idea.
Waking up early is the method most highly successful people employ to get their most important tasks done before all the chaos of a typical work day starts. By the time the rest of the world is up, they’ve completed their most critical work and can meet the day knowing they’ve already succeeded.
2. They Do What They Had Planned
If you said you were going to finish the report today, do it. Or If you said you were going to the gym in the morning, do it. If you want to achieve something, then constantly work for it. Success is linked to fulfilling what you have proposed.
Only 1 in 100 ends up doing what they had planned at first. Do what you said you would do, no matter what it will take to get it.
3. They Learn From Mentors.
The best way to learn a new skill, overcome roadblocks, recover from setbacks, and generally improve our performance is to have a skilled and willing coach or mentor help us.
Seeing our blind spots and weaknesses is something we are naturally bad at, and even if we practice, having an outside, impartial view of what we’re doing can help us eliminate self-sabotage and time-wasting efforts.
Successful people know they’ll never know it all. Their supporting cast is what will get them across the finish line and on to the podium.
4. They Are Grateful
Successful people always give thanks when necessary, both to the people around them and to the universe for having what they have. Most of these successful people have traveled a tedious and challenging path to get where they are, so their attitude to life is always grateful.
This makes them see everything that surrounds them as special and surprising. Even the simplest things, like having food in the fridge or being able to enjoy a coffee in the bar on the corner.
5. They Move Their Bodies.
We can’t perform our best if our health isn’t being taken care of. Doing some movement (or “exercise”) is critical to feeling good, energized, and staying in top condition long-term.
Richard Branson famously said in an interview with Joe Polish, when asked how he improves his productivity, that he works out. ‘Nuff said.
6. They Set Boundaries and Keep Them.
It’s hard to say no to opportunities to help people (or make bank), but successful people know exactly when they need to turn away opportunities. They know that the achievement of their vision is the most important way they can serve, and that shiny distraction in the present isn’t the way to long term success.
Knowing when to give up on shiny distractions and say “no” is an essential habit of success, and shows both the world and ourselves that we value our vision.
7. They Delegate Everything
The successful people do not ask how they can deal with a problem; they better wonder how they can solve it. They know how to identify what things can be done by other people and have no issues with giving up control. And of course, they are not micromanagers.
Learn to delegate works to others, so can focus on only essential things.
8. They Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones.
One of the biggest regrets of individuals on their deathbed is that they spent too much time working and not enough with the people they cared about. We have to remember what all this pursuit of “success” is really for: improving the lives of the people we love. And ultimately, that means more quality time with them.
No matter how many fires we feel, we need to put out in our professional lives, neglecting our personal lives will leave us a smoldering wreck.
9. They Build Deep, Stable, Genuine Relationships.
Most jobs are landed before they’re ever posted publicly. Most relationships are started between an individual and “a friend of a friend.” That is to say, the quality of our opportunities in life is directly proportional to the quality of our network. Not our degrees, not our experience, but the people we know.
Nothing has the power of a personal recommendation from a trusted source. It’s building genuine relationships with people that will help us have the success we desire.
10. They Let Others “Win.”
Most people seek fairness in their dealings with others. Experiments have shown that, even if we make a significant gain working with a stranger, we’ll decline the deal if the other person gets a better deal.
Successful people don’t care about a fair deal; they care about advancing their own goals. It doesn’t matter if the other parties in a deal or transaction get more. Only the achievement of their vision is important, and a 90%-10% split that does that is just as good as 50%-50%.
Furthermore, they know that by making others successful, they’re planting the seeds for future success by building incredibly strong relationships.
11. They Have a Healthy Relationship With Money.
Successful people recognize that money is a tool and not the purpose of their lives. They also know how to use that tool effectively.
We want to spend our time as effectively as possible, and it’s no different with money. Successful people know where they are putting their money – plain and simple. This empowers them to save, invest, and budget wisely to maximize the return on investment of their financial resources.
It does not require a degree in accounting or economics. It’s simple awareness, and it has the power to completely transform our relationship with money from one of fear and anxiety to one where we’re confident and in control.
12. They Trust Their Intuition.
Building a successful business and leading a successful life both mean listening to our intuition. We know, deep inside, what we truly want and value. We know what decisions will fill us with joy and contentment and which will keep us up at night.
What’s more, many decisions are too complex to be calculated, which is where our intuition can guide us through a seemingly impossible situation.
Our intuition is the best guide we have – not to the most money – but the most fulfillment. And that’s a much richer form of success.
13. They Never Give Up
If you want something, you must find a way to get it; not because what you want is very important or necessary. But because you have to prove every day that you can achieve what you set out to do.
That’s how the winners think, and that’s how you should start thinking.
14. They Feel Motivated Most of The Day
Successful people are not superheroes or take any magic dust, but they are always full of energy. Motivation is not an emotion that arises on its own; it must be provoked with the appropriate thoughts. The winners know it well, that’s why they find things that drive them every day.
15. They Love What They Do.
Gary Vaynerchuk would say that successful people “crush it.” The only way to sustain effort towards a dream over months and years without becoming a stressed-out, burned-out wreck is to love what we do.
Making a lot of money doesn’t matter if we hate the time we spent making it – that’s a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Success, by whatever definition we use, must mean that we’re enjoying the process in addition to whatever results we get. There’s no better way (no other way?) to enjoy life than by loving the way we spend each day.