Chapter 25: Develop winning habits
Habits are like a cable. We weave a strand of it every day and soon it cannot be broken.
Habits are anything we do repeatedly, consciously or unconsciously. What makes us all unique is the habits we develop over time. You run the day mostly by your unconscious habits, from getting up at the same time to thinking the same thoughts, showering the same way, eating the same foods, going to the same job, doing the same menial tasks day in and day out, watching the same shows, having the same conversations, holidaying at the same place. We are all creatures of habit and over time hardwire ourselves to follow the same repeated patterns of behaviour just like a stylus on a record player goes around the grooves on a vinyl record.
Take a moment to stop and think just how many things you do throughout a typical day that is habitual. From the time you wake up to the foods you eat, what you do, how you talk, and what you think about. Notice how over time you have hardwired yourself to do what is comfortable and easy. The best way to develop self-awareness of yourself is to use a journal every day and write down your day. Do this for a few weeks, and you will clearly see your life massively dictated by your daily habits. Self-awareness is vital. Understand yourself first before you try to change your habits. Know which habits are not serving you, and replace them with those that will do, and let your habits automate your life to success. We first build good habits and then let the good habits build us.
Winning habits to cultivate
From studying the most successful people on the planet, I have found that most of them have cultivated very similar winning habits that helped take them to the top of their chosen fields. Developing any new habit takes some adjustment at the start if it’s something you don’t often do, but with persistence and repetition, you can make any new habit easy and enjoyable over time.
The top five most common habits of successful people
- Working out. Successful people understand the importance of keeping their bodies in top shape. From eating well and exercising the body, the more you look after your body, the more your body will look after you. Keeping your body fit and healthy is the number one requirement of successful people to give them the energy needed for their high-performance life. Start to cultivate the habit of looking after yourself through eating healthy foods and working out so your body can give you the energy you need to fulfil your dreams. Health is wealth.
- The second winning habit that successful people have in common is an unbelievable obsession with improving their intelligence. Becoming smarter and sharpening their mind through books, video, audio, experiences, and networking with other intelligent people are what successful people do. Leaders are readers, and your network is your net worth. Cultivate the same obsession in improving your intelligence through other people’s writings and experiences. It’s never been this way before, but with technology at the tips of your fingers, you have no excuse.
- The third common winning habit most successful people have in common is having clearly written and defined goals with deadlines. Studies have shown time and again that this simple habit of setting personal, clear, written goals puts you in the top 5% of people on the planet. Unbelievably, 95% of people don’t have personal, clear, written goals for their lives. They are going through life with their fingers crossed. Join the 5% crowd, and cultivate the habit of setting goals for your days, weeks, months, years, decades, and life. You have this one life; go out there and do something special with it. Become the best version of yourself.
- The fourth successful habit winners have in common is working on the most important task at hand every day. Focusing on the 20% of activities that will give you 80% of the results is what successful people concentrate on. Not the other way around like most people do. Eating that big frog every day, not the tadpoles. Doing the difficult, not the easy. This is what makes the difference between people who hit and achieve goals versus people who cross their fingers and wish their way through life. Identify what will move the needle forwards every day, and get it done.
- The fifth successful habit winners have in common is the ability to persist in the face of adversity and defeat. You don’t know the names of the countless number of people who gave up the fight to see their dreams become a reality. Look at any successful well-known person and see the common trait of persistence in the face of adversity and defeat. Adversity and defeat might knock them down but not knock them out. Might push them off course but never out of the race. Develop the ability to persist in spite of circumstances, and never give up on your dreams. Reset every day, work hard, and push forwards.
If you begin to follow these principles of habit, from working out, eating right, educating yourself daily, writing out your goals, working on the important tasks, and persisting until, you are well on your way to seeing your dreams become a reality.
Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart.
- What makes us all unique is the habits we develop over time.
- We first build good habits and then let the good habits build us.
- Developing any new habit takes some adjustment.
- Cultivate the habit of working out, improving your intelligence, writing out goals, working on the important, and persisting until.