After scouring the internet for sources on this topic, listening to countless self development and motivation audios, reading some of the best self development books, hearing numerous super successful stories from all over the world, attending countless conferences and seminars on this topic as well as my own life experiences – there are a number of common habits I have discovered that people that are super successful in their field do.
I have managed to narrow these down to 10 of my personal favorites that I have proven to work in my own life. They have given me the ability to achieve things I would never dream of! I’m an online entrepreneur and I love what I do. I learned how to face challenges and overcome them – mainly because of these habits.
Some of them may sound obvious but the key is to be consistent and not to give up. If it’s really your dream to be the best at what you do and to also LOVE what you do then keep reading.
Learn from the best
OK, so you want to be a successful writer for example; find a successful writer you admire and find out how they achieved what they did. Hollie, that’s easy to say – how do I get access to someone successful?
Well that might be easier than you think. Most super successful people have written a book or two. From celebrities and sports heroes to professors and scholars. My biggest inspirations came from the biographies of some of the greats – Steve Jobs, Tony Robbins, Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela, Felix Baumgartner, Anna Wintour, Michael Jordan.
Learning the story of the people you admire most will not only give you motivation but also a map and a guide on their journey to success. What to expect and what to avoid and how they overcame challenges. And if I’m being honest it doesn’t have to be the person you admire’s biography, it can also be the person you don’t like so much. As long as it’s on the subject matter you care about most then somebody has most likely written about it. So start feeding your mind with what’s already out there.
Write it down – make a plan
If you’re rolling your eyes because you’ve heard this one before, why do you think that is? Probably because it’s absolutely true! I don’t think I have come across anyone successful that hasn’t made a plan. Whether it’s subconscious or consciously it is one of the key steps to success. To some it comes naturally, others have to physically organise their thoughts. The clearer you know your goals, the more likely it is you’ll be going in the right direction. As unreachable as it may seem at this point in your life, everyone has to start somewhere. There’s no such thing as overnight success, just constant small steps in the right direction everyday can achieve unimaginable things.
“I’d like to say this was a dream of mine, but I never thought I would get to the point where I would be playing on stage – let alone headlining it.” — Ed Sheeran
So say you’re aspiring singer who wants that coveted record deal. Well you have to start somewhere. Maybe it means regular singing lessons, auditions, finding an agent taking that part-time job so you can pay for your own equipment or even doing those free gigs just to get your name out there.
That’s just one example, but you have to make a plan and move towards it. Write it down, stick it on your wall, write your goals in a journal or on your calendar. Tick them off when they’re completed and you’ll be surprised how much you’ve achieved when you reflect back.
Practise, practise, practise
What’s the old saying? “10000 hours of practise makes you an expert”? Whether it’s true or not there’s no denying that practise gives you the edge. Yes some people are naturally gifted but many of us need to learn and many things can be taught. Not everyone can be the best, but it will get you a damn sight closer when you aspire to perfecting your craft.
So if you’re not that good right now who says you can’t be in the next 5-10 years, just take the first step and remain consistent. Consistency alone is a virtue very few people have and sometimes taken for granted. Consistency leads to habits which ultimately become your lifestyle, so why not practise good habits and see the rewards start to manifest.
This goes hand in hand with practise. If you haven’t experienced failure yet then be prepared – it happens to all of us. Even more so, it happens to the most successful of us.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
Whenever failures and obstacles come, instead of looking at them only negatively ask yourself ‘What can I learn from this?’ There’s always a lesson to be learned over time and it’s an opportunity to control the way you perceive unwanted experiences. If you don’t like the outcome then change your strategy, tweek what your doing and correct your course – you’ll soon be on the right track.
Drowning out the noise
This also ties in with managing your emotions and the negativity that we all face in life. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and our biggest critics. We can put ourselves down and sabotage our own success because of fear of things such as failure and being out of our comfort zones. Some of us also suffer from negativity outside of our own heads.
You may be surrounded by negative people on a regular basis which can be truly overwhelming, but we can’t control the world outside us. The only thing we can control is ourselves (unless you’re Bruce Banner).
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
The majority of super-achievers practise some form of healthy mind activity on a daily basis. Whether it’s meditation, deep breathing, yoga or other forms of physical or mental exercise. It’s important to find what works for you and create new and constructive habits. You’ll find that being able to control what your mind is focused on will drive you further towards your goals and help to block out all the doubt.
Ever heard the saying “It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know”? Well it’s true. I forgot to mention that you may not like some of the things I mention in this article, but sometimes the truth is hard to hear and if you’ve got this far – you may as well keep on reading.
This is probably more achievable than you think, it’s a funny old world sometimes. I met a potential client once at a festival – when I was in no way acting professional. We happened to exchange details and I worked on several projects with them and we still remain good friends to this day!
You never know who, when and where you might meet the right people on this planet so always be aware of that. Yes, there’s traditional ways of meeting the right connections like at networking events, but like me you can also meet someone somewhere random so be prepared.
Protect your rep
This follows smoothly in with my previous point about networking. Let me tell you a little story…When I first moved to London I got a great job with a company that I loved – this was in the days before I knew the power of social media. Well, in my naivety I wrote a piece about about them online without getting their permission. I immediately was contacted by them and fired on the spot for revealing information they did not want published.
It has to be one of the top 10 stupidest things I’ve ever done, because not only did I lose the job of my dreams I also couldn’t find work for a very long time after. My reputation in that industry had been tainted and I had to work my butt off to gain ground I so recklessly lost.
So the moral of the story is BE CAREFUL! Be careful what you say, who you say it to and when you say it. People rely on your reputation whether you like it or not and sometimes it can never be redeemed. The most successful people know this and that’s what makes them the greatest. It also comes with experience and being clever at playing the game – the next person you treat badly might end up being your next boss.
When I finished high school there were a few careers I promised I would never go into – the main one was law. I didn’t want to be a lawyer because the thought of having to study even after you graduate made me nauseous. I had no idea that that’s all I would be doing with my life now. I’m constantly learning – and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Super-achievers pride themselves on constantly learning and constantly evolving. Practise being more curious about the world around you, that’s the beauty of life – you can never know it all. People like this will always be improving, always striving to improve and continuously reading and developing to become wiser and more well-rounded.
Love what you do
This might seem way too obvious to write it down, but let’s just ponder on this last habit for a moment. Every single super-achiever I have encountered has made it because they love doing it. Take my little blog for instance, I may not love the process of sitting down behind a desk and writing for hours and hours, but when I get a nice comment or someone saying thank you for helping me, it makes it all worthwhile – it gives me life!
You have to have passion to make any of my previous points work. Without passion you’re guaranteed to stop. Passion is the fuel that drives you, passion is what makes you seek inspiration, passion is what gets you up in the morning, passion will make you want to do it when the rewards are nowhere to be seen and passion will make you succeed.
If you’re not passionate about anything, just stop and think about that for a moment. You’re not passionate about anything? I don’t believe you. For one, you’ve made it to the end of this article so you must have passion to succeed. What makes you happy? What really pisses you off? Maybe you haven’t had the time to really think about it and now it’s time to take back control and find out what that is. If you have strong emotions about something in your life then chances are it’s because you care about it – why not start there.
I’ll leave you with something my teenage cousin said to me that I will never forget. I asked him what drives him to be so ambitious at such a young age, especially when his surroundings didn’t seem to dictate this kind of mindset. He said “Hollie, I’ve always felt average and never excelled at anything. When my all my friends seem to ooze talent I never felt special. My friends have talent, but not the ambition. So I try twice as hard and push myself twice as much – if I have to work harder to achieve my goals then I will”. Nuff said.