It’s easy to look at the world’s successful people and see a vast, intimidating gulf between them and us. How can you go from working two jobs and barely getting to the laundry each week to their heights of success? As it turns out, success isn’t a prize you can win or a possession you can own; it’s a frame of mind and a collection of small habits that empower you to climb your way to the top, wherever that may be for you.
Here are five healthy habits that can do just that...
1. Plan your day the night before
Give yourself 10 minutes the night before to think about your plans for the following day. Consult your diary or schedule to see what you’ve got planned for the following day (so that you don’t forget anything) and then, where possible, make the necessary preparations to save yourself time and stress in the morning. For example: lay out your outfit, pack your lunch, prepare for meetings, make sure the kids’ bags are ready for school, etc.
Taking 10 minutes to think about your plans for the next day goes a long way to eliminate stress, optimize productivity, and ensure that your day gets off to as smooth a start as possible.
2. De-clutter and get organised
A cluttered home, office, or desk creates both physical and psychological obstacles that can put a serious strain on your productivity. Not only does clutter make it difficult to find the things you need (thereby wasting time, increasing stress, and throwing off focus), but it can also make us feel unhappy and frustrated.
Make a start: Make small changes every day or every weekend, if you’re pressed for time: tackle your office desk, the left side of your closet, or take your car for a wash, etc. Your environment will slowly but surely transform and your newfound organisation will help you to become more focused and productive.
3. Get inspired
Successful people achieve success because they’re driven by inspiration and powerfully motivated by passion. This is what gives them the energy and the edge over other educated, capable professionals. As such, you should find something that inspires you and make time for it, whether it is central to your work or something you do in your free time. Engaging in activities you love or allowing yourself to become inspired not only fuels your productivity and ingenuity, but also makes you a happier, more fulfilled person.
Make a start: No matter how busy you are, set aside time every day to do what you love (whether it’s play guitar, read a book, or spend quality time with the family). Read inspirational biographies, self-help books, or blogs by other successful people.
4. Never stop learning
Successful people always seek new horizons. No matter what age you are or how long you’ve been working in your particular job/industry, you can always absorb fresh knowledge and master new skills. Whether it’s completing an online course, reading a book on entrepreneurship, or attending classes to learn a new skill (for work or fun), challenge yourself and continuously advance your education. It won’t only go far in keeping your mind agile and your soul inspired, but you’ll also increase your value as a working professional and possibly empower you to move from employee to employer.
5. Don’t keep up with the Joneses
You’ve got to realise that the journey you’re on is very different to anyone else’s and so there is no value in comparing your progress with theirs; this creates jealousy, frustration, stress and unworthiness. These negative emotions do terrible damage to your self-esteem and motivation. The only thing you should ever take away from other people’s success is inspiration. It’ll also make you a nicer person.
Remember, success is a frame of mind that’s achieved through cultivating an array of small, yet positive habits, and if you seek to enrich yourself, the rest will follow.