I’m a big believer in developing good habits. Habits can make or break your success, happiness and overall well-being. In fact, some of the most successful people in history and our world today have had rich habits that helped them achieve greatness. Here are some of their favourite habits for us to emulate.
They read every day.
Reading is one of the best habits you can develop; with many benefits from helping you learn new things to relaxing your mind and body. Reading helps you even read faster and with more fluency by strengthening your visual memory.
It also makes it easier for you to solve problems because it trains your brain to look at information in new ways—and when something doesn’t make sense, think of alternative solutions. Finally, reading helps to become better writers improving our ability to tell stories – whether real-life or fictional.
They wake up three hours before their workday begins.
This is a powerful habit to cultivate if you want to be successful in life. Waking up early will allow you more time in the day, and it can also help you feel more relaxed, less stressed out and generally happier throughout the day. If possible, get outside for some sunlight after waking up, even if it’s just for five minutes!
They avoid the news and politics.
Though you can’t avoid news entirely, you should try to limit your exposure to it. If you’re feeling like the world is constantly fighting against you, or that there’s no way out of the constant barrage of negativity and violence in the news cycle, it might be time to step back and take a break. It’s easy to get sucked into a political debate on Twitter—it’s fun! But if this makes you feel stressed out and unproductive, then it’s not worth your time.
Instead of following current events closely and getting caught up in all the drama (and misinformation), try tuning into something less stressful: an educational YouTube channel about money; science; some good music; etc.
They practice mindfulness to relieve stress.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. You can practice mindfulness while doing virtually anything—sitting at your desk at work, taking out the trash, brushing your teeth—but here are some simple exercises to get started:
- Take slow deep breaths through your nose for a few minutes each day—or even just 10 seconds at a time throughout the day if that’s all you have available! This helps you relax because it slows down your heart rate and brings oxygen deep into the brain. It also focuses attention away from emotions like anger or nervousness so they dissipate naturally and you have a clear head.
- Sit quietly somewhere comfortable where no one will bother you for 15 minutes every day; close your eyes if possible so that other sensory inputs don’t distract you from focusing inwardly.
They speak in terms of the positive, not the negative.
That’s it. It’s that simple. When you look at the world around you and see what’s going on, ask yourself, “What can I do about this?” instead of “Why does this happen?” Start speaking in terms of what could be done or how something could be improved rather than focusing on what is wrong with the situation around us. That is how you build a rich and winning mindset.
They worry about things that are within their control.
The dichotomy of control from Stoic Philosophy helps us to differentiate between things that are within our control, and things that are outside of our control. The next time you start to worry about something, stop yourself and ask, “What can I do about this?” If there’s really nothing you can do, keep it moving. But if there is something within your control—even just a tiny bit—then start doing those things.
For example: If you’re worried about losing your job and being unable to pay rent or make rent payments on time, set up emergency funds or start automatic savings immediately so that the bills will be paid even if you later lose that job. That is taking initiative and doing something within your control.
They don’t get caught up in gossip and idle talk.
If you’re a person who feels compelled to share every juicy detail of your life and times with your friends, then chances are you’ve got some work to do when it comes to cultivating rich habits. I mean…it’s one thing if your friend asks for advice about something personal, but it’s another thing entirely for you to just start talking about their business without knowing whether or not they would want you spreading rumours about them.
They surround themselves with positive people.
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you surround yourself with positive people. That’s because positive people provide encouragement and motivation, which can help give you the momentum necessary to make your financial goals a reality. If a friend is constantly negative about their life and always saying things like “I’ll never get that job”, then it might be time for them to exit your social circle. By surrounding yourself with positive people who are supportive of your dreams, they will help keep your mind focused and on track when challenges arise along the way.
They set goals for every area of their life.
You probably have a goal or two in mind, but you may not realize how important it is to write them down. Another way successful people make their goals effective is by aligning them with their values. For example, if you value health and wellness, then it might be helpful for your goal to be “I will jog for 30 minutes in the morning every day this week.” Goals should also be time-bound—for instance, “I will learn HTML within the next six months.” Setting a timeframe keeps us focused on what we need to do now and helps prevent procrastination.
Finally, remember that goals are just one part of cultivating rich habits as we’ve seen in this article. It’s not always easy to develop rich habits, but your future self will definitely thank you.