While much hard work and dedication goes into any kind of success, there are habits that are found across the board when looking at highly successful people. An article published recently on the CNBC Make it section of their website outlines six little things you can do every day to be successful:
1. Read a book that isn’t directly related to your career. Books expand the mind and expose you to different ways of thinking. I love reading. While I often read career related books, I often enjoy fiction or reading about topics outside of my career. I’m currently reading both fiction and nonfiction books. I am reading Fit for Growth, a book about growth strategy and cost management. The fiction book I’m reading is The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin.
2. Step outside of your comfort zone. The only way to grow is to try new things. Sometimes that means you have to step outside of your own comfort zone. Don’t let fear hold you back. When I first had to start doing any kind of public speaking, I was terrified! As many of you know, I’m a self-proclaimed introvert. But I’ve learned to step outside of my comfort zone and often play an extrovert in my career.
3. Exercise. I was surprised to see this on the list in relation to being successful. But once I read into it, it made sense. In a five-year study of highly successful people, it was found that exercising was something they all had in common. Some of the advantages those who exercise have over those who don’t include higher IQ, willpower, confidence, and up to 20% more energy.
4. Give back. My favorite line in the CNBC article is, “If you’re too busy to give back or return a favor, then you’re too busy to succeed.” If you think of most successful people who are famous, they all give back. Oprah, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett…. And as the article points out, it doesn’t always have to be on a large scale. You could offer to mentor a colleague or volunteer at a local senior center or one of your favorite charities. I volunteer at the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and find it very rewarding.
5. Remember your competition. Let the competition motivate you. As Michael Jordon once stated, “I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.” When you lose, learn from it. I stress this with my team on a regular basis. We have to be willing to try new things and as we go along, we can learn from our mistakes as well as our successes.
6. Get outside. A study from the American Psychology Association found that outdoor walks can increase creativity and improve problem-solving skills. It’s helpful to step away from all the electronics and get some fresh air. Have you ever held a meeting outside? If you have, I’m sure you noticed an increase in the energy level and creativity. I’ve read a lot lately about “walking meetings”. These are meetings where the team walks, whether outside or around the office, while having a discussion. Recent research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking.
Do you have any helpful daily habits that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.