Work & Career
10 Things Wildly Successful People Do Every Single Day
You can’t go from intern to CEO overnight, but these 10 tips will point you to success city.
Focus on 24
There are countless things you can do in a day—wash your car, hike a mountain, watch a movie. Each of those things may or may not help you succeed tomorrow, but what matters is that you did them on that day. “The 24 hours you are currently living in determine your level of success. You have the ability right now to make choices to curate and drive your goals. That opportunity does not exist in yesterday or in tomorrow,” said Randi Levin, a transitional life strategist. Today is the only time to gain traction and take necessary steps to achieve what you desire, Levin said. Start by asking yourself what you can do now.
Make success a habit
You can change your behavior in just 66 days, according to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. If 66 days seems like a long stretch for you, consider taking it week by week. “Every week, take a second on Sunday to focus on what went well over the course of the past week. As humans, we tend to highlight what did not go right, so flipping the script to document what did reprogram your thoughts to think in terms of achievement no matter how small,” Levin said. That achievement can be anything from getting a promotion to mastering your mother’s sweet potato recipe. It just matters that you thought of it in a positive light, and that thinking will soon become contagious.
Put themselves first
You can’t solve world hunger or become the world’s youngest CEO without first knowing who you are. To-do lists aren’t exclusively for work tasks. They can be fun, too, as Levin points out. “Make sure that your to-do list contains a clear time to thrive. Schedule yourself in first, creating a meeting time for the gym, friends, hobbies, or to do nothing at all,” he said. “This will help you to balance your relationship to yourself and to your job.” Extra time away from work may help your relationships, too. A study looking at hours worked by romantic partners found that long hours affect romantic relationships. So do yourself, your job, and your relationships a favor and tap out once and a while.
Create a power list
When Marie Oats started her first legal job, she was partnered with a supervising attorney. She quickly noticed that he was always on top of his game without ever seeming stressed or rushed, she recalled. It seems like he knew these 7 sneaky reasons you never finish your to-do list. “When I asked him how, he told me about his ‘power list.’ It’s similar to a to-do list, but it was more focused. He listed out the three to five things that needed to get done that day to help move his day along,” Oats said. “Completing that power list was how he identified the day as a win.” The idea is that those three to five things are the 20 percent that matters and the 80 percent left is basically busy work or simply won’t move the needle like the other 20 percent will, Oats said.
Never stop being curious
Curiosity is what drove all great inventions. If Amelia Earhart wasn’t curious about what it would feel like to defy gravity, would we have planes? Well, maybe yes. But not as soon. This insatiable desire for learning propels societies out of old traditions. Being constantly curious is on the list of 10 signs you’re smarter than you realized. “Never stop being curious about people, ideas, and new innovations,” said Grant Schreiber, founding editor at Real Leaders.
Reading the daily news for even just five minutes every day means you know that much more than the average Joe. Reading is the easiest way to stay informed and have insightful conversations that help you succeed. Anything from news, a romance novel, an academic article, or even your child’s English paper will let you in on a secret you didn’t know before. “Reading widely, even on topics unrelated to your business, can spark fresh ideas for the company you run,” Schreiber said. Sharing knowledge is just as exciting as learning it.
View a problem as a solution
That issue that’s always haunted your business—say, the inability to sell enough advertisements—is just another avenue for success. The existential question of how to define success might be determined by a feeling. “Seeing a problem as something that will deliver a new solution is another psychological approach I have to business,” Schreiber said. “I found that embrac[ing] problems are part of the creative process.” Problems can pile up in a leader’s mind and make it seem impossible to move past them. It’s important to see problems as a window for opportunity.
Look in so you can go out
A concept that Radha Agrawal talks about in her book Belong is to look within so you can go out. What does she mean by this, exactly? In order to live the successful life that you want, you must first do some introspective thinking on your goals. The people who identify their goals and create a roadmap end up where they desired. “Be aware of who you are and intentional about what you want so that you can go out and build your dream community,” Agrawal writes. This advice can be translated into whatever your definition of success is. But first, you must define that for yourself.
Everyone has a fear that grips some part of their life, but managing that could be the thing that sets their success in motion. “Overcoming fear is a major strategy to achieving success. All CEOs have it, even if they won’t admit it. Approaching that person, memo, phone call or email that you fear each day will make you stronger and make you realize that many fears are only in your mind,” Schreiber said.
We’ll let you in on a secret: one of the winning attributes of super successful people is having a single-minded focus. Every time we try to do two or more things at once, we’re simply dividing up our focus and dumbing down all the outcomes in the process, said Michelle Gamble, CEO of 3L Publishing and PR. “Today, give every task your full and undivided attention. Put your personal signature on that task and don’t move on to the next task until the first one is done with excellence and integrity. It’s a very simple strategy but it works,” Gamble said. “Multi-tasking is like an octopus on roller skates: Lots of moving parts but going nowhere.”
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