Season 1, Episode 7: The 8 Habits of Highly Successful People

June 27, 2016
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I had the privilege recently to be with 1500 extremely successful business people for four days. It was fascinating to observe them, and I noticed several things almost all of them seemed to have in common.

Episode 7Upon further reflection, I realized all the other successful people I knew seemed to have these traits as well. As with any rule, there are exceptions, but for the most part people who achieve a lot in life seem to do several things:

  1. They are very prompt and show up early to things. – Not a single person that I saw was ever late to anything. In fact, they always arrived early.
  2. They take care of their bodies. – Again, there are exceptions, but I have met few people who were good stewards in every area of their life except physically. Usually it carries over. Likewise, I know few people who keep themselves in great shape and are disciplined physically, but undisciplined in every other area of their life.
  3. They read historical nonfiction, especially biographies. – I had the privilege of listening to some of the greatest business and leadership minds in the world today; people like former President George W. Bush, Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Henry Cloud, Seth Godin, etc. They all constantly reference history, especially biographies they have read or are reading. If you’re looking for some great historical works to add to your shelf, I highly recommend:
    1. “Alexander Hamilton” by Rob Chernow
    2. “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson
    3. “Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the opening of the American West” by Stephen Ambrose
  4. They are very intentional about everything. – This is the common theme I saw. Whether it was health, money, business, reading, learning, etc… they are intentional about everything. There is no laziness, no haphazard stumbling through life; they do everything on purpose. There is clear intention, motivation, and values behind everything they do.
  5. They are positive. – Successful people aren’t the ones who constantly make excuses, complain about everything, and drown themselves in pessimism. They have a joyful energy and outlook about them. They see the best in things. Are they realists? Absolutely. Do they ignore the challenges and difficulties? Of course not. But they are victors, not victims. Among their ranks, you will not find the victim mentality that cripples so many.
  6. They start each day with quiet time. – I was blown away at how many of them intentionally set aside time early each morning to pray, read the Bible, meditate, read, and think. They do it consistently, intentionally (see #4), and it is a high priority for them.
  7. They are early risers. – I’m not sure what the connection is between getting up early and being successful, but it definitely exists. It probably goes back to discipline. (I use an app called Nightstand to wake me up early each morning.)
  8. They love to learn. – They are never satisfied and content. They hunger and thirst for wisdom. They love to read, listen, learn, and grow. They are passionate about it.

Do you have these eight traits in your life? Which ones do you need to work on the most?