22 Things Highly Successful People Do That Most People Don’t

21 Things Highly Successful People Do That Most People Don't

The top position in any ramification of life is always very free, but to get there requires a price. Being a highly successful person is not magical. Highly successful people understand that the ground level is crowded with ordinary people and that makes them to always strive to the top so as to distinguish themselves and stand out.

Rather, being extremely successful requires an extreme amount of work. Especially when there is nobody looking. The best people have developed habits that help them reach their goals. These routines are not necessarily challenging to form, but they take consistent effort over extended periods of time. Creating these tendencies in your own life will propel your success.

Here are 22 things that highly successful people do most people don’t;

1. They consider the little things in their relationships.

The best people are admired by those around them. This could be due to their high-quality work, their personal interactions, or, likely, both. They remember names, they follow-up when they say they are going to, and they take little steps to create stronger relationships with those around them. Something as small as sending a text after a surgery or a congratulations after a new job offer can make a big difference.

2. Eliminate small decisions.

“Throughout the course of the day, you make thousands of decisions. Some are trivial, like what song to listen to while you’re getting dressed, and some are major, like how to handle a big crisis at work. Eventually your brain reaches decision fatigue, which lowers the quality of all the decisions you make. I try to eliminate as many small decisions as possible by sticking to routine. During the work week, I eat the same food for breakfast and lunch, and stick to a pretty consistent wardrobe of basics to make the time I spend thinking about clothes and food as limited as possible.”

–Caroline Klatt, cofounder and COO of Headliner Labs, a chat marketing platform used by brands including Saks Fifth Avenue, Cole Haan, Sally Beauty, and Kenneth Cole

Related: 7 rules of life you must maintain for a successful living

3. Take advantage of introductions.

When someone introduces you to another person, there tends to be a very good reason for it. The top people take advantage of these introductions because they know that they might lead to great opportunities. It is easy to blow off an intro or not follow-up. Doing so is a missed chance to create a meaningful relationship with a like-minded person.

4. Track their habits.

“While I sip my coffee and eat my morning oats, I fill out my previous day’s habit tracker in my bullet journal. I have two journals that I love to update regularly: my training journal, where I stay organized with my training, and my bullet journal, where I keep track of my personal life, goals and aspirations. My favorite part is my habit tracker, where I keep a record of all the habits I am trying to form, such as regularly taking an iron supplement, stretching, meditating, and doing rehab exercises. When I fill in a bubble for each task I completed the day before, I am left with a huge sense of accomplishment and can go about the new day with a positive mindset.”

–Colleen Quigley, 2016 Olympian, Team USA track and field member and model

5. Practice gratitude before bed.

“Every night before I go to sleep I write down ten things I am grateful for. This practice provides perspective each night and shows me how blessed I truly am. My gratitude journal is an especially helpful reminder when things don’t go well at work or I’m having internal issues with my team. Knowing that things could be much worse helps me realize the issues I’m dealing with can be solved and aren’t worth the energy I’m spending worrying about them. This habit also puts me in a peaceful mood before bed that continues a positive tone when I wake up the next morning.”

–Sue Hawkes, founder and CEO of YESS!, a $1.3 million consulting firm that helps people succeed

6. Practice silence.

“I first notice the reassuring sounds of life around me: birds calling, traffic rumbling, people chattering. But if I then shift my focus inward — whether on a walk or in yoga, in meditation or before sleep — I tap into a realm of ideas, inventions, and solutions my rational mind could never have known. It’s easy to become frenetic over the tasks at hand and try to power through, but if I simply take the time to hear the how, everything else falls gracefully into place.”

–Suzanne Skees, founder of the Skees Family Foundation, which has invested $1.7 million in education and job creation to end global poverty

7. Answer every inquiry.

“Even if you don’t necessarily see the opportunity for mutual support with someone at first, building that connection and adding them to your network could prove fruitful in the future. You may simply thank them for the outreach, provide them with a helpful article or share a unique personal story but responding in a timely manner with appreciation for their time will plant that initial connection seed. Having a diverse and engaged network that knows you for giving first and asking later can pay off in dividends when it comes to company, career and entrepreneurial success.”

–Judy Robinett, author of Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Invest in Your Startup

8. Make purpose-driven action lists.

“I start any major initiative with a clear vision and higher purpose, then align my actions accordingly to make it into a reality. Every night I maintain an actionable list (no more than five to 10 doable tasks) that provides clarity and brings me closer to that vision and my ultimate goals. Then I prioritize the tasks that are in service to my highest level of commitment. By establishing a true north for myself, it’s easier to stay on course when distractions come up.”

–Gregg L. Witt, chief strategy officer at Engage Youth Co., a hybrid insights and marketing agency, and coauthor of The Gen Z Frequency: How Brands Tune In and Build Credibility

“Meditation has been shown to have mental benefits, such as improved focus, happiness, memory, self-control, performance and even reduces stress. So, first thing in the morning I reflect on what I’m grateful for. Then I spend about 20 minutes on Christian meditation that includes reading a devotion and passage of scripture and prayer.”

–Jesmane Boggenpoel, author, former head of business engagement at the World Economic Forum in Africa and co-shareholder and director of African Women Chartered Accountants Investment Holdings, a professional women investment company with over 2,000 women beneficiaries 

10. Consistently read.

The brightest people are always learning. There is endless knowledge, and, in order to continue to improve and learn more, reading is a necessity. Most people make excuses as to why they do not read very much. The best people do not allow themselves to make excuses, and instead prioritize personal learning. I’ve personally made it my goal to read a book a week.

11. Stay healthy.

In order to stay effective and energetic, health has to be a top priority. Otherwise, you will go through life with less kick each day. The best people also make no excuses for their health. They make conscious decisions to eat well and exercise. They care about their bodies and take care of themselves in order to propel their success. This focus on health also gets them feeling better about how they look day-in and day-out.

12. Get up and go to bed early.

“I have seven things I do religiously every day: get up early — I work out early every day (including weekends) to jump start my batteries; visualize — during my workout I see my day and envision success; eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner; in addition to my medical practice, I produce at least one new thing new (write a blog, read a medical article, or record a podcast); practice mindfulness and meditation during a lunch walk to stay focused; spend time with my family; go to bed early to be fresh for the next day.”

13. Embrace ambiguity.

Ambiguity is difficult. When the path is not spelled out, it means that you have to make more challenging decisions. The top 1 percent of people love ambiguity. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and stand out from those around them. They do not mind making hard decisions because they know that doing so will lead to higher impact, and it is more rewarding.

14. Constantly adapt.

If you cannot look back six months and see a drastically different person, then you are not growing fast enough. This is especially true early in life.

The most successful self employed people are constantly learning and adapting. They let their barriers down and are always willing to change things about themselves in order to be better, happier and more productive.

This can be extremely challenging for many because it means letting your guard down and being vulnerable. We see ourselves in a certain light, and we make our decisions accordingly. Changing means accepting that our past choices might not have been the best. When those past actions are tied up with our ego, it can be especially difficult to move past them. The best people are able to do so in stride.

15. Set goals

Goal setting is underrated. Most people do not take the time because they do not think it is a worthwhile endeavor. The value is that it helps align actions, Setting goals also gets you thinking about what you are really trying to accomplish and why.

Those that are able to set goals tend to be much more productive and focused in their efforts. This allows for a higher level of output, greater success, and more impact.

Related: Secrets of Successful People That You Probably Didn’t Know

16. Spend quality time with family.

“I have three teen and pre-teen daughters. Every night — sometimes over dinner, sometimes just before they go to bed — I’ll ask at least one of them: what was the best, the worst and the funniest thing that happened to you today? The answers are sometimes surprising and spark some great follow-on conversation. Other times, they’re pretty mundane. Every time though, these moments of simple reflection allow us a brief opportunity to pause and to connect… My kids frequently turn these simple questions… back onto me, and I find answering them and articulating those answers in approachable terms my kids can relate to a great way to keep a clear-headed perspective on my day, my responsibilities and my relationships in the office.”

–Jason Herthel, president and COO for Montage International, which includes Montage Hotels and Resorts, Pendry Hotels, Montage Residences, and Pendry Residences and golf courses and private clubs with more than $400 million in revenue in 2018

17. Surround themselves with other great people.

We are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with the most. Therefore, it is critical to be around great people. There is a reason that many successful people tend to be friends before rising to fame. They have made an effort, from the onset, to be around others who can motivate them and propel their success.

It can be challenging to abandon or step back from destructive friends that we have been close with for long periods of time. The most accomplished people have been able to do so, though, because they know that there are many amazing people out there for them to spend time with.

18. Spend quality time with family.

“I have three teen and pre-teen daughters. Every night — sometimes over dinner, sometimes just before they go to bed — I’ll ask at least one of them: what was the best, the worst and the funniest thing that happened to you today? The answers are sometimes surprising and spark some great follow-on conversation. Other times, they’re pretty mundane. Every time though, these moments of simple reflection allow us a brief opportunity to pause and to connect… My kids frequently turn these simple questions… back onto me, and I find answering them and articulating those answers in approachable terms my kids can relate to a great way to keep a clear-headed perspective on my day, my responsibilities and my relationships in the office.”

–Jason Herthel, president and COO for Montage International, which includes Montage Hotels and Resorts, Pendry Hotels, Montage Residences, and Pendry Residences and golf courses and private clubs with more than $400 million in revenue in 2018

19. Surround themselves with other great people.

We are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with the most. Therefore, it is critical to be around great people. There is a reason that many successful people tend to be friends before rising to fame. They have made an effort, from the onset, to be around others who can motivate them and propel their success.

It can be challenging to abandon or step back from destructive friends that we have been close with for long periods of time. The most accomplished people have been able to do so, though, because they know that there are many amazing people out there for them to spend time with.

20. Persistence

Persistence is also very underrated. It is easy to workout one time or to send a few emails. It is also easy to take on an 80-hour week once. Pushing yourself consistently, though, is an extreme challenge. It is where 99 percent of people drop off.

It is when nobody is looking that effort matters the most. The best people work hard and smart consistently. They have increasing returns to scale and their efforts compound over time. Successful athletes do not suddenly emerge. They have been working for years and years on their craft to reach their current point.

It is easy to believe successful people reached that level through luck or raw talent. That is almost never the case, though. Persistence over time is an absolute must.

21. Pursue their passions.

The top people do not spend their lives living other people’s dreams. They pursue their own passions. That gives them the energy to attack each day with all that they have. It also allows them to think more independently. After getting over the fact that you cannot please everyone and that you have to think for yourself, life becomes a lot better.

Spending time doing what you love enables the highest quality of work and it makes staying consistent significantly easier.

Related: 10 Ways to Become Rich in Life

22. Accountability

Many people blame others for their shortcomings. Doing so might have immediate benefits, but it is detrimental in the long run. Neglecting accountability prevents personal growth and, over time, it develops a bad reputation for yourself.

The best people take full responsibility for their actions. This garners more respect and allows them to grow at much faster rates.

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