Most successful people, we know, pursued their dreams, not just academics. This was, indeed, their ticket to success and eternal glory. Picture this. Most of our great, successful men and women never went through the 12-year educational ‘expedition’ our kids currently go through, along with their much-glorified percentage points. But, the best part — they turned out all right.
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, a genius like no other, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Dhirubhai Ambani, all have something in common. Someone taught them, at some point in time, but they were not products of a school system. Not one of them ever ‘graduated’ from a secondary school, or college.
Throughout history, several children who didn’t go to high school, rose to be admirals and inventors, like Thomas Alva Edison; captains of industry like Dale Carnegie and John Rockefeller; writers like Mark Twain; politicians like Kamaraj; and, scholars like Margaret Mead. Or, also think of college drop-outs like Bill Gates, and the list is only indicative — not representative at all.
In fact, until recently, people who reached their teens weren’t looked upon as children at all. Things have changed now, and for good reasons.
Take a look at some of the most successful people in the world. The wealth they possess may roller blind you, or the bad name the public gives them could wobble your opinion no less. If you look at them differently, without being biased about their inherited riches and success, as the case maybe, you’d know there are more than a handful of factors that have contributed to their success and popularity.
Behind every successful man, there’s a woman and vice versa, a wife, husband, or an inspiration, all right. But, there are certain common habits that add to their wealth, or propel them into the limelight. The best part, again, is — one does not need to be a billionaire to pursue the same path. One ought to build successful habits of their own to be successful — because, there are no easy paths to success.
Success doesn’t come to people that show poor habits, such as idleness, a depressing temperament, or attitude, or possess a disinclination to learn. It is also actually poor behaviours and practices that hold people back from achieving the success they want out of life — no matter how much they want it all to happen, or dream to achieve their heart-felt objective. One more thing: just a desire to achieve success is simply not enough. You have to match your desire with passion, effort, determination, patience, and motivation.
When you want to achieve something, it is important to move forward towards your goals instead of going backwards. Typically, the difference between an unsuccessful person and one who lives a minimal lifestyle is seen in the habits they form over their lifetime. You know them, don’t you — especially from a host of examples you have read about, or seen in your own life and career?
Here are eight common habits that most successful people tend to share:
1. Passion. Successful people often possess passion. They find a reason for living in each endeavour they pursue. Anyone who embraces this habit and increases the level of enthusiasm they possess in terms of their daily tasks, as well as long-term goals they have set, can do well in life. It is also sometimes just a question of becoming more excited and focused about the things that need to be pursued and achieved.
2. Focus. The best way to do things is to ‘keep your eyes on the prize.’ In other words, stay focused on your goals. Result: you will become more of a success. It enables you to also approach the things you don’t really feel like achieving, but are necessary to reach your overall goals. Once you get into the habit of achieving a range of goals — even if they are the ones you don’t really care about — you will get one step closer towards achieving success. This also means that the process becomes much easier and achievable. Have we not seen many talented people who simply don’t sweat the small stuff, but are completely focused on how the ‘big picture’ will look in the end? One great way to stay on task is to think about how much happiness and satisfaction will come from achieving your goals, and how sweet the final outcome will taste. Think also of fulfilment. Of contentment in achievement, and also achievement, for the overall good of all. Or, to give something back to society — because, fulfilment is just another word for success.
3. Manage time. If you fritter away time, you fall behind in achieving things you need to accomplish. Make every moment count and focus on completing things to help achieve your overall mission. Don’t accept interruptions, or distractions, that only discourage you from your goals. Successful people often disregard the possible setbacks that peers, co-workers, family, and friends often believe in, or warn about. Whatever threatens your mind needs to move sideways for you to achieve success.
4. Build lists. Successful people know what to do the next day, even before they retire at night. This is because individuals with a proven record of success make a list of the tasks they must complete by the next day. When you go to bed tonight, create a list of 5-6 tasks. Arrange them in order of importance. When the next day arrives, you can set your sights on completing the first thing on your list. Bear in mind, true enjoyment comes when you are able to complete the given task/s. This also has a big plus: you will not procrastinate. On the contrary, you will be able to break the habit of postponing important tasks for another day, which most of us tend to do, even when we know that it isn’t a good idea.
5. Don’t wait. Successful people do not wait for the ‘perfect’ time to start achieving their goals, or catch the astrology column in print, TV, or on the Web. They go straight for them and don’t ‘hang around’ for a particular moment to surface. No problem, if they fail in their first attempt. They simply learn from their mistakes and try again. Well, for some, the hardest part of becoming successful is reaching a starting point. Get a start, and go ahead.
6. Keep going. For those that quit, at the drop of a hat, or challenge, they do not achieve the success they wish for themselves. The reason is simple: they let hardship, barrier, or obstacle, slow them down, or stand in their way. Remember, when you achieve something just once, it makes the next time much easier. For example, a weight management plan begins with the first visit to your physician, dietician, and physical trainer. Whatever the objective, you need to stay steadfast in your effort.
7. Embrace opportunity. We should all remember that certain opportunities come only once in a lifetime. A successful person grasps each chance they receive and runs closer towards their goals. Make it a habit to say, ‘yes,’ to the opportunities you bump into, even if you are filled with trepidation. In the long run, you will go much further in confirming your goals. The challenge will get the best out of you, and you will emerge successful. The inference is, of course, simple. Successful people are individuals of action, who follow their dreams. They do not allow anything to get in their way. So, cultivate this habit, day-in and day-out, and you will sure make winning a constant companion and winsome habit too.
8. Listen to your inner voice. Many times your ‘inner voice,’ the ‘pitch’ only you can hear, may have told you to do something. The common ‘pretext’ is you have oft-chosen to ignore its promptings, only to find out it was a big gaffe. Next time, you get a ‘prompt,’ or gut feeling, pay attention to the guidance provided to you by your inner voice. Remember, when you listen to the prompting of spirit, it is as if you are taking your life into your own hands. Your spirit will push you and urge you. It will also ‘pester’ you with things you should be doing, and doing successfully. This is what successful people like Franklin, Edison, Gates et al espoused, or did, and are doing successfully.
You’d do it too.