Ridiculously Successful People
We know they exist because we hear about them all the time—people so successful that their names are synonymous with innovation, power, and huge piles of cold, hard cash. What we don’t hear about all the time is how these ridiculously successful people do it on a daily basis. Without further ado, here’s a top ten list of things these lucky sons of guns do to stay successful every day.
Number Ten: Remember to Eat and Sleep
This would seem to go without saying, but we have a stereotype of the successful entrepreneur who goes on four hours of sleep or less and subsists on big gulps or good old-fashioned coffee. In real life, this is a recipe for two things—the runs and burnout. The successful person knows that they are doing a marathon, not a quick sprint, and they are careful to eat and sleep healthy amounts to keep in top competitive condition. After all, four extra hours of work time don’t count for much if your brain is so fried from lack of sleep that it doesn’t work right anymore. Check out this video on healthy entrepreneurial sleep habits.
So, to run the risk of sounding like someone’s mother, eat right (especially breakfast) and go to bed on time!
Number Nine: Go for Productivity Over Busyness
Remember in Office Space when Peter describes just sitting and staring at his desk for the first part of the day, because it looks like he’s working?
No, sadly, Peter’s example up there is not the one to follow. The ridiculously successful place a low value on only looking busy or even finding busywork and “keeping busy.” They focus on what is actually productive and prioritize that work first. In other words, ask yourself what you will gain the most from accomplishing and do that at the front end of your day. Once you get rolling and take down that difficult stuff, you’ll feel like the king of the mountain and the rest of the day will be a gentle, downhill slide. Productivity is great that way.
Number Eight: Keep on Making Improvements a Little Bit at a Time
Would you try to swallow an entire burrito without taking bites or chewing? Because that’s what you’re trying to do if you attempt to make your work—or indeed, yourself — impeccable all at once. Successful people identify one thing they can fix; then they fix that one thing. Then they identify another, and fix that, and another, and fix that one. Take a bite, chew, swallow, then take a bite, chew, swallow and so on. It’s not glamorous, and it doesn’t make you feel like a genius, but all those little bits add up. And if you never stop making those small improvements, you can be pretty darned successful too.
Number Seven: Time Travel
Not literally, though that would be awesome and would totally explain how they get so much done. Ridiculously successful people understand that their future selves will not necessarily follow through on today’s plans and goals, and they take steps in the present to lock their future selves in place on said plans and goals. Understand that you will want to slack off in the future, and try to put plans in place to stop yourself doing so.
Number Six: Exercise
Doctors have known for a while now that exercise releases good brain chemicals that elevate mood, help with concentration, and even improve your memory. The successful know that exercise helps you succeed. Plus, if you do it enough, you can build some serious muscles, so there is that too.
Number Five: They Are Optimistic
This doesn’t mean you have to be Pollyanna—see the video above for more on that. What it does mean is that pessimists are often beaten at the first roadblock because they think it’s the end of the line. The optimist sees a challenge to be overcome, not an overwhelming disaster that can only be the first of many. And there’s a word for people who continuously overcome challenges—successful.
Number Four: Turn Each Failure Into a Learning Opportunity
Ridiculously successful people know that every failure is a chance to learn what not to do. If you can come to see failure as they do, you’re well on your way to becoming a successful person yourself.
Number Three: Balance Themselves by Taking Time in the Morning for Themselves and Their Family
When a ridiculously successful person takes a little time in the morning for self and family, they start the day calm, collected, and centered, rather than hitting work frazzled and torn in five different directions. Guess which state of mind is more conducive to being a person of success and importance?
Number Two: Setting Well-Defined, Accomplishable Goals Daily
It’s wonderful to have daily goals. But people of ridiculous success aren’t vague about them. Think less along the lines of ‘save New York today’ and more along the lines of ‘save New York today by flying the nuclear missile out through the portal in space that is conveniently open above New York right now.’ One is vague and probably unattainable without further planning. One is worthy of a superhero. In all seriousness, though, ridiculously successful people know that detailed, and well-defined goals are much easier to carry out.
Number One: Saying No
Being willing and able to say no is another trait of truly successful people.
Some people feel like if they have the ability and can make the time, they should never say no. These people suffer burnout and depression, both of which get in the way of true success. Don’t fall into that trap.
As you can see, ridiculously successful people have habits that are very different from the ones we often picture for them. They’re just better at prioritizing, breaking things down into bite-sized chunks, and making the same amount of time we all have, work better for them. Truly, it’s stuff anyone can do. So take care of your health, get your future self in line, and get out there and be a superhero.