Do you remember the first time self development became important to you?
I do. I was 7 years old and I was in love with basketball. My mother had bought me a book called Rare Air, the autobiography of Michael Jordan.
Through this book, Michael Jordan brought me into his world. He shared stories of what inspired him, the emotions he felt, how he handled the failures and rejections and how he discovered his passion.
I was absolutely blown away and fired up after reading his book. It felt like my childhood hero was right there with me, teaching me about the importance of working on yourself and becoming the best you can possibly be.
I read this book every morning before school to be highly motivated for the day ahead.
Once that book was finished, I continued to read other books like 20 Ways to Make Pocket Money and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. As I made this motivation session part of my morning ritual, I noticed my belief, confidence and passion skyrocket.
I wanted to be just like these high achievers so I started waking up early, setting my goals and learning as much as I could about new skills and life each day. Little did I know that I was hard-wiring a series of positive unconscious actions that eventually led me to a life of multiple successes: Hosting radio shows, signing record deals, promotions to higher paying salaries, training with world-class experts, meetings with my idols, creating one of the top self-development websites in the world, being offered millions of dollars for my business and being featuring on the cover of magazines.
I became infatuated with the idea of growing and evolving as an individual so much so that over the past four years I've committed to interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs, authors, celebrities, coaches and multimillionaires to find out what separates the super achievers from your every day "Average Joe."
What I've come to discover is that a good 90 percent of the interviewe's credit their success to the persisting energy bolts of action that we call "habits."
So being the curious cat that I am, I decided to go a little deeper and squeeze the juice out of this new discovery.
I started asking each high achiever what their daily habits are that keep them on top. I then averaged their answers out to break it down into these 7 million-dollar habits:
Habit 1: Write Your "To-Do List," The Night Before
The high achievers would write their to-do's every evening before dinner or bed so they were prepared for the following day.
Prioritizing your "To-Do" list is the key to productivity success.
Action step: The super-successful make it a habit of numbering their to-do lists and you can do this, too, by simply ordering the "Most Important" first, placing a BIG Number 1 or a Star next to the activity, marking the importance of getting the task done first thing in the morning.
They then follow with the rest of the numbers, based on importance as they work their way down the list.
Habit 2: The Mind, Body & Soul
Ninety percent of the super-successful practice some form of physical concentration time or health focused activity at some point in their day.
Meditation seems to be a popular habit on the rise between the highly successful.
I was speaking to Deepak Chopra a few days ago and he was explaining to me why meditation is so important. He said that meditation increases the amount of rest you would normally achieve through sleep and is almost twice as effective as taking a nap.
Action step: Here are some of the most common practices listed below:
05 - 10 Minutes* - Breathing Exercises
15 - 20 Minutes* - Meditation
20 - 30 Minutes* - Eating Healthy
20 - 60 Minutes* - Exercise (The Gym, Skipping, Running, Swimming, Cycling, Yoga)
*Time on average
Related: 5 Lessons on Being Wrong
Habit 3: Goal-Setting and Visualization
Ninety-five percent of the successful achievers I have interviewed practice writing down their goals, plans, or vision for success on a regular basis.
They usually practice this first thing in the morning to set their intentions and to prime their mental state to prepare them for a day of challenges on the road to success.
Multi-millionaire entrepreneur Grant Cardone even mentioned to me that he writes his 10X goals out multiple times during the day to stay focused on the massive outcomes he desires.
Action step: Deepak Chopra told me to keep in mind when you are setting your goals to:
- Stretch for more than you can reach.
- Make everything measurable.
- Get agreements from your team and supporters.
- Record your progress.
- And set time limits.
Habit 4: Gratitude and Positive Self Talk
Being grateful and focusing on the positive seems to be a common priority in the lives of the highly successful.
Something truly amazing that the best-selling author and neuroscientist Joe Dispenza shared with me is:
"If you're saying affirmations like, 'I am abundant, I am wonderful, I am unstoppable,' but your emotional state is in fear, then your body is in opposition.
Thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body. Those thoughts will bounce off because they aren't equal to the emotions of fear.
If a person feels gratitude, and has practiced it over and over authentically and they say affirmations like, 'I am wonderful, I am incredible, I am unstoppable' and so on… and it aligns with their autonomic nervous system then this is where the real power comes into play."
Gratitudes are powerful, and a lot of people nowadays are catching on to this.
Actions step: Practice three gratitudes a day between you and a friend or partner, or just by yourself. Whatever helps you to stick to this positive habit.
But....here's the key with sharing your gratitudes: You must justify why you are grateful, this strengthens the affect. So when you say your gratitude, do it this way: "I am grateful for having my partner in my life because, he/she always supports me and encourages me to follow my dreams no matter what." This reminds you why and has a deeper affect in you than just a surface level statement.
Habit 5: Self Development
The super-successful focus heavily on learning new skills, reading practical books and listening or watching podcasts, interviews and informational courses.
During a conversation with the best selling author and leadership coach Simon Sinek, he said:
"My work is never complete, we wake up with a hunger to learn, and no one is ever truly an expert. Anyone who says, 'I'm an expert at anything' has closed their mind to the idea that they might not know everything.
There's always more to learn. I've never considered myself an expert. I'm always a student of leadership. All the work is imperfect and all the learning is continuous."
Action Step: If you can read 20 full pages a day, or even listen to an hour-long audio/podcast, that roughly equals more than 36+ books a year of new knowledge. Wow! (I learned that one from entrepreneur and habits coach James Clear.)
Habit 6: Networking
The high achievers know and live by the saying, "Your network determines your net worth."
So they make it a habit to work on building new bridges, collaborating, helping others, attending social events, getting back to people and being a man (or woman) of their word.
Action Step: Make it a habit to meet at least one new person a day or making one follow up/catch up a day.
Habit 7: Meetings and Accountability Sessions
Last, but not least, the seventh habit that was highly practiced by the uber successful was holding accountability calls each week and/or a coffee catch up with a mentor or business partner to hold each other accountable.
Action Step: Find someone who is on a similar level to you in life and make a commitment between you and your accountability partner to hold a catch-up call or meeting once a week to share your achievements, struggles, new goals and what you have learned from the previous week.
This is a great way to stay motivated, knowing that you will have to come clean to your accountability buddy if you haven't been sticking to your goals and habits.
As you can see there isn't just one key habit that plays it's part in the life of a successful high achiever. Many daily actions are in play.
If you are new to these habits then I would recommend starting with two to three habits and making them easy, short sessions so you don't shock yourself out of the commitment. Just know: Naturally this will feel uncomfortable to you until you can solidify it as a hard wired habit in your unconscious.
The key is to commit to at least two to three months of continuous implementation as your body adjusts to the new life you are creating and the habits you are conditioning.
Enjoy the process and make sure you throw in some fun habits, that focus on your mind body and soul also as balance is key to staying sane during this process.