Do you have dreams of greatness? Do you want to be admired by others and stand at the top of your field?
Many people say they want these things, but only a few people actually make them happen. That is because if you want to be great, you can’t just put in a little effort here and a little work there.
On the contrary, achieving greatness is a full-time job, and you are on the clock during all your waking hours. Here are some habits to adopt that will propel you towards self-actualization all day long.
1. Get Up Early
Sleeping in late might feel good temporarily, but if you constantly sleep longer than you need to, you are only doing yourself a disservice. Think of all the hours you have slept away when you could have been improving your life. Set your alarm for 6 a.m. and put it across the room so that you have to get out of bed to shut it off. Then, take a page out of David Cameron’s book and catch up on the news. You’ll be able to contribute to the world more effectively if you know what is going on in it.
2. Keep Moving Forward
You will not make much progress in life if you put a cap on how much you think you can achieve. Successful people don’t stop when they have met one goal—they celebrate that victory and then use it as the foundation for their next one. According to resort magnate Steve Wynn’s bio, he opened a string of popular casinos in rapid succession. He could have simply enjoyed the success of his first project, the restoration of the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. But instead, he refused to settle and ended up heading an empire.
3. Stay Organized
You can waste a lot of time floundering if you do not have goals and plans for how to achieve them. One way to keep your goals in mind is by making to-do lists. Some people, like Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch, prefer to make short lists of a few important tasks to accomplish each day. Others prefer to construct highly detailed lists broken down by category and priority level. No matter what method works for you, the point is that you keep your goals in mind and take specific steps to reach them.
4. Choose the Right Fuel
If you want to be at the top of your game, you need to eat right. Consuming large amounts of alcohol, sugar, and fast food will make you feel sluggish in the short-term and could have negative health effects in the long-term. Instead of surviving on takeout and candy bars, put just a little extra effort into making healthy meals for yourself. If you truly do not have time for that, consider using the money you would have spent eating out to subscribe to a healthy food delivery service.
5. Connect With Others
Networking has its place, but networking relationships can sometimes be shallow. To really be successful, you need to focus on making authentic connections with the people in your life. Don’t waste time thinking about how you can use other people to further your own agenda. Instead, focus on learning about the lives, preferences, and perspectives of other people. The better you understand the people around you, the better you will understand the world around you.
6. Choose Enriching Pastimes
Are your pastimes helping you become more intelligent, thoughtful, and innovative? If not, you should reconsider how you spend your spare time. A little brain candy every once in a while is probably harmless, but if you are serious about self-improvement, then your hobbies should generally reflect that. For example, try trading your favorite tabloid for a book about how to be successful in your field. Or you could do as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey suggests and keep a journal. Overall, the idea is to use your free time to engage your mind rather than letting it atrophy.
7. Get to Bed
End your day as successfully as you began it by getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Getting an adequate amount of sleep consistently will keep you alert day after day, and it will keep you in good health, too. Rather than playing with your phone until the moment before you shut your eyes, relax with a screen-free activity. Whether you read, snuggle with your pet, or play solitaire, your body will be much more prepared to go into rest mode if it has had time to wind down.
Following these tips will not turn you into a millionaire overnight. What it will do is help you form the habits you need to chase greatness and excellence day in and day out. If you want to become successful, you cannot be afraid to do things a little differently than the average Joe. You might struggle to commit to your new lifestyle at first, but you will be hooked once you start to experience the results. So kick your bad habits to the curb and orient yourself towards greatness.