There are some shining qualities in every successful person.
In my lifetime, I have had the privilege of reading over 100 books written by people far more successful than I have been. Such as Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman (Daniel Kahneman) , billionaire investor Charlie Munger (Charlie Munge r) , father of the nation Ben Franklin (Ben Franklin) , NBA legend Kobe Bryant (Kobe Bryant) ), contemporary ascetic Ryan Holiday , and more.
Reading these books has exposed me to thousands of new insights and practical ideas that lead me to a better life.
I have had the pleasure of learning and applying every piece of advice these people give in their books, and now let me tell you about some of the things I have learned from successful people.
Whether it’s developing better habits to improve my happiness levels or helping me make more money, these ideas have greatly benefited my life.
So, to make it easier for you to benefit from these ideas, here are 12 of the best ideas I’ve “stolen” from people far more successful than myself, in hopes of inspiring you.
Reduce the number of decisions you make each day
Every day, you make thousands of decisions: The alarm goes off, should I get up or go to sleep? When should I go to work? Should I exercise today? If yes, when is the right time to exercise?
The list goes on.
Most of these decisions are trivial matters, only a few are important.
Unfortunately, researchers have discovered that, as humans, our ability to continually make deliberate decisions is limited.
This means that when you use your brain to decide what to have for breakfast earlier in the day, you have less brain power later in the day when you have to decide whether you should have that piece of cake. The result is that you will likely give in and decide to have your cake and eat it.
This is known as “decision fatigue,” a psychological state in which making decisions now reduces ability to make future decisions.
John Tierney, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Willpower, says :
“Decision fatigue helps explain why normally sane people get mad at co-workers and family members, spend big bucks on clothes and junk food, and can’t turn down an offer from another dealer to rust-proof their new car. No matter how rational and Noble, you have to pay the corresponding price one decision after another. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue, you don’t realize that you are physically tired, but you lack mental energy.”
Simply put, every decision you make consumes brainpower.
Therefore, in order to conserve your mental energy for the important decisions of the day, you must learn to reduce the number of decisions you make each day, either by automating them or by delegating them to others.
By doing this, you will find yourself significantly less stressed, more productive and happier in life.
tear up to do list
Here’s an important piece of advice: the person who does the most every day never succeeds. Instead, success is always achieved by those who do what matters most every day.
This is why to-do lists can often do more harm than good. Because a to-do list is essentially everything you think you need to do, not everything you should be doing.
Crossing off a bunch of small, unimportant tasks from your to-do list can make you feel better, because to-do lists tend to obscure the really important things.
So, what do you need in place of a to-do list?
A list of successes.
Gary Keller , founder of the world’s largest real estate company, said in his book ” The One Thing” :
“To-do lists tend to be long and not many things important to make you successful. A to-do list pulls you in all directions, while another can push you in a specific direction. The former is an unorganized catalog , and the other is organized directives. If a checklist isn’t built around success, it’s not going to take you in the right direction. If your to-do list has everything, it’s likely to take you Take anywhere other than where you really want to go.”
Not everything is equally important. Clean windows may seem important to you, but they don’t help you achieve success, they just distract you from it.
Next time you create a to-do list, don’t arrange it haphazardly. Instead, take a few extra minutes to prioritize everything on your to-do list, then focus on doing just the top three things on your list.
Turn “have to” into “do”
At some point in my life, I’ve been trying to form new habits. But one simple thought helped me overcome this: Don’t see habits as challenges. Instead, see them as opportunities.
In the book Atomic Habits , habit formation expert James Clear says :
“We often talk about all the things we have to do in the day. You have to get up early to go to work; you have to make another sales call for work; you have to cook for the family. Now, try to change the word: have to Change to must. You get up early to go to work. You get to make another sales call for your business. You get to start cooking for your family.”
This may seem like semantics, but it’s actually an important part of building new habits and improving your life.
Just change one word in your life from “must” to “begin” and you’ll start seeing habits like running and reading every day as a privilege rather than a burden.
Don’t tell yourself, “I have to run today.” Instead, tell yourself, “I’m going to build endurance today and run faster.”
Don’t tell yourself, “I have to read today.” Instead, tell yourself, “I can learn from the smartest, most successful people in the world today.”
Don’t tell yourself, “I have to write today.” Instead, tell yourself, “My thoughts today will impact thousands of people for the better.”
Learn to reframe your habits to highlight their strengths rather than weaknesses. A quick and easy way to reprogram your brain to make daunting and burdensome habits seem more appealing.
Remember and use each other’s name
Do you wish you were more likeable? I mean, who wouldn’t? Even those who say they don’t care if other people like them or not, they still care about what other people think and think about them.
Do you know why? Because being liked by others is very important to your career and relationships.
Fortunately, a simple trick can help, and it can have a huge positive impact on how others see you.
In the classic How To Win Friends and Influence People , Dale Carnegie interviews the late politician Jim Farley about how he became a The secret to being a more likable, persuasive person.
What is his secret?
Amazingly, Farley goes out of his way to remember the names of everyone he meets. In fact, Farley can remember the names of 50,000 people!
That’s impressive, but why is it important to remember and use someone else’s name?
There are two reasons:
First, when you remember someone’s name, it makes them feel respected. However, if you can’t remember someone’s name, especially if they’ve told you their name multiple times, it can make the person feel slighted.
Second, when you actively use someone’s name in a conversation, it makes that person feel more engaged and interested. According to Carnegie, this is because a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to him or her in any language.
Remembering and using someone’s name is a very subtle but very effective way to win someone over.
So the next time you meet someone and want to win them over quickly, make sure to remember their name and use it often in conversation.
observe each other’s feet
How do you know when you’re talking to someone if they’re absorbed in the conversation, uninterested, or just uncomfortable?
Normally, most people will understand the other person’s feelings by observing the other person’s facial expressions. Unfortunately, the problem with this is that people are really good at disguising their true feelings by changing their facial expressions.
But luckily, there’s a better strategy for this problem. According to the book What Every Body Is Saying , ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro suggests that in order to tell how someone is feeling, you should pay attention to their feet .
Navarro said that of all our body parts, the feet are the most honest part of the body .
For example, say you’re talking to someone, and their facial expression makes it seem like they’re talking to you, but their feet are turned away from you. That’s a bad sign, Navarro said, and it could mean they’re ready to walk out of the conversation right away, or that they’re uncomfortable in the conversation.
However, if their feet are pointing at you, Navarro said that’s a good sign. This could mean that they feel comfortable talking to you, or that they enjoy talking.
So the next time you’re standing and talking to someone, see where their feet are pointing. You can pick up some very revealing nonverbal messages from them just by looking at their feet.
ready in advance
In the culinary arts, professional chefs have a term called “mise en place,” which is the French word for “preparing ahead of time.”
Essentially, chefs don’t start cooking until everything is in place: utensils and condiments are organized, utensils are cleared, ingredients are cut, etc. Having everything ready helps chefs avoid unnecessary hassle in their kitchen. As a result, chefs can create better meals with less effort.
It’s a simple concept that helps cooks cook better, but it also extends beyond the kitchen.
In Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Change Last, habit researcher and professor Amy Wood recommends using the “preparation ahead” method to build better habits. Like a professional chef, Wood recommends minimizing the friction needed to make the habit you want.
If you want to eat better, prepare healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners ahead of time.
If you want to work out in the morning, prepare your workout clothes the night before.
If you want to read more, put books on your bed.
Building life-changing habits won’t be so difficult if you can reduce resistance.
don’t be stupid
When Tim Ferriss asked Derek Sivers what advice he would give his younger self, Sivers pulled out the 700-plus-page book Tools of Titans. book, there is a very good piece of advice in the book: “Don’t be a donkey.”
In the book, Sievers tells a short story about a donkey who was both hungry and thirsty. Fortunately, there was a mound of hay a few feet to the left of it and a bucket of water a few feet to the right.
But here’s the problem: because the distance between the hay and the water is equal, the donkey can’t decide whether to eat the hay or drink the water first. Paralyzed by indecision, the donkey eventually fell to the ground, dying of hunger and thirst.
“Donkeys don’t think about the future,” Sievers said. “If he did, he’d realize that he could go get water first and then eat hay. So my advice to my 30-year-old self is, don’t Be a jackass. You can do anything you want, as long as you have foresight and patience.”
So if you have 10 things you want to accomplish in the next 10 years, just know that you can definitely accomplish these 10 things, all you have to do is focus on one thing for a year, and then spend another year. Years to work on the next thing and so on.
However, if you try to do 10 things at the same time, then you will be like a donkey and will not be able to do anything. So, don’t be silly.
Stop using the number 7
When you don’t know whether to say no to something, simply rate it from 1 to 10. However, there is one condition: you cannot use the number 7.
This strategy comes from Tim Ferriss’ book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From The Best In The World .
Why does Tim Ferriss say that 7 cannot be used? Because 7 is the middle value in the number, it is too easy to give a thing a 7.
However, if you rate something a 6 (terrible) or an 8 (exciting), you can easily and quickly decide whether you should consider doing it.
The nice thing about deciding this way is that it forces you to make a decision.
It’s a method you can use for just about anything, whether it’s deciding whether you should buy a book, attend a meeting, or chat with someone over a coffee.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and make decisions.
learn to complain
Mark Cuban is a whiner, but that’s what makes him so successful.
Mark Cuban, for example, complained about not being able to take business classes in high school, so he decided to take classes at the University of Pittsburgh .
When Mark Cuban was hanging out with his friends, they both complained that they couldn’t hear any sports in their hometown in Dallas, so they decided to create AudioNet.
When Mark Cuban sat in the stands watching a Mavericks basketball game, he complained that the game didn’t show enough energy. Cuban thought he could do better, so he decided to buy the Mavericks.
Mark Cuban said in his book How To Win At The Sport of Business :
“I’m sure I’ve complained about many other things in the past and I’ll complain about many more things in the future. What I don’t understand is why so many people think complaining is a negative emotion. I don’t think so, I think complaining is change The first step. When you realize that something is very wrong, you have to take the initiative to do something…
A person who doesn’t whine is a sandbag for being bullied. They’re just going about their lives knowing they can’t change a bad thing so why say a word? They see no reason to complain because they know they are powerless to change the status quo. You can call me a whiner anytime. ”
take a vacation
If you’ve ever felt like you’re hitting a wall at work, or you’re feeling burned out, it might be time to take a break.
What is vacation? Vacations are mini vacations from work designed to detoxify you from your daily routine so you can recharge and return to work in better shape.
Bestselling author and creative author Austin Kleon says in Show Your Work :
“Designer Stefan Sagmeister is such a believer in the power of time off that every seven years he closes his studio and takes a year off to rejuvenate and better discover his creative vision. His idea was that we spend the first 25 or so years of our lives studying, the next 40 years working and the last 15 years retiring, so why not spend the 5 years after retirement working years? The sabbaticals proved invaluable to his work, he says: ‘Everything we designed in the seven years after the first sabbatical came from thinking done during that sabbatical’.”
Stefan Sagmeister is the only one among thousands of successful entrepreneurs, creatives, and VCs who takes a vacation to recharge.
Taking time off, whether for a week, a day, or even a few hours, is a great way to develop new ideas, reduce creative blocks, and avoid burnout at work.
Never ask for another person’s “opinion”
If you want to ask someone for their opinion on your idea, never ask for their “opinion”. Instead, always ask them for “advice”.
The different wording may seem trivial, but in “Pre -Suasion ,” psychology and marketing professor Robert Cialdini says seeking “advice” can have significant positive effects. Influence, get others to give you feedback, and get others to want to work with you.
Because when you ask someone for “advice,” it puts the other person in a state of solidarity, which helps increase the other person’s desire to support you in asking them for advice.
Asking for their opinion, on the other hand, puts the other person in an introspective state of mind, which makes them focus more on themselves than you.
So when you’re asking clients, colleagues, or even your boss for advice, it pays to ask them for “advice.”
Novelist Saul Bellow once said: “When we seek advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.”
I would add that, based on scientific evidence, if we get such advice, we usually get an accomplice.
Often this fear paralyzes us and keeps us from being as happy and successful as possible.
But instead of constantly worrying about what might go wrong if you get fired, or your business fails, why not rehearse what each potentially scary moment will look like before it happens?
It’s a psychological technique known as “fear rehearsal,” in which you periodically make yourself feel the worst-case scenario as a way to numb yourself to fear.
The great Stoic philosopher Seneca said in Letters From a Stoic :
“Set aside a few days in which you are content to eat the cheapest food and wear the cheapest clothes, and say to yourself: Is this what I’m worried about?”
Wear the same clothes every day for 3 to 4 days in a row, eat instant oatmeal, ramen or rice and soy products; drink only water, cheap instant coffee or tea; cut your spending on groceries and personal care in half; give up any Entertainment or leisure activities that cost money; walking or taking public transportation when you usually go out; turning off the TV; taking cold showers; sleeping in a sleeping bag; reading only from the local library.
That’s it, it’s hard to do that. By doing this, you will realize that happiness is independent of money .
Once you understand this, it will be easier to take risks and overcome your fears, knowing that you will be totally fine even after a huge financial setback.
People think you’re resilient, but in reality you just practiced when times got tough.