If you had the exact blueprint of the habits and rituals that would make you a billionaire, what would you do with it?
Would you be willing to change your habits and daily routine if I offered you a million dollars? What about ten million?
We are defined by the actions we take. Our habits. Reliable people keep their commitments every day. If someone wanted to be helpful, they would help people over and over again. Smart people can usually be found reading. If you saw someone helping a sick puppy in the wild, you might take them for being caring. However, if you catch someone lying, they would be branded as a liar. If they are caught stealing, they are a thief.
To change where you are in life, you must first change the things you do. The secret to success is to find someone who has attained your goal, and do what they do.
The most successful people live their life with intention. They create their day instead of letting outside influences dictate their life for them. So many of us sit back and let emails and appointments flood our day because we “have” to.
When you know where you are headed, you can set your day and drop the things that don’t get you to where you want to go.
In my Take Back Your Day download, I talk about the app that saved my sanity. Maintaining a To Do list finally helped me find a full night of restful sleep. Our brains are only meant to hold 7 ideas at any one time. Our brain is shouting at us throughout the day, but our lives are so full of stimulus that we can’t hear it. When we lay our head to rest, and the world is finally quiet. In that peace, our inner mind continues shouting at us to remind us all the things we need to do.
When you start capturing these on a to do list throughout the day, your brain stops trying to keep up. It trusts the system and quests down, able to focus on larger issues.
“Integrity” is n’t hard. It is just keeping commitments every day. I realized I sucked at it, so I started building systems that guarantee me success.
I was never a fan of waking up early. I considered myself an night owl and midnight was a much easier bed time for me.
That did not work for long. I kept working later and later and waking up later and later. What seemed like gaining hours in my day, was actually making me less and less productive.
Waking up early for me is not so much about the actual time. While having those hours of quiet are magical, it is the commitment. Just like any other intention-based item, defining your start leads to effectiveness.
How would your day look if the first thing you did was already a win?
When I was commuting three hours every day, I noticed my road rage was getting out of control. Actually, my wife noticed it every day when I walked in the door.
Commuting was killing me.
That is when I switched my habit from music to podcasts. Listening to stories made me focus on the conversation and the things I was learning. The things the other drivers were doing was minor in comparison.
Also, I noticed my work was improving with the new insights and I was becoming more valuable to the company!
How amazing is it that you get bonus points for making friends?! I am a shy person by default. Most days I would prefer to be sitting in the sun with a good book.
Finally, I stopped looking at networking as sales and realized it was making friends and helping people! I loved helping people and being in a new area, I was excited to meet people.
Networking doesn’t have to be joining a BNI Group, it just means as you do the things you love, talk to people. Ask people their name, what they are passionate about, then remember it. If you are like me, store it in your contacts list so you can refer to it easier.
As you meet others who solve a problem you heard earlier, make an introduction. You just helped two people, and they will appreciate it.
You don’t always get paid for this, but you will be remembered for it and that is infinitely more valuable.
Before I saw the infographic above, I noticed a few things in common when I started hanging around multi-millionaires. The most prominent is sharing books. The successful people around me passed book recommendations more than stock tips. Still I was amazed at the yet-to-be-successful people replying “Yeah, I don’t like to read.”
I was so hungry for success that I was devouring every piece of information I could lay my hands on. Even today, I attribute my success to only a couple principal habits. Reading is chief among them.
I even made a course to teach people how to read a book in an hour, and get more actionable insight that they can immediately apply. Check out Tactical Reading to learn how to read a book in an hour like me and my network!
I think we can all agree that success doesn’t matter if you can’t enjoy it. Yeah, you can get rich and get the 20 year old wife who will count the minutes until she can inherit it. Why not build your wealth in the bank and in experiences that you can look back on and cherish?
Do something every day that gets you moving. Even if it is just going for a walk. Get up, get out of the house. Loosen your body. I made a habit of walking my daughter and our little dog at night while my wife is at work. The girls love it, I get to listen to podcasts, or make noises back and forth with my girl. The feeling of being active is addicting. Those people in the gym who are ripped can tell you, once you really get started, you just feel great!
I want more of that, and have started taking yoga again, making use of the dusty punching bag in the garage, and swinging my kettlebells. I can feel my arms again! I can feel my core tightening! I feel great, but I am also getting more energy and becoming even more motivated.
One of the hardest things to give up was soda. I was drinking gallons of the stuff a day! I love that tingly feeling in my mouth. I love a nice clear cool water, but I just can’t drink water every day.
Luckily, I discovered Chia Frescas! Squeeze one lime into a glass of ice and sparkling water. If you are adventurous, add chia seeds and wait 4 minutes for them to soften. Even more refreshing habit!
Sugar is a drug we allow in everything, from soup, to bread, even to meat! Our body is built to regulate it, but we are bombarding our systems every day. Start eating things you can pronounce. If it goes bad in a week, it was probably actual food. Eat actual food and leave the preservatives and junk for those who don’t care about themselves.
I used to think “I just don’t have the time”, but I found out that I don’t have the time in my life to not be healthy.
Our kids look to us as examples. We are the model for their growth. We cannot ask them to do something that we are not doing ourselves. There was a commercial that was on when I was growing up where a kid said “I learned it from watching you!” It is totally true. We have to blaze the path.
As you start your ritual, your spouse, your friends, and especially your kids will notice. They will get interested, and when they do you can help them start their own habits so they can turn into the people they want to be. I am so excited to see my little girl grow faster than I ever imagined for myself. If I can save her the three decades it took for me to get my life in order, I can;t fathom how far she will go!
That’s what we’re here for as parents right? To make sure our kids get more opportunity than we had.
Even though I am a huge fan of Ayn Rynd, I think I have a chance to make the world a better place. I owe it to the future generations to leave this world a better place than I found it.
Schools are now requiring students to volunteer! My wife works at a gymnastics program where many of the workers are kids earning their volunteer hours. If you own a business, could you help those kids earn those hours, and help shape their career skills?
Kids have their own interests. Maybe it is helping at soup kitchens. I know the first thing I am going to do with our little girl is help with beach clean ups. Spend a couple hours making the beach a beautiful, safe place then spend the afternoon enjoying it!
Myself, I volunteer with TEDx Temecula. I live in a extremely conservative town and want to start promoting innovation and forward thinking. Last year we grew from an audience of 80 to over 360! You can’t believe how amazing it feels to bring that many people together to make that kind of difference in their way of thinking!
Nothing is as important to growth as reading. Not audio books, not ebooks, but reading actual paper books.
Humans started having to know everything. How to start a fire, how to make clothes, how to catch food. First we specialized and through trade were able to get what we needed. The guilds allowed us to start learning from experts, learning more about a craft over a life time, then training the next generation.
Standing on the shoulders of giants.
With the printing press people were able to share their knowledge over vast distances and through even time! Now with the Amazon anyone can print a book and pass their knowledge to the next generation. Teaching our children to appreciate education is a critical step in parenting.
Probably the biggest habit of the 99% is sitting down in front of the TV to watch an endless stream of fiction to escape their lives. I know, because I was there too. It all changed one Thursday night. I was watching Friends, and watching Ross and Rachel talk about their “break”. My roommate invited me to go grab a beer with some friends. I was exhausted from a long day at work and avoiding writing a paper for night school and just wanted to veg out and enjoy these people on TV who were my escape from it all.
…then I realized that I was watching “Friends”, wishing I had a life when it was literally walking out the door! I turned off the TV and joined Jeff for a great night with amazing people. We cut the cable and I haven’t looked back. Well, at least until Netflix became so easy! Now I am filtering that out again. Building a reading room and getting out my art supplies again.
My kids are going to grow up building skills, learning, and being creative. To do that, I have to lead them by example.
There is no more obvious path to success than setting your sights and going after it with all that you are. You don’t have to take it from me, here is Eric Thomas in one of my favorite videos.
The biggest cause of failure is thinking you have a goal, but having zero clarity. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a coaching program, or workshop, or training and when asked “how many of you have your goals written down” only 10% of the hands go up.
Saying “I want to be rich” is not a goal. “I want to be successful” is not a goal.
First, there is no plan. No rituals or habits for success. If you found a Genie and he granted you a wish, you’ve got it made! If you have to connect the dots between where you are now and where you want to be, you are sunk. A goal is something written down not only on paper, but is written in every action you do every day.
Most people who wrote down their goals can’t recite them. No wonder only 1% are really wealthy!
Some coaches preach that for success you need to have goals in 8 areas of your life. They have complex matrices that look impressive and allow you to measure your life in a spiderweb. The problem is it is hard to run 8 directions at once.
I know for myself that I can only chase a single goal at a time. Just last week I tried to make the focus on being active more, but I am launching a business. I achieved none of my exercise goals and because I didn’t target the right goals as a habit, my business suffered.
The chart above shows without a doubt that we have to have focus on the prize. Not only marking down our goals, but looking at them every day and making them show in everything we do.
Coming from a manufacturing and supply chain background, Kanban is a familiar Lean term I hear used in almost every meeting.
It is also valuable in goal setting. It is really easy to compare my current situation to my goal and see myself as coming short. When I look at where I started, where I am, and where I am going, I get excited! Look at how much progress I have made!
After, I can look at the path to see if it is working. I can see what skills I had to acquire to get to where I am. I can also see the next skills I will need to get to the next stage.
The thing is we cannot realize our goals by staying where we are. We have to grow and continuously commit to the right education at each stage to expand our minds, our abilities, our network, to accommodate where we want to end up.
In this post I wanted to show you that success isn’t a huge magnificent explosion, it is committing to making small changes that accumulate over time to create a massive impact.
I was almost bankrupt, swimming in debt, and partying my way to ruin. One day I decided I needed to start getting a hold of my day. Starting a to-do list and keeping to my calendar was a huge step for this slacker. What happened is people noticed. I started getting promoted, people started thinking of me as the responsible one, I met and married an amazing lady, and now I am a Dad!
All it takes is a small commitment. A decision to take in one of these habits, and practice it daily. Check off each day you do on your calendar. Next month, just add one more. If you do this, next year you will be a different person. One who is respected and admired. A person on a path to greatness.