This article was written by Jodie Cook, Contributor
There are some people who are able to achieve incredible success and live extraordinary lives. They have the same number of hours in their day as anyone else, and they started from zero too. It’s possible because their success is now a system that keeps on delivering. It’s reached tipping point and it’s snowballing. The system started with their habits. These habits were built up, slowly, over the course of minutes, hours, days and weeks. They have been responsible for the success that others can only dream of. They might appear superhuman, but it’s attainable for anyone with the intent and conviction to get there.
Here are the 5 habits that might be holding you back from this level of success:
Checking your phone as soon as you wake up
There are countless articles about the morning habits of successful people, and they vary wildly. What they have in common, however, is that the morning is on their own terms. If a five-minute phone check is carried out as part of your morning routine, it’s likely to get in the way. When that phone check turns into 60-minutes of responding, it can turn your innocent check into a task that takes over your morning, leaving you wondering where the time went and frustrated that you didn’t do the most important thing first.
The morning is a glorious time, perfect for being fully aware and present. If used well, it can be where you set up a successful day. Where you start by doing that needle-moving thing that will make all the difference and help you along your path. You have the choice, every morning, to own the day, or let the day own you. The first thing you do upon waking is the main factor in this choice.
Set a timer before you check your emails and messages. Or leave it until after you’ve done the most important thing first.
Saying too much
If you talk more than you listen, your learning is limited. When you speak, you can only say things you already know, but when you listen you learn another point of view or new information. Use the acronym WAIT, which stands for “why am I talking?”, to remind you to talk less. Get really good at communicating exactly the right thing, to the right person, at the right time.
Become comfortable hanging out in the silence between the question you asked and the other person’s answer. If you jump in, you rob them of their true response and you might never know what they really meant. In a group setting, contribute when you have something great to say. Contribute when you know something is funny, or interesting, and leave the filler lines out. Let others have their glory. Not every story needs a follow-up story. Not every quip needs a comeback.
Consciously sitting back and contributing only when absolutely necessary can help you far better understand the people around you, without giving too much away yourself.
Scrolling social media
The typical user spends 82 minutes per day on social media, marking 9.5 hours a week of habitual checking and reacting. Successful people are not sitting there spending time scrolling. They are producing content for social media, sure, but they consume far less than they produce. Mindless consumption of other people’s tweets, stories and updates can throw you off your path and bring comparison into your ether. It fills your consciousness with things that don’t concern you.
Someone’s social media is a carefully edited showreel. It’s the image that they want to portray in public. If you really want to know about someone’s life, give them a call. If you want to achieve amazing things, seek to avoid distractions. Social media platforms are trying their very best to get us addicted. Work to take all of the good things without succumbing to the bad. Get control of your social media scrolling or just log out completely.
There’s a spectrum upon which we operate. It guides all of our decisions, how we lead and how we see our futures. The spectrum runs from fear to love. Fearful thinking is a habit that holds people back, because it means they function from a mindset of scarcity. A mindset of winners and losers, of zero-sum games. Imagine what kind of decisions that would lead to. Scrimping, saving, holding back, gossiping, putting people down and guarding things closely. This pattern of thinking is halting your progress.
Leading with love over fear creates a mindset of abundance. It means knowing that the future is bright and there is plenty to go around; money, success and happiness. Someone else having something doesn’t mean you can’t, it means that it’s possible for you too. Working from this ethos brings about opportunity, kindness and prosperity and marks a complete change in your vibe. If you need a reminder, simply write down “FEAR -> LOVE” somewhere you can see it. Notice when you are talking or thinking based on fear, then change something you’re doing so that you shift your perspective.
It’s only the owners of Netflix that are Netflixing their way to success. Everyone else is having their potential zapped by boxsets. I’m not saying work all the time. I’m not saying don’t relax. I’m saying be mindful about how little time you have left on this planet and how fast it’s going and think carefully about how you want to spend your waking hours and what you want to create.
If you’ve found yourself using the excuse of “I don’t have time” as a reason for not making progress towards your dreams, or writing that book, or calling that friend, that series might be the culprit. Let’s experiment. Try a week of not watching anything at all, for any reason. See how you replace the time and see how you feel at the end of the week. Think of your time as being worth $500 an hour and act accordingly.
Taking control of your habits means taking control of your life and career and steering it in the direction you’re destined for. Swap the guilty ones out for great ones and see what you’re capable of. Don’t leave potential inside you and don’t be left wondering what might have been possible.