Becoming wealthy and leaving an impact on the world is not an easy feat. If it were, everyone would go around doing it. At that point, it would not be much of an accomplishment at all.
Rather, being extremely successful requires an extreme amount of work. Especially when there is nobody looking. The best people have developed habits that help them reach their goals. These routines are not necessarily challenging to form, but they take consistent effort over extended periods of time. Creating these tendencies in your own life will propel your success.
Here are 11 things, that 99% of people (myself included) do not do, but really should.
1. Take advantage of introductions
When someone introduces you to another person, there tends to be a very good reason for it. The top people take advantage of these introductions because they know that they might lead to great opportunities.
It’s easy to blow off an introduction or not follow-up. Doing so is a missed chance to create a meaningful relationship with a like-minded person.
2. Consider the little things in their relationships
The best people are admired by those around them. This could be due to their high-quality work, their personal interactions, or likely, both.
They remember names, they follow-up when they say they are going to, and they take little steps to create stronger relationships with those around them. Something as small as sending a text after a surgery or a congratulations after a new job offer can make a big difference.
3. Read Consistently
The brightest people are always learning. There is endless knowledge, and, in order to continue to improve and learn more, reading is a necessity.
Most people make excuses about why they do not read very much. The best people do not allow themselves to make excuses, and instead prioritise personal learning. I’ve personally made it my goal to read a book a week.
4. Stay healthy
In order to stay effective and energetic, health has to be a top priority. Otherwise, you will go through life with less kick each day. The best people also make no excuses for their health. They make conscious decisions to eat well and exercise. They care about their bodies and take care of themselves in order to propel their success. This focus on health also gets them feeling better about how they look day-in and day-out.
5. Embrace ambiguity
Ambiguity is difficult. When the path is not spelled out, it means that you have to make more challenging decisions. The top 1% of people love ambiguity. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and stand out from those around them. They do not mind making hard decisions because they know that doing so will lead to higher impact, and it is more rewarding.
6. Adapt Constantly
If you cannot look back six months and see a drastically different person, then you are not growing fast enough. This is especially true early in life.
The most successful self-employed people are constantly learning and adapting. They let their barriers down and are always willing to change things about themselves in order to be better, happier and more productive.
This can be extremely challenging for many because it means letting your guard down and being vulnerable. We see ourselves in a certain light, and we make our decisions accordingly. Changing means accepting that our past choices might not have been the best. When those past actions are tied up with our ego, it can be especially difficult to move past them. The best people are able to take this in their stride.
7. Set goals
Goal-setting is underrated. Most people do not take the time because they do not think it is a worthwhile endeavour. The value is that it helps align actions. Setting goals also gets you thinking about what you are really trying to accomplish and why.
Those that are able to set goals tend to be much more productive and focused in their efforts. This allows for a higher level of output, greater success, and more impact.
8. Surround themselves with other great people
We are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with the most. Therefore, it is critical to be around great people. There is a reason that many successful people tend to be friends before rising to fame. They have made an effort, from the onset, to be around others who can motivate them and propel their success.
It can be challenging to abandon or step back from destructive friends that we have been close with for long periods of time. The most accomplished people have been able to do so, though, because they know that there are many amazing people out there for them to spend time with.
Persistence is also very underrated. It’s easy to work-out one time or to send a few emails. It’s also easy to take on an 80-hour week once. Pushing yourself consistently, though, is an extreme challenge. It’s where 99% of people fail.
It’s when nobody is looking that effort matters the most. The best people work hard and smart consistently. They have increasing returns to scale and their efforts compound over time. Successful athletes do not suddenly emerge. They have been working for years and years on their craft to reach their current point.
It’s easy to believe successful people reached that level through luck or raw talent. That is almost never the case, though. Persistence over time is an absolute must.
10. Pursue their passions
The top people do not spend their lives living other people’s dreams. They pursue their own passions. That gives them the energy to attack each day with all that they have. It also allows them to think more independently. After getting over the fact that you cannot please everyone and that you have to think for yourself, life becomes a lot better.
Spending time doing what you love enables the highest quality of work and it makes staying consistent significantly easier.
Many people blame others for their shortcomings. Doing so might have immediate benefits, but it’s detrimental in the long run. Neglecting accountability prevents personal growth and, over time, it develops a bad reputation for yourself.
The best people take full responsibility for their actions. This garners more respect and allows them to grow at much faster rates.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com.