Have you heard the phrase, “Success leaves clues”? If you had, then you know what you need to do to achieve success in life. You just need to replicate and do what successful people do every day.
When you think like a successful person and act like one, eventually, there’s a high probability that you can become one.
Imagine you adopted the thinking, habits, beliefs, and characters of someone successful, do you think you will achieve great success too in life? Well, there is no guarantee, but you greatly increase your chances, right?
This is what this article is meant to be – to replicate what successful people do each day so that you too, can achieve extraordinary results in life.
Here are 10 things successful people do to reach their goals. Follow the footsteps and learn from the best to become the best…
1. They envision the success they want
One of the most essential habits successful people have is that they envision about the success they want every day.
They consistently think about the results they want. They imagine and see themselves living their dream life and having achieved all their goals.
As what Arnold Schwarzenegger said:
“Create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true.”
Arnold didn’t become a champion bodybuilder out of accidents, he achieved it through seeing himself having a macho body and imagining himself winning all the competitions and championships.
Success is first created in your mind before you can materialize it in your life.
Unsuccessful people live a mediocre life because they are being vague and they have no idea what they want out of life.
Arnold Schwarzenegger also went on to say:
“When you have a vision, a very clear vision of what you want to look like then you cannot wait to do the next set, or the next exercise, or the next rep, because you know that each rep you’re doing, each set you’re doing, each weight you lift, you get closer to turning this vision into reality.”
So, do what successful people do, think about your vision and goals every day. That’s the first step you need to do to turn your dreams into reality.
2. They focus on the main thing
Successful people understand that if they want to produce outstanding results in life, they can’t just do everything that comes to them, they need to focus on doing just the main thing.
There are way too many distractions in life. Plus, not every task is created equal. Thus, if you work on something unimportant, you will never get the results you want.
Each day, you must focus and put all your energy on doing the high-impact tasks. Focus on your goals and do the tasks that will get you there.
You can’t just do whatever that comes to you. Learn to be proactive rather than being reactive.
We all have 24 hours a day, but it is not about how much time you have, it is about what you do. The quality of the tasks that matter.
If you spend 24 hours work on the unimportant, you will never get ahead than someone who spends just an hour working a high-impact task that gets them the results they want.
You have to understand that being busy and being productive are two different things. You can be busy the entire day doing the non-essentials, but at the end of the day, you’re not getting much results.
This is why you must focus on the main thing. As what Stephen Covey said:
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Identify your goals and daily objectives, and then spend your mornings working on the most important tasks.
3. They read and learn consistently
Yes, another common thing successful people do every day is reading and learning. Do you know that the only way you can become better and achieve greater success is through improving?
If you don’t improve, you will be stuck where you are. When you learn and improve, you become better. And when you become better, you can accomplish more.
Successful people understand that improving themselves is non-negotiable. This is why they read, listen to podcasts, take courses and attend classes, and they do their best to learn from others in the industry.
According to this article from HuffingtonPost, here are some of the reading habits of successful people:
- Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year, which breaks down to 1 per week
- Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day
- Elon Musk is an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said “I read books.”
- Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015
- Oprah Winfrey selects one of her favorite books every month for her Book Club members to read and discuss
Thus, make it a habit to read, learn, and improve each day. Just as what Oprah Winfrey said, reading changed her life:
“Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.”
If you have no idea what books to read, check out my personal recommendation here.
4. They exercise and work out in the morning
One of the most important things that successful people do is they exercise and work out in the morning before they go to work.
In her best-selling book, What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, author Laura Vanderkam said that most successful people exercise and sweat their bodies before they start their day.
This article shares a list of extraordinary people like Barrack Obama, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Mark Cuban, etc., who exercise on a regular basis.
As what Laura Vanderkam said in her book, “These are incredibly busy people. If they make time to exercise, it must be important.”
Richard Branson handles several multi-million-dollar businesses and companies, yet, he credited his productivity secret to being able to wake up early and exercise.
Hence, make it your commitment to exercise every day. Make it your habit. Exercise has many benefits, including boosting your productivity, helping you focus better, and give you the energy you need to accomplish great things in life.
5. They automate small decisions and eliminate the non-essential
Throughout the course of the day, we all make thousands of decisions. And most of those decisions are trivial and not important, such as what to eat for lunch and dinner, what song to listen to while driving, and what should you do when you meet your colleagues in the office.
Of course, there are more important decisions that we need to make too like how to handle a big task, things that we do to get to our goals, and spending quality time with the people we cared and loved.
The problem is that our brainpower reaches decision fatigue, which can lower the quality of decisions we make.
For instance, when you’re tired and exhausted, you will never want to spend time thinking about where to dine, you just want something easy and convenient. Plus, when you’re mentally tired, there is a higher chance that you will procrastinate on important tasks.
Therefore, you must learn to handle decision-making as successful people did.
Do you notice that the ex-US president, Barrack Obama usually wears the same color suit every day? And Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg is always on his gray t-shirt and jeans?
They wanted to lower decision fatigue by thinking and making fewer decisions on the trivial matter so that they can conserve their mental power on other more important stuff.
You can do the same by automating less important matters such as laundry and cleaning your house. Outsource and delegate those less important tasks so that you can focus your energy on something more important – your goals and dreams.
Here’s a good article from James Clear you should read:
6. They live an intentional life
Successful people are not dreamers, they are people who take actions to make their dreams come true.
One reason most people are not living their dreams because all they do is daydream about what they want without taking any solid actions.
Successful people, on the other hand, know what they want, and they commit to living an intentional life. They engineered a life that they desire and they start living so from the beginning.
They understand that in order to make their dreams come true, they must do something about it. And success will not fall from the sky.
Thus, they make plans and start living that way.
I always find the story of how Thomas J. Watson built up IBM to be fascinating. In my previous article, I shared how he built IBM to a billion-dollar company through his future plan and being intentional. Here’s what Thomas Watson said about being intentional about IBM’s success:
IBM is what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream — my vision — was in place.
The second reason was that once I had that picture, I then asked myself how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then created a picture of how IBM would act when it was finally done.
The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look when the dream was in place and how such a company would have to act, I then realized that, unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there.
In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.
From the very outset, IBM was fashioned after the template of my vision. And each and every day we attempted to model the company after that template. At the end of each day, we asked ourselves how well we did, discovered the disparity between where we were and where we had committed ourselves to be, and, at the start of the following day, set out to make up for the difference.
Every day at IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business.
We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one.
So, start living an intentional life right now. Find out what you want to accomplish, make plans, and start living the future life you want starting from now.
7. They make friends and network with other successful people
Like what Jim Rohn said, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Winners make friends with other winners. So, think about who you spend your time with.
Energy is contagious. When you mix with mediocre people who always complain, slowly and eventually, you too, will join the conversation and complain about things.
On the contrary, if you mix with optimistic people who are successful, then you too, will be influenced by their thoughts and slow and eventually, you will become optimistic and successful in life.
Here’s a good article about building your influence with successful people wrote by Gabriel Medina on Medium. You should read it:
Like what Gabriel wrote, successful people force you to level up. When you surround yourself with people who are doing better than you, either you will force yourself to become better and more successful, or they will pull you up to play a higher game.
8. They plan their day and keep a to-do list
Things are not going to happen out of the blue. You will never become rich and have a successful business because of magic or miracle. It all takes hard work and planning.
One thing successful people do every day is that they plan their day. They either have a good planning system or they will just write down their to-do list and stick to that list.
And when it comes to making a to-do list, here’s what Richard Branson wrote on his blog:
“I’ve always made lists of things I want to achieve – it helps me track my progress. But to-do lists are only useful if you actually do the things on your list. So I made a note on my New Years’ resolution to check in every three months and make sure I was making strides towards achieving it.”
Having a to-do list or whatever tracking system you use, is important to your success.
As I always said, you want to be proactive and not reactive. When you write down what you want to do, you are giving clear instructions to your mind of what you need to accomplish.
You remind yourself when you look and review your to-do list. It makes you proactive rather than being reactive to everything that happens to you.
Therefore, schedule time for planning. Each night before you go to bed, plan your next day. Write down the action tasks you need to do the following day.
It gives a clear direction and gives you kick-start the next day. If you think that night time is not a good time, then do it the first thing in the morning before you start your day.
9. They wake up early and stay later if necessary
According to this article from CNBC.com:
- Bob Ferguson, Attorney General of Washington State, wakes at 5 a.m. to make breakfast for his family
- Caroline Burckle, U.S. Olympic bronze medalist, rises at 5:30 to work out — without an alarm
- Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, rises at 4 a.m. to exercise and take a bath
- Peter Balyta, President of Education Technology at Texas Instruments, wakes at 5:20 a.m. and does math while exercising
- L. Rafael Reif, President of M.I.T., gets up at 5 a.m. and rarely skips breakfast
Extraordinary people wake up extremely early. They know that if they can wake up early, they can beat those who are still sleeping on their warm bed.
When you get up early, there is no one to disturb you and there will be fewer or no distractions at all. Hence, it gives you a great environment to be productive.
You can work on your most important task early in the morning. And by the time when you go to work at 9 AM, you have already moved way ahead of others who just started their day.
This is why most successful people choose to wake up early. It gives them an advantage over those who don’t.
If you want to learn how to get up early and what should you do in those hours, read this book from Robin Sharma: The 5 AM Club.
10. They challenge themselves every day
I like how Ruben Gonzalez puts it on this article, “Challenges are the path to progress in your life.”
When Ruben learned to luge, his coach constantly challenged him. When he was going at 20 mph, he felt out of control and crashed. After crashed for a few times, Ruben got it. But his coach challenged him to go at 30 mph. Again, he crashed many times before he got used to the speed.
But after Ruben got used to 30 mph, his coach challenged him to go at a higher level. And that was exactly how Ruben moved up the track and crashed his way to the top.
By accepting the challenges his coach threw at him, Ruben made it to the Olympics, four times!
This is why challenges are important. They move you up and make things exciting. When you have a challenge you want to overcome, it gives you a sense of purpose in life. You’ll be looking forward to breaking the challenge and it gives you excitement.
Now, think about an ordinary day when you have nothing to do at all. You feel boring, lifeless, and totally aimless. You sleep longer, wake up later, waste more time on Facebook and Instagram, you spend the entire binge YouTube and Netflix, etc.
That’s what happens when you don’t have exciting challenges in life.
Successful people understand the challenge. They treat problems as challenges, and they look at failures as feedback.
And they challenge themselves to do new things, to improve, and to do something better than they were yesterday.
Are you willing to challenge yourself?
There are many things successful people do every day that make them successful, but the above 10 are the most common ones.
Remember, success leaves clues. If you want to be successful, just replicate what other successful people do and you too can produce similar results.
And if you have no idea where to start, starting by identifying the success you want. Start with setting an empowering goal.
You can learn how to set goals that you really want using Goal Setting Formula, a masterclass that I created to help people set better goals to achieve the success they want in life.
So, do you agree with my list above? Let me know what you think by leaving your comment below.