There’s one crucial pattern that separates failures from the ones who are successful. It’s not because they are more intelligent or more talented than anyone else. It all comes down to their habits. The ones who succeed have made small adjustments in their lives and created good habits, that over time has created huge results. I will break down the power of habit and explain how you can become successful at anything, by making minor adjustments in your life.
Our habits are extremely powerful and are ultimately what determines if our lives turns into successes or failures. Aristotle said it best: “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.”
When you’re having trouble doing the hard work that will make you form new habits, you will most likely blame your willpower. I’m here to tell you that that’s not all accurate. You can not simply choose if you want to be successful or not, but it has to be deeper within you than that. What is going to stop you from sliding back to your mindless bad habits? What’s different this time than the last time you failed?
Stop the insanity and do something different so you can get better results and actually reach your goals. It’s not enough with only willpower. You need why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you can connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and and most motivating choices are the ones that align with what you consider your purpose and your highest values. You gotta know why you want it otherwise you’ll give up when you’re faced with adversity.
When you work to reach your goals it won’t be smooth sailing. There will be tough times and the power of your why is what gets you through that. The hows are meaningless until your why is powerful enough. If your why, your purpose isn’t strong enough, you will end up like all the other failures that makes their new year’s resolution and quit on them when it gets tough.
Studies have revealed that 95 % of everything we do, feel, think and achieve is a result of a learned habit. We are born with no habits, only instincts. We develop habits over time and that’s something you have full and complete control over. To change and form new habits is hard. The difference between successful and failures is that the successful do it anyways.
Martin Luther King said “The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.”
When you keep going forward despite hard times and discouraging results, that’s where your improvement comes from. Don’t moan about it being difficult because no one gives a shit about your excuses. Just do it. There’s no progress without struggle.
Change is not easy and that’s also the reason why so many people end up miserable and unfulfilled. However once you do commit to change and embrace new habits on a consecutive basis, you are one among very few. You will stand out from the crowd and attract more success as you begin to pick up momentum.
Jim Rohn said: “If you want to have more, you have to become more… Success is something you attract by the person you become.”
If you want to truly ignite your creative potential and inner drive, you have to look beyond the motivation of monetary and material goals. Material stuff will never truly recruit your heart, soul and guts to commit to the fight. It has to be deeper than that.
Tony Robbins spoke to SUCCESS magazine on this topic and said that he’d seen business moguls achieve their ultimate goals, but still live in frustration, worry and fear. What’s preventing these people from being happy? They focus on achievement and not fulfillment.
Extraordinary accomplishments doesn’t guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love, and sense of meaning. He continues to say that that success without fulfillment is failure. This is the reason why you have to dig deeper and figure out your purpose and core motivation to make sure you stay on the path to success.
Our need for immediate gratification is the need that completely destroys any chances of lasting success. It can turn us into the most unproductive non thinking animals around.
The problem is that instant gratification derived from bad habits will only please you temporary. However over time that pleasing feeling won’t be so pleasing anymore, and that small bad habit have turned into a huge disaster. That extra piece of dessert might please you in the moment, but when you realized you’ve gained 20 pounds it’s not that nice anymore. When you realize that those few cigarettes a day made you look 15 years older and made your face wrinklier than a raisin, it’s not nice anymore.
This is why it’s so harmful to create bad habits, because you don’t notice the effects immediately. It doesn’t seem to have any negative effect at all in the moment. So how can you effectively create habits of success that will last?
Darren Hardy writes about 6 techniques to implement new habits in his book the compound effect.
#1 Set yourself up to succeed.
Any new habit has to work inside your life and lifestyle. If you join a gym that’s 30 miles away, you won’t go. If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy options.
#2 Think addition, not subtraction.
It’s not what you take out of your routine, but what you put in. If you want to lose weight and know you can’t have that hamburger, think about what you can add in and the results will be a lot more powerful.
#3 Go for a PDA: Public Display of Accountability.
If you want to cement that new habit, have big brother watch you. It’s never been as easy as today with all the social media. Tell your family and friends. Tell Facebook and Twitter. Get the word out that there’s a new sheriff in town.
#4 Find a success buddy.
To up your chances of success, get someone who will keep you accountable as you cement your new habit while you return the favor.
There’s nothing like a friendly contest to bring out your competitive spirit that will immerse yourself in a new habit with a bang.
There should be a time to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of your victories along the way. Don’t try to create a new habit thinking that it’s a sacrifice with no benefits, but reward yourself for your improvements.
John C. Maxwell said “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to success is found in your daily routine.“
You might have heard about the 10,000 hour rule from Malcolm Gladwell in outliers, where he states that to become an expert at something you need to practice that craft for 10,000 hours. That’s 27 years if you practice for one hour every single day.
10,000 hours of practice sounds a bit discouraging if you ask me. However this is to reach a level that very few will ever reach. Instead focus on the 100 hour approach which I first picked up from Brandon Carter. If you want to learn a new skill and become good at it, put 100 hours into that and you will see results. That will take around 3 months if you’re doing it for 1 hour every day, which is far more achievable than 27 years.
Realize your bad habits and act upon changing them. Those few bad habits that you indulge in could compound your life into repeated disaster. The slightest adjustments to your daily routines can dramatically alter the outcome of your life.
I’m not talking about massive changes over night, but small and seemingly inconsequential adjustments over long periods of time. Take action and form good habits, don’t let bad habits form you. That’s what will make you succeed.
The compound effect from Darren Hardy on Amazon.