Today I want to talk about my seven habits for success and how I might be thinking about life differently than you. I’ve built multiple successful businesses in my life and it wasn’t just a one hit wonder.
I think part of the reason is the way I approach things and the habits that I’ve built up. So let’s get into it the 7 habits for success.
1. Take Ownership
Take ownership of your life, take responsibility and stop blaming other people, just accept that everything is under your control. If something’s not going right stop blaming people, attacking other people and pointing fingers. The way to think about this is, that you’re the CEO of your own life. CEO’s have no one to blame except themselves.
There’s no one to go to and that’s really the way to think about your life as well. I think a lot of people like to just point their fingers at someone else and say, well I failed because it was my parents fault, they didn’t put me in to the right school or my teachers didn’t teach me the right thing or it was my friends who got me onto drugs, it was my boss who wouldn’t give me a promotion, and that’s why I’m stuck in a rut.
And when you say that it makes you feel good about yourself and you can just rest there thinking, well you’re superior, you were perfect and it was that other person’s fault. But in the end, you should understand that everything is truly under your control.
You know if your parents didn’t raise you right then it was your responsibility to make sure that you were raised properly. Go get the education or whatever it is that you need to, find a mentor if the teachers didn’t teach you the right things. If your boss didn’t give you a promotion, try to find out why. Communicate, gather feedback which means that you’re on the same page. The key to understand is that you need to take ultimate responsibility for everything that’s happening in your life. If anyone’s going to be responsible it’s going to be you.
I had this experience in Grad school, where we were working on the team project, people were starting to cry because the team dynamics weren’t going very well but for my own work I was doing great on an individual level and I was thinking well I’m not going to be responsible for any of these other people if the project fails, it’s going be that person’s fault or that other person’s fault they didn’t do their work but at least me I got my stuff done. But In the end, I had to understand that the success of the entire project was also my own responsibility.
Because I had every ability to influence the direction of that project I could influence the team dynamics, I could have helped motivate other people to do more, there was definitely more I could have done instead of just focusing on my own individual portion.
So this is about understanding that you need to expand your own influence, expand what you believe is to be under your domain of control and to make sure that whatever you’re involved in succeeds even if it involves doing something above and beyond what is assigned to you on an individual level. So that’s step number one, take ownership to take responsibility of your life and blame nobody but yourself.
2. Learn To Accept Failure
I’m not afraid to look like an idiot and I’m not very showy. I’m not going around others showing them how successful I am, and I think that that is a key trait of being a successful person is not playing the game where you have to keep your appearances up because as soon as you start playing that game, then you need to make sure that you’re always appearing successful, then it may not possible for you to start making mistakes anymore and making mistakes is a key part of success
Oftentimes you may need to fail 10 times or maybe even a hundred times, but you only need one success to make it all worthwhile and so that’s why it’s important to not be afraid of failure, to be ready to fail, and when you fail, to understand.
Those are expensive lessons that you are learning from so that you don’t make the same mistakes again as you go forward. You’re only getting better each time and really the main point here is to stay humble, be ready to get thrown into the dirt a few times and you know as soon as you start going around thinking that you’re better than everybody else you start walking around with really good looking clothes and then you get thrown into the dirt. Failure is a part of life, learn from your mistakes and continue pushing forward.
3. Continuously Learn
A lot of people think that what they learned in school will get them through the rest of their lives and I think that’s why many people don’t go as far as they should be going. For me, what I learned in college was only the basic bare fundamentals and many things that I did later on like starting my own business, I was really only able to accomplish because I continued to teach myself new things, new programming languages, new technologies new software design systems, and new frameworks.
After a while, you’ll find that you’re going to have to start learning other things too, like how to invest etc, things that will take you to the next step up. Even in your job, you might find that a lot of what you need to do is going to be data or metrics related and then you need to understand things like probability statistics and these things you may not have a very solid understanding of.
It really helps to understand that that’s websites like brilliant.org that can help you to continue to learn even beyond school and they do it in a very fun creative way. They have really great courses taught by excellent professors and they have topics on things like computer science fundamentals, algorithms probability, statistics machine learning, artificial intelligence, quantitative finance and a whole array of other topics.
4. What You Do At 8pm Matters
Think about what you’re spending your time doing at 8pm every evening. The reason being is because what you do at this time will determine where you will be 10 years from now. I think that that evening time is when you start planning about your future, in reality, we don’t have that much time and the short amount of time that we do have we need to use wisely and the key to remember is that you don’t actually need that much time to get something.
Do you know if you were to put four hours of good work at 8pm to midnight every single day it will elevate your life to a whole new level. Or you can just spend your time like the masses do, watching TV, playing videos games, and so forth
But you can expect that that’s going to be your future as well, not much is going to change. Think about what you’re doing at 8pm every evening and make sure that aligns with the goals that you’ve set out for yourself to achieve.
5. Success Is A Lonely Road While Failure Is Crowded Highway
Success is often a lonely road. I know you want to go hang out with your friends, go chatting on Facebook, go to the movies, go join all those events and parties, and go to the meetups, that’s all great and you should do those things if you want to but you should understand that now all those people are going to be on the road to being average because who you spend time with is who you become.
Some of your greatest accomplishments will be done alone. Sometimes there’s just no room for anybody else. When you’re interviewing at the company you don’t go there with all your friends it’s just you and you need to get used to that now.
That’s not to say that getting along with other people, teamwork and maybe co-founding companies with other people or your friends is not a bad thing, I mean those are great, you can do that too and that’s another path that you can take.
But I think it’s important to also remember that many aspects of success are going to be done alone, be your own individual power and you need to get used to that sometimes.
Sometimes I’ll see groups of friends just doing really silly things like they’ll start walking around together in the rain although if you take a look at each person individually they probably would not have walked around in the rain alone on their own. You know they say that groups are friends that act very similar, so if you have a bunch of friends who have very unhealthy lifestyles and like to overeat then chances are over time that’s going to happen to you too, so you want to be careful about who you spend consistent time with on a daily basis, as it does influence where you end up and who you ultimately become.
6. The Last 10 % Is The Hardest – Finish It
So what I like to keep in mind is to try to finish the projects that I began. You know it’s very easy to quit and just know that every time you’re quitting you’re doing what everybody else is doing. Very few people are able to take something to completion but remember it’s that last 10% that really brings a project home that gets you that impact and you need to remember to allocate enough time and resources to finish a project.
7. Know Why You Want It
Internal motivation is one of the major keys to success. I did well in school but the funny thing is that my parents never pushed me very hard at all and at any time they let would me play video games as long as I wanted to, I would spend eight hours a day playing video games sometimes, and over time it was through my own understanding, my own internal motivation that I was able to learn.
I need to be studying I need to be working hard maybe I need to watch what I eat, stop eating junk food, exercise more, doing all of these things is by being internally motivated, so if you find that you’re doing something only because your parents are telling you to do it or because you think someone’s expecting you to do something, that’s really not a great motivation.
To be doing something effectively you need to try to understand for yourself why you need to do something and that’s going to help you do your best work.