post written by: Angel Chernoff

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans


12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

May your actions speak louder than your words.  May your life preach louder than your lips.  May your success be your noise in the end.

The result of enormous success is often pretty noisy – lots of people talking, writing and sharing stories about it.  The actual process of achieving enormous success, on the other hand, is far more discreet.  But it’s this process that happens quietly, behind-the-scenes, that makes all the difference in the world.

Marc and I are fortunate enough to know a number of enormously successful human beings.  Regardless of lifestyle, industry or profession, they all share many of the same quiet rituals.  And that’s precisely what I want to discuss with you today.

Building upon our recent video blog post on success, here are twelve things the most successful people we know do quietly and diligently:

1.  They have calm, consistent morning routines.

Too many books and courses on personal success act like we’re robots, and completely overlook the enormous power of our emotions.  The less frenzied emotions we have at the start of the day, the less we will have all day.  Because when we start the day in a calm, mindful state, it’s easy to focus and get the right things done.

But when we wake up and stress is already upon us – phones ringing, emails and texts dinging, fire alarms going off – you spend the whole day reacting, instead of being proactive.  This means you’re not in the driver’s seat working on your priorities – the things that drive success – you’re simply responding to what gets thrown at you, whether it’s important or not.

Try to have the first hour of your day vary as little as possible.  A trusted routine can be extremely effective in helping you feel in control and non-reactive, which reduces anxiety and stress, and therefore makes you more mindful and competent.  The bottom line is that how you start the day has an enormous effect on your overall effectiveness.

2.  They eliminate all needless busywork.

At some point we all wonder, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?”  But the answer is stunningly simple: We’re doing too many of the wrong things.

Several research studies have shown that people never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up.  Instead, they get more done when they follow careful plans that measure and track key priorities and milestones.  So if you want to be more successful and less stressed, don’t ask how to make something more efficient until you’ve first asked, “Do I need to do this at all?”

Simply being able to do something well does not make it the right thing to do.  I think this is one of the most common problems with a lot of time-management advice; too often productivity gurus focus on how to do things quickly, but the vast majority of things people do quickly should not be done at all.

If you think about it, it’s actually kind of ironic that we complain we have so little time, and then we prioritize like time is infinite.  So do your best to focus on what’s truly important, and not much else.  (Read Getting Things Done.)

3.  They do what needs to be done, TODAY!

While everyone else is talking about it, successful people are quietly doing it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action.  There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.  It’s as simple as that.

Successful people know that a good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed someday.  They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right day” or the “right (impossible) circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear and nothing more.  They take action here and now, today – because that’s where real progress happens.

4.  They gradually turn life’s obstacles around.

Many of the most iconic novels, songs and inventions of all time were inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak.  Therefore, the silver lining of these great challenges is that they were the catalyst to the creation of epic masterpieces.

An emerging field of psychology called Post-Traumatic Growth has suggested that many people are able to use their hardships and traumas for substantial creative and intellectual development.  Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, contentment, gratitude, personal strength, and resourcefulness.

When our view of the world as a safe place, or as a certain type of place, has been shattered, we are forced to reboot our perspective on things.  We suddenly have the opportunity to look out to the periphery and see things with a new, fresh set of beginner’s eyes, which is very conducive to personal growth and long-term success.  (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

5.  They learn by stretching themselves to their limits.

You learn best when you’re stretching yourself beyond your previous level of comfort.

Sure, getting into a routine is great.  “Flow” is great too.  But neither is the best way to learn.  You want to be stretched to the edge of your ability sometimes.  It needs to be hard and uncomfortable.  That’s how your brain grows.  We learn when we’re in our discomfort zone.

When you’re struggling, that’s when you’re growing stronger and smarter.  The more time you spend there, the faster you learn.  It’s better to spend an extremely high quality ten minutes growing, than it is to spend a mediocre hour running in place.  You want to practice at the point where you are on the edge of your ability, stretching yourself over and over again, making mistakes, stumbling, learning from those mistakes and stretching yourself even farther.

6.  They turn to their intuition when making tough decisions.

Intuition is very real and something that is never wise to ignore, because it comes from deep within your subconscious and is derived from your previous life experiences.  If everyone else is telling you “yes” but your gut is telling you otherwise, it’s usually for a good reason.  When faced with difficult decisions, seek out all the information you can find, become as knowledgeable as you possibly can, and then listen to your God-given instincts.

Successful people know that trusting your intuition is equivalent to trusting your true self; and the more you trust your true self, the more control you have of making your goals and dreams come true.

7.  They mindfully focus on the positive.

As Shawn Achor describes in his book The Happiness Advantage, a recent scientific study showed that doctors who are put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis consistently experience significant boosts to their intellectual abilities than doctors in a neutral state, which allows them to make accurate diagnoses almost 20% faster.  The same study then shifted to other vocations and found that optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by over 50%.  Students primed to feel happy before taking math tests substantially outperform their neutral peers.  So it turns out that our minds are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative, or even neutral, but when they are positive.

Of course, that’s not to say that successful people never get upset, but your effectiveness in all walks of life will fare better if you’re able to mindfully accept and let go of negative emotions, rather than dwelling on them.  Think a little less about managing your problems and a little more about managing your mindset.  Keep it positive.

8.  They create visual reminders of their long-term goals.

You want to lose weight, but when you’re tired, it’s easy to rationalize that you’ll start exercising and eating right tomorrow.  You want to build a more profitable business, but when you’re caught up in the daily grind, it’s easy to just do what’s familiar instead of what’s required for growth.  You want to nurture your closest relationships, but when you’re busy, it’s easy to rationalize that you really need to work on that client proposal instead.

Few good things come easy, and when the going gets tough we often take the easy way out – even though the easy way takes us the wrong way.

To combat this, successful people create tangible reminders that pull them back from the brink of their weak impulses.  A friend of ours who has paid off almost $100K of debt in the past five years has a copy of his credit card balance taped to his computer monitor; it serves as a constant reminder of the debt he wants to pay off.  Another friend keeps a photo of herself when she was 90 pounds heavier on her refrigerator as a reminder of the person she never wants to be again.  And another fills his desk with family photos, both because he loves looking at them and because, when work gets really tough, these photos remind him of the people he is ultimately working for.

Think of moments when you are most likely to give in to impulses that take you farther away from your ultimate goals.  Then use visual reminders of those goals to interrupt the impulse and keep you on track.

9.  They keep some kind of personal notebook.

Oprah keeps a journal.  Eminem keeps a journal.  J.K. Rowling keeps a journal.

Successful people track their progress, set goals, reflect, and learn from their mistakes.  And they often use some kind notebook to accomplish this.  If you want to get somewhere in life, you need a map, and this notebook is that map.  You can write down what you did today, what you tried to accomplish, where you made mistakes, and so forth.  It’s a place to reflect.  It’s a place to capture important thoughts.  It’s a place to be able to track where you’ve been and where you intend to go.  It’s one of the most underused, yet incredibly effective tools available to the masses.

10.  They have mentors they observe and consult with.

Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, you cannot do it alone.  It can be hard to learn from books.  And sometimes the Internet makes it difficult to separate truth from fiction.  You need someone who has been where you want to go to show you the ropes – your own personal mentor or coach.

Yes, 10,000 hours of diligent practice can make you an expert, but what makes you dedicate 10,000 hours to something in the first place?  The answer is having a great mentor or two.  If you study the lives of enough successful people, it becomes obvious that most world-class performers in all fields – athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, artists, etc. – had incredible mentors, coaches or role models who made the activity of practice worthwhile and rewarding.

And sometimes just observing a mentor works wonders too.  When we observe someone we want to learn from and we have a crystal clear idea of what we want to create for ourselves, it unlocks a tremendous amount of motivation.  Human beings are socially inclined, and when we get the idea that we want to join some elite circle up above us, that is what really motivates us to achieve greatness.  “Look, they did it.  I can do it too!”  It may sound overly simplistic, but spending time studying people who are great can be one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself.

11.  They welcome honest feedback and criticism.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”  That’s what Aristotle said.  And obviously, he was being facetious.

If you are being criticized for doing, saying or thinking something that’s out of the ordinary.  Good.  That means you’ve taken a stand for something sometime in your life recently.  And that’s a huge part of being successful.

Follow in the footsteps of enormously successful people by learning to effectively process the criticism you receive.  Hateful and negative criticism should be received, assessed, and then let go, while constructive criticism should be evaluated and acted upon.  Solicit feedback from people whose opinions you value – people who have been where you want to go.  And remember to be gracious when receiving feedback; when you are, all the people around you will be more likely to give you their support and honest insight in the future.  (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)

12. They keep their pride in check.

Last but not least…

To admit they made a mistake.  To say they are sorry.  To know that they can’t possibly know it all.  To have big dreams. To admit they owe their success to others too.  To poke fun at themselves from time to time.  To ask for help when they need it.

To make mistakes and fail.  And to try again, willingly.

There are no permanent jobs or absolutes on this planet.  We are all just interning and exploring here.  Learn from everyone, remain humble, and don’t forget to have a good time along the way.

That’s what successful people do.

Afterthoughts

If you only remember two words from this whole article, let them be: “Stretch” and “Observe.”

Stretch:  As in… stretch yourself.  Always push yourself to the edge of your ability, so you can expand it and grow.

Observe:  As in… observe your mentors and those who are more skilled than you, so you can take notes and emulate them.

The floor is yours…

What else would you add to the list?  What’s one quiet ritual that has helped you or someone you know achieve success?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

Photo by: Angelo Amboldi

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53 Comments

  • Yet another post packed with useful tips. Thanks Angel. With the current challenges I face running my family business, this post helps. #5 is the one I struggle with most - I always get waaaaay too comfortable with where I am and what I know.

    Reading blogs and books like yours, Tony Robbins’ and others for at least 30 minutes every day has become a ritual of mine that has helped me stay focused and motivated to push past my comfort zone and get the right things done.

  • I find this gem of a post so spot on! Your points on focus, perspective and trusting oneself resonate deeply today.

    As you’ve said, I always make it a point to listen to what my gut is telling me, even when others disagree. Others can be our cheerleaders sometimes, but we have to rely on the one we see in the mirror, and believe; really, really believe that we have the moxie and sass to grab that goal and make it happen.

    Thanks for this small toolbox of ideas to kick it up and out in pursuit of my goals.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! It was nice to be reminded of how important a relaxing morning routine is.

    One thing I would add to this list is They create strong, lasting relationships. In addition to having mentors and coaches, successful people surround themselves with people who are like-minded and who are also doing everything else that’s on this list. They do this because they recognize that everyone is a teacher and because they recognize themselves as life-long students.

    I loved the stretch and observe! It’ll be my new mantra:)

    This post was so timely for me…thanks Angel!

  • Thanks for sharing such wonderful information here. I truly believe that “action” is the keyword. I have seen many knowledgeable, in intelligent people rot away because of lack of action. When we make a habit of combine our ideas and goals with action, almost anything is possible. Personally, I’ve achieved so much one small step at a time.

    Again, this article is truly an eye opener and I will be sharing it on FB and Twitter.

  • Regarding point #1: Consistency, yes. Calm, if you can get it. Add kids to this mix though, and yes they will inspire you to reach for points 2 thru 12, but a calm morning is much harder to come by.

  • These are powerful. I love your explanation of how frenzied emotions will get us off to the wrong start in the morning. In addition to “stretch” and “observe,” I would add “experiment.” That’s not a quiet morning ritual (for that I meditate), but I feel it’s an important part of success.

  • I am an addiction medicine doctor. I have a treatment center and I am also in recovery actively working a 12 step program alongside others. I applaud your list, as I do any list suggesting that success is found from a place of humility, honesty, openmindedness, willingness, action and a fit spiritual condition TODAY. “Spiritual” meaning that “inner voice” you mention. It can be defined in many ways, or confined by dogma or religion, but is the voice of true self you also mention. I establish contact with that true voice first thing every morning and have found Peace in doing so.

    Thank you for direction and suggestions your site offers for those searching for Truth. The 12 steps are a reproducible, reliable and proven way to find this Truth as well, and is a widely available resource for anyone seeking Peace, not just those with addictions.

  • Another awesome article. It’s really good food for the thoughts. I agree with Lewis L that ‘action’ is the keyword, but before action another important word is ‘thought.’

    Thanks Marc and Angel…u rock!

  • I’ve taken so much from this post, thank you, it reinforces several of my own thoughts and practices and has made me think about the way I think and act.

    I agree with Sofia’s comment on building strong & lasting relationships and the time invested in doing this is my additional quiet ritual.

  • I habitually predict the negative so I am actively working on developing a mindset of being curious. Experimentation and curiosity give me more forward momentum then my habitual Eeyore outlook. This is not an easy habit to change. But being curious means I don’t have to know the outcome so I can try.

  • I would add to the list (the morning ritual point) visualizations. I have found that by visualizing and adding “juice” to the visualization that the universe has a way of leading you in the directions you choose to focus on. By being in the present of where you want to be helps you create a road map to help you get there… and to enjoy the ride. Great blog post.

  • I appreciate all of your posts. This one really gets to the heart of the matter: how to live successfully as a whole human being.

    Thanks for the work you do.

  • Nelson Almonte
    July 7th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Several of these topics are new to me; and finding new things is always a thrilling thing; starting the day by following the same structured routine is something that I have not been doing, but I see could help me.

  • Your blog has not only been wonderful for me, but also a close relative who has lost her husband who was her right hand and soul mate!

    I find one thing that has truly been helpful to me on my life successes is not comparing myself to others.

  • I always look forward to seeing your emails in my inbox. When I start my day I try to “Play the Sunset” in my mind. The reference is from the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, where Gertrude Lang was asked by Mr. Holland about something she liked about herself, and she said her red hair because her father said it reminded her of a sunset. Envisioning something positive about herself gave her confidence. We all have our “sunset moments” and I try to remember something that made me feel good about myself in the last day or week. It could be as simple as enduring a stressful event and then telling myself, you did it! With that thought, I am ready to tackle the day!

  • Excellent! I would like to add to #12. Not only is it important “to KNOW that they can’t possibly know it all”, in my opinion, you have to also be able to comfortably say “I don’t know. But let me see what I can find out.” I think a lot of people are aware they don’t know the answer to something, but they will fumble around trying to give an answer anyway because they cannot admit they don’t know. Be smart enough to let yourself be vulnerable and admit out loud that you don’t know. Then, successful people will also follow through….they will find an answer or find a place to refer the person to, where they can get the answer they need, or they will let the person know that they’ve researched it and have not found any answers.
    So, KNOW you can’t possibly know it all, ADMIT that you don’t know it all, and FOLLOW THRU in your attempts to help someone find the answers they need.

  • This list resonates with me as something that I could put into action tomorrow morning. I’m going to spend time this evening putting things together for tomorrow morning so that I can take some quiet time for myself, read something motivating and uplifting and ride that wave of peace on into the day. This is also easy to pass along to others as helpful steps for moving forward. Thank for this.

  • Excellent post! I must confess that this website is blessing to me. But I’m having a hard time finding the right mentor - is there online resources where I can get access to great mentor?

  • I agree with what Sue Rae wrote. I dedicate time each morning at the beginning by reading messages of inspiration to assist me with the day ahead.

  • For me, these insights reflect God’s intentions for us through scripture and understanding the purpose He has for us. Finding quiet in the promise of peace every morning and approaching every situation as a gift from God will allow us the reminder that a successful life is granted, not earned. In exchange for the success, we are to put it to use to help others, in whatever means we are called to do. Thank you for this compilation of considerations.

  • What a beautiful article, and very profound!

    My biggest takeaway from this is the Post-Traumatic Growth which I haven’t heard before. I shall do more readings about this topic, as it sounds very interesting.

    And the journal, it’s time I should spend time with mine daily instead of just writing every now and then.

  • Kaningjeiliu La Montagne
    July 7th, 2014 at 11:19 am

    It’s an encouragement to read this article. The only difference I had was the use of intuition (some said only at the human level) and instinct (involved emotion and with lower animals). We are endowed with a special gift called intuition and I also believed it is “Direct sense from God,” as spiritual beings.

  • Great list, Angel!

    Clearly, success is built on routines and habits, not erratic bursts of passion. Slow and steady wins the race.

    It’s like Albert Einstein said: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

    So, to add to #1, consistency and patience are requirements to making good things happen! :)

  • Excellent article. Re-enforces many aspects of our Daily Method of Operation guidelines. I do find being able to have a period of quiet in the A.M. invaluable. The word I chose for this year to work towards is “consistency”, so that ties right in with a previous comment. Getting out of our comfort zone is so important, and when we have accomplished the feat, regardless of what it is, you can feel yourself expand. Action is also a critical word for me, it is imperative to take action to gain the success we are working towards. Cheers!

  • 1. Thanks a lot for this excellent article. You have done great thinking work before listing out these brilliant aspects of the successful persons’ general approach to life in a very orderly manner.

    2. I would like to add one more thing. If the successful persons are able to follow these in day-to-day life, it becomes possible only because invariably they adhere to one major principle. That is, keeping one’s head clear under all circumstances. At least for me, I am adapting your list by adding the following in the beginning and making it 13 points.

    They avoid muddled thinking like the plague.

    They hate to be in two minds on any subject. If they think a subject to be irrelevant to them, even there, they are sure that they need not bother to have an opinion about it. They would just go away saying that they are not interested or simply that they don’t care.

    If they think that a subject is relevant, then they formulate a clear view about it following a no-nonsense, down-to-earth approach.

    In their minds, there is no place for ambiguity. This conscious and tenacious clarity helps them a lot in their plans and actions; saves waste of time and energy; prevents needless distractions; ensures a better thought-control.

    3. There is one minor suggestion for your consideration. While mentioning about the views of Aristotle, you have used the word ‘facetious’ to describe them. It is true that this word is used for what is meant to be funny; but only if it is really annoying, silly or improper. Aristotle’s views do not fall under this category. I think, it may be described as ‘sarcastic.’ He meant the opposite here. He wanted one to say great things, do great things and be great regardless of the possible criticisms.

    Thanks again, for the beautiful article.
    With kind regards,
    K S Venkataraman

  • Wow, great list. I wish I could add to the list, but I’m still figuring things out myself (I just graduated college and started my first full-time job). I think books like “Think and Grow Rich” and those by life coaches like Tony Robbins are great tools though.

    Julianne

  • Two sayings I raised my kids on:
    1. When everybody else is wrong, start taking a look at home-base.
    2. If you want to be successful, put a smile on your face, have kind words, and a wonderful laugh. People will pull you forward because they look forward to seeing you!

  • Well researched and written. Seems that Angel has used the 10,000 hour rule to great effect. ;-)

  • Jesper Kristensen
    July 9th, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I’d add: successful people remind themselves that they are in the service of others and strive to provide value so that they may receive value in return. Giving often prepares one mentally to feel deserving of what life can offer.

  • Thanks for writing this post.

    I’ll be lying in bed tonight thinking ’stretch’ and ‘observe.’ How can I approach the next day by listening to people around me and using what I heard to push myself forward.

    Superb. Already looking forward to your next post!

  • Wow! Love this fresh take on the facts of real life! I’d add my must-do, move the bod! Every day, a walk, Qigong, a trip the gym, at least some gentle stretching. Keeps me healthy, safe and sane!

  • Great article! I would add to the morning ritual, an exercise, especially one that helps to calm the mind. For instance Qi Cong , the slow version. What works for me is a quiet 15-30 minutes walk in the park or my garden. And getting up as early as possible.

  • @Diane: Reminds me of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” You’re on the right track.

    @Marty: Great addition!

    @Deana: What’s the verdict? Have you found some quiet time for yourself in the morning?

    @Owuogba: We do offer one-on-one coaching if you are interested. We only have limited availability, but spots do open up. You can apply for coaching here.

    @All: As always, thank you for the additional insight. Cheers to us all celebrating our own personal successes (even the little ones)!

  • I am (semi) retiring next year after 51 years of full-time work. In my small way, I have been very successful, rising to the top of the tree in my particular speciality, perhaps against the odds.

    Having come across this blog today whilst looking for something else, I would say the 12 rituals strike a very strong chord with me. I have had a saying for many years (one that my staff are probably fed up hearing), “turn every negative into a positive and learn from it”. For me, that is way we learn, and as the old adage goes, “we are never too old to learn”!

  • wow this was a really well written and thought-out.

    Thank you.

  • I am reminded of something my Dad once said to me. One evening at the family dinner table Dad asked if anything interesting had happened at school that day. I mentioned that one of my teachers had offered an extra-credit assignment to anyone wishing to raise his or her grade in the class. I said I guessed that I probably wouldn’t do the assignment since I already had an A in the class.

    Dad stared across the table at me with an expression that looked as though I’d committed murder or armed robbery, and he said, “Don’t NOT do the assignment because you don’t need it for the grade. DO the assignment because you might LEARN something!”

    I’ve been doing the “extra-credit assignments” of life ever since, and it has served me well.

  • Great list Angel. It would be good if you outlined how many people you interviewed / observed to compile this list, perhaps in a follow-up article. I’d love to learn even more.

  • Great article! I just read a section in a book called Daring Greatly that reminded me of your #2 point, “They eliminate all needless busy work.” The author, Brene Brown, did research and found that people who deal with stress healthily and who are more satisfied with their lives than others are much better at setting boundaries throughout their whole life. For instance, they tell their friends and colleagues that they won’t pick-up the phone before 9am or after 7pm, or they make it clear, as your article says, that they won’t do any pointless busy work. This allows time for the more important things in life!

    Also, I totally agree with your point about using intuition in decision-making. I actually just wrote a blog post about the importance of following your intuition. :)

  • I have learned to listen to my gut, or as I call my Higher Power. When it tells me something I just act on what needs to be done, said or left alone.

    Deep breathing and reminding myself what I am frateful for in the am keeps me focused that I have a calling that I am passionate about and I can deal with whatever comes my way.

  • This is a post to which I’ll be coming back and reading again and again. So much wisdom and inspiration in a single post. Thank you for this.

  • Thank You !

  • This is such a great post. I often feel like my morning routine is so slow and unproductive. I worry that I should be speeding things up so that I can get the day going sooner. It is great to have a reminder that my morning shouldn’t be rushed and that it is ok to ignore everything that will be bombarding me the rest of the day and just ponder as I go about my routine, that I am not “wasting my time”. Thank you for the great post.

  • I would say working on minimizing your weaknesses is important which falls into stretching I suppose. If you know you have social anxiety which causes you to not socialize much and avoid situations where you could “stretch,” that will have serious consequences on your likelihood of making friends or getting a job in your desired field. Many weaknesses aren’t something you can cure such as a physical or mental disorder. Other weaknesses however such as phobias or obesity can be worked on and managed in order to improve your quality of life for the future.

  • This quote is certainly relevant to your third point.

    “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”

    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Teach. That’s the element I would add to the list. If finding a mentor aids us in more ably navigating new areas of discovery, BEING a mentor helps us to better understand what we’ve learned. I often find that I wasn’t even aware of the boundaries of my understanding until I attempted to share it with someone else. Teaching can be as much about this kind of self-discovery as it is about developing others.

  • Remember your brain has endless capabilities. When times get confusing, take a second and think “Wow, I can do anything RIGHT NOW. I can think ANYTHING right now. I can BE……endless imagination will take you out of the most difficult moments. Trust me. I’ve been there. It works.

  • I loved this post, so many of the points are true, but I must admit the most important is the one centered around action. “Talk is cheap”. Actions speak louder than words… So many times I have seen people spin their wheels around an issue;talking it through and never getting further than the thought itself. Partly as you said because of fear. Fear and failure is how we grow and gain the confidence to be better than we are.

    I am in the process of starting a small business and whenever I get to a point where I feel I am spinning, I try to take action. I have found that even the smallest action can lead to the biggest change. I remember not being able to afford research and felt like I had hit a huge road block. So I reframed my stance and identified what I could afford and used that to action the idea of starting a blog first before the business to learn and understand. $300 later, Owl & Ash was born and I now find myself with my first set of prototypes to test and move forward.

    Again, great post.
    Gary

  • Excellent post! I will be sharing a link to it in several professional forums (hope that’s OK)! I consider myself quite successful, and as I contemplate retirement next year, I look forward to pursuing success in different ways. The calm morning hour is perhaps the most important for me; when I had kids at home, I got in the habit of getting up at 4 to ensure I had my morning of quiet. I still do that, much to my husband’s chagrin, but I don’t feel right if I start my day off without my normal routine. Thanks for posting…I found this quite by accident, but will begin following your blog now! :-)

  • I agree with all rituals on the list. I have one more ritual that has served me very well for many years: A quite evening wind down, absent of emails, phone calls and text alerts. This allows me to reflect on the past day and plan for tomorrow.

  • Wonderful food for thought…
    Thanks a lot :)

  • TOTALLY bookmarking this post. Thanks for all the helpful tips!

  • Whew! My mind has expanded enormously reading this post. I agree and attempt to practice faithfully #1, having a consistent morning routine. Too easy to let the demands of others shortstop my walk with the dogs, quiet time in the Word and connection with my husband. When those go out the window, something just doesn’t feel right when I sit down to write. Thank you for this…will take awhile to digest and incorporate.

  • Irene Sandenbergh
    August 7th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I really want to thank you for all your free advice! At a time when I had no money, no job, low self esteem and seriously on a roller coaster to hell, there was nobody prepared to help me as I had no money for a life coach or any counseling. After reading all your emails and following your teachings, you have changed my life! You gave me hope and determination and I have structured my life and “code” according to your teachings and I am well on my way to success.

    You helped me when everyone else turned away. I WILL BE BUYING ALL YOUR BOOKS! Thank you so much!

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