The 5 Often Overlooked Rituals of Ultra-Successful People
A lot of people say you get the best learning when you learning through experience.
But what a lot of people don't tell you, is you can get an unparalleled amount of learning done by learning through the experience of others.
Through the recording of historical figures and events, you have an enormous opportunity to take the advice and heed the lessons from some of the greatest thinkers, doers, dreamers and creatives throughout history.
When you begin to peel back the layers of what these individuals did to achieve their various successes, you begin to see patterns and similarities unfold.
Many of these people understood that there are specific rituals that when followed can unlock paramount levels of productivity, thought, action, and achievement.
Get a good night’s sleep.
"Sleep is the best meditation."
— Dalai Lama
This is something that you’ve known since you were a little kid.
Why are you still banking that you run at full optimization on a daily level if you are still getting only 5 hours of sleep?
Oh, I get it, you heard about all the Uber-entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley that have hacked their sleep down to only 5 hours and run ultra successful, multi-million dollar businesses.
Let me let you in on a little secret… Most of them are taking Adderall and other nootropics. There isn’t much sustainability in taking those drugs to stay ahead (I know, I did my fair share of them in college. Both my sanity and health began to suffer when I abused the drugs in order to get ahead).
Every morning we are either given the opportunity to attack the day with might and vigor or we are immediately set at a disadvantage trying to drive our body’s with not enough fuel.
Find the ability to identify a marginal adjustment in the smallest of my decision making that compounded over time into something great.
"You can always get better. The day you stop getting better is the day you shouldn’t be living. Gotta constantly improve and continue to grow within yourself."
— Antonio Brown
That may sound like an earful there.
So let’s unpack what it means:
Guinness Book World Record holder, personal investment manager, strategist, author and lecturer Stephen Duerier in his TedX Talk about Achieving You Most Ambitious Goals talks about how he achieved his wildest dreams in terms of business, relationships, art and life by identifying obstacles and goals and completely reducing what needed to be done on the smallest of levels.
For instance, when he claimed he was going to read 50 books in one year, he didn’t see it as 50 books, or the various chapters, or the endless sentences.
Rather, he saw the necessary first step as identifying when he was watching TV, or scrolling social media to put the device down and read just one word. When he read one word he would read two and so on.
He applied this to his college studies, his professional life with investments working for Bank of America and AIG, starting his own firm, his various marathons, losing weight and breaking world records.
In my life, I have applied writing to my daily habit.
I have a dream to be a published author, writing books that help influence people as much if not more than how I’ve been influenced in changing the paradigm of my life.
I know that I won’t be able to write a book and have it published overnight. Hell, I might not have this come true in one year or two or perhaps three.
I do know that writing and changing that decision everyday will bring me closer.
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
— Napoleon Hill
Persistence breeds productivity.
When you are persistent, you keep at the task at hand. When you keep at the task at hand, you find new ways to solve the problem.
When I work on my writing, I spend weeks and months grinding away trying to refine my processes, skills and style.
I find there are huge swaths of time that pass and I find myself in a plateaued state. I don’t feel as if I am moving anywhere. My writing seems stale, I’m not getting the feedback that I used to and I begin to feel hopeless.
In the back of my mind, I tell myself to be persistent. To not give in.
Generally, with adopting this mindset, something opens up.
I either find a new tool, I read an article, I write an article that yet again goes viral and I escape from the slump.
My persistence opens the door to new avenues of productivity.
Optimize your diet
"Want to learn to eat a lot? Here it is: Eat a little. That way, you will be around long enough to eat a lot."
— Tony Robbins
Super simple idea.
Yet hard to institute.
We live in a day and age where extremely tasty, mouth pleasuring food is at every corner for pennies on the dollar.
We can stuff our faces with food that gives us a numbing and relaxing high.
It’s hard to fight it. Scientifically, we are programed to find and eat food that are high in energy storage and are addictive. As humans, we have spent most of our time hunting and searching for food. Now, we find ourselves at the convenience of food systems.
I made a radical change to my diet that is more geared towards fueling my body and brain than mouth pleasure.
A bonus was losing over 15 pounds this past year!
With buying at the grocery store, I buy strictly plant based, poultry, fish and beef. This has made me not only more productive with my energy levels (not experiencing that sluggish feeling from processed foods) but also more productive with my budgeting and spending habits.
I eat yogurt in the morning that I sprinkle with a nut and seed medley. For lunch, I eat a sautéed veggie mix over a bed of brown rice. For dinner, I will then eat a protein rich meal with fish or beef.
We often forget how important the connecting between what sources of energy we put in our body and what energy output we will then receive.
Fuel your body with goodness and you will experience a more productive output.
Become more productive as a result of regular reading.
"The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. "
— Rene Descartes
A flight attendant once shared what trends she saw by the various passengers in the 3 different flight classes (economy, business and first).
In economy class the flight attendant noticed that most passengers were glued to the TV unit in front of them or perhaps they were watching downloaded movies on their smart device.
In business class, the flight attendant noticed the passengers all having their laptops out. They were either working on firing off emails, generating reports or writing up some type of proposal they needed to present when they landed.
In first class, the flight attendant noticed an overwhelming amount of the passengers pulling out books and reading. They were always learning new things. In the hours they spent locked in an airplane, they always took the time to learn.
When you learn new things you are always being productive. You are absorbing new skills, new ways of looking at things.
There are a handful of techniques I have adopted in my life to live more productively.
This is paramount in setting your day off on the right foot. There are myths of ultra-performers reaching high levels of success and productivity but don’t be fooled by this myth.
Get a bit better everyday.
Compounded overtime, making marginal adjustments can absolutely change your life.
Picture this: every morning you purchase a caramel macchiato from Starbucks.
What are you doing?
Well, not only are you crashing after the sugar rush thus depleting your productivity, you are also sacrificing your health. Making the marginal adjustment to perhaps a latte or black coffee, compounded over a year can have a drastic positive impact.
Persistence is a virtue.
When you’re persistent, you are “flipping the bird” to the world.
When the going gets rough, you stare at it in the face and don’t blink. You then perhaps plateau.
When this happens, it opens up new doors and new avenues for solving problems.
You are what you eat.
Super simple and super easy to do. I recognized the fuel- or lack there of- that I was putting in my body.
My paradigm on food has completely changed and I have experienced a drastic spike in productivity as a result.
Learning new skills and ideas will always take you to higher productivity levels.
When you read, you are invited to have the most intimate conversation with paragons of success in whatever field you choose.
Read and be more productive.