Image credit: Mint Images-Tim Robbins | Getty Images
Changing your life starts with the small, consistent changes you make day to day.
Many of the world’s greatest thinkers, creators, and innovators have been defined by their routines and habits. There are many people who say that the way you start the day is what defines your success.
For millennia, those who have made a consistent effort to contribute change to the world have had a defined set of ways that they created their realities. Even Marcus Aurelius psyched himself up to do his work, meaning that, even two thousand years ago, the greatest philosophical minds in the world were secretly giving themselves pep talks to persevere. Taking responsibility for your own motivation and intentions is a timeless activity, and one that can lead to astronomical wins.
There are a few things in my repertoire that I have to credit with keeping me in alignment with my integrity and my goals. Given that I was able to become a self-made millionaire twice before the age of 30, I’m sharing some of my secrets in an effort to encourage you to be more, do more, and aim for more — because you’re in charge of getting there, and you’re also the only one who can hold you back.
To be straight up — so much of grinding until you shine has to do with taking really, really good care of yourself. Yeah, there will be times when you’re not sleeping much and pushing hard for what you love. But, it’s no excuse not to keep up with other healthy habits — a well-oiled machine is the one that travels farthest. Your game is on point when you’re on top of your game.
I remember the first time I saw Tony Robbins in New Jersey. Those of you who have now seen his pretty amazing documentary on Netflix are clear on all of the crazy habits he has, but really, they’re not that crazy. It’s just that they’re not common. That’s also because it’s uncommon for people to reach his level of success and presence. See the connection?
Here are seven ways that I make meaningful efforts to stay on top of my own rising:
Your mind dictates your reality. What you think is what you will experience. Science has proven our ability to rewire our own brains, through changing our thought patterns and engaging in practices like meditation [it’s called neuroplasticity.] So, that’s a thing. Why would you not take advantage of the fact that you can literally program yourself for success? Positive thinking is imperative. Nobody is going to be positive 100 percent of the time, we’re human, but making an effort to shift your perspective consistently is going to impact your life in ways you can’t imagine. Believe you can and you will. It’s true. Pep talk yourself. Marcus Aurelius and I are both into it.
2. Practice what you preach.
Nobody trusts someone who doesn’t walk their talk. And you can tell when someone is off of their authenticity game. Execute. Don’t just talk about it. Be it. Every. Single. Day. Make plans, and crush them. If you don’t get through your whole to do list, it’s no worries — what matters is that you show up for those ideas and plans every day. Take it seriously, a little pressure on yourself is healthy, but also know that it’s a daily practice of showing up big.
3. Greet the day.
Get up with the people, or before. Rising at noon because you don’t have to be at an office is actually not impressive. You don’t have to start working early if it doesn’t suit you, but humans are built to rise when the sun wakes up — so make an effort to be more human, and not only will your days feel much easier [because you have more time in them.] but you’ll have time to yourself before the insanity of building your empire begins. This morning time is key. It’s a great time to exercise or move your body, power up with healthy eats, and get your mind right. How you prepare for each day adds up. If you were running for president, would you jump right into election day, without any campaigning, with sweatpants on, having slept in until 1 p.m.? Nope. Get up, get after it.
4. Embrace collaboration.
Success is never exclusively self-made. That’s actually a big, annoying lie. While we can be responsible for the dreams that led us to great success, hence the title of this article, we never get where we’re going alone. We really need each other, we need mentors, we need community. Going it alone will dig you deep into a big hole. Additionally, you need a team. Being a solopreneur is great as long as it suits you in the beginning, but trying to do everything by yourself when you grow to the point that it’s really stressing you out is no way to run a business. A leader does not solely lead his/her own life, but also leads others on the path to greatness.
5. Consistency is key.
This is important not just in your personal life, but also as far as business goes. Consistency is how you build following and presence, but it’s also how you create results. It’s easy to get distracted, but you can teach yourself to starve your distractions and feed your focus. This is one of the key ways I’ve leaned up my time to make my success even more inevitable. Focus on what’s important — not comparing yourself to others or worrying too much about the future. Focus on what you can do today, right now, for yourself and where you’re going.
6. Integrity always.
Your word is your value. If you want to be seen as a leader, act like one in all ways. That isn’t limited to what you’ve built. The physical manifestations of success and material wealth, pale in comparison to the growth in character you experience when you understand what it means to build something of value. If you create something that will impact the lives of others, inevitably, it will impact your life in incredible ways as well. Stay in integrity. Speak with intention. Act with regality.
7. Gratitude and mindfulness.
Gratitude is game-changing. If you’ve set even one foot into the world of personal development, you’ll know this. But kicking your negative thoughts to the curb is a non-negotiable. When you’re grateful for what you’ve already got, and don’t take your life for granted, you’ll be way happier. This makes all of the steps prior to this so much easier. Start each day listing three things you’re thankful for. Give love to yourself, your family, your friends, your team — life is short. Appreciate it now, not later.
Mindfulness is your ability to listen to the Leader Within [or your inner voice] which is a lot quieter than your ego. You can train yourself to hear your truth and act on it through a meditation practice or other mindful activities like slowing down to breathe a few times during the day, mindful exercise or writing/talking with someone.
These are some of the ways that I keep myself in check. In truth, eighty percent of being a leader is learning to lead yourself. Keep your mindset on point, stay in integrity, and appreciate what you have. Practice some of these habits, and create your own. If you stay consistent with them, I promise your life will change.