Surely you’ve wondered at some point what makes successful people successful, because it’s not just luck and it’s not just intellect. It’s an entire lifestyle.
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Beyond time, perseverance, hard work, and massive motivation, there’s even more behind the success stories of some of the world’s wealthiest businessmen, investors, and traders.
They all have a list of healthy habits that help them achieve their success—and they’re all certain that without these habits and routines, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
We’ve set out to research some of the habits of the most successful people to determine lifestyle patterns and choices that can lead to optimum achievement and a good life despite a busy schedule.
#1 Start the Day Early (Really Early)
Rising with the sun, or even right before, is what nature intended for mankind; hence the sunlight. We’ve strayed from that more and more as the centuries have unfolded, and with the invention of electricity, and then the current digital age. But sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics.
This is exactly what tech titan Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, does–religiously. And, he won’t be alone among the world’s most successful people. Cook has told reporters that he wakes up at 3:45 every morning, checks his email, goes out for coffee and then hits the gym. He’s first in the office and last out.
So, Cook gets a head start on the day, in a big way. While most of the rest of the country is sleeping, he’s up ahead of the sun, with no distractions and fresh energy for some creative thinking.
“The thing about it is, when you love what you do, you don’t really think of it as work. It’s what you do. And that’s the good fortune of where I find myself,” Cook said, as told by Business Insider.
#2 Morning Exercise
Exercise is great any time, but it’s particularly effective as the first thing you do in the morning. And it’s definitely a common routine among the world’s success stories. It gives you extra energy to start the day, clears your head for what’s to come, increases your ability to think creatively, and reduces the impact of stress on your body. It’s a bit of internal body armor.
And, as many of you might have noticed, if you don’t make it to the gym first thing in the morning, you probably won’t make it at all. Once your busy day starts, it’s increasingly hard to pull yourself away from your work.
British billionaire Richard Branson, investor and co-founder of Virgin Group, wakes up at 5.00 am every morning to exercise, whether it’s in the form of a tennis match, running or cycling.
“I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career and happy in my personal life if I hadn’t always placed importance on health and fitness,” Branson has said, adding that workouts help significantly boosts his productivity.
Likewise, Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, shares Branson’s opinion. He says he exercises at least three mornings a week, regardless of how busy he is.
“Staying in shape is very important. Doing anything well requires energy, and you just have a lot more energy when you are fit,” says Zuckerberg.
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It’s hard to start a day out successfully with a cluttered mind—and the best time to clear away the clutter is before you start your work day. Meditation isn’t just about ‘finding yourself’; it’s about preparing your mind to be able to focus and pay attention. It’s about rebooting to the present, and paving the way for rational thinking and smart decision-making. It’s not hippy. It’s just savvy.
A lot of major companies—including Google, AOL and Apple—understand the benefits of meditation and now offer meditation classes for employees. The top executives of many major corporations say meditation made them better leaders.
One of them, the 86-year-old News Corp. CEO, Rupert Murdoch, is keen on transcendental meditation. A form of deep relaxation that came out of India in the 1950s and is practiced today by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to David Lynch.
“I walked away feeling fuller than when I’d come in. Full of hope, a sense of contentment, and deep joy. Knowing for sure that even in the daily craziness that bombards us from every direction, there is — still — the constancy of stillness. Only from that space can you create your best work and your best life,” Oprah has said of transcendental meditation.
Padmasree Warrior, the CTO of Cisco System, meditates to reduce stress, and spends every Saturday on a ‘digital detox’ (no, it won’t kill you).
“It is almost like a reboot for your brain and your soul. It makes me so much calmer when I am responding to e-mails later,” she has said.
It’s been said millions upon millions of times; yet we still ignore this important fact: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for giving us the energy we need to get through and be productive. The most successful people pay attention to this.
Most stick to the same light, daily breakfast because it works, it’s healthy, and it gives them just the right kind of energy.
Scoot Raymond Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, is loyal to the same breakfast every day—even on weekends and holidays; he never strays from this: coffee and a protein bar.
“I give myself this ‘treat’ knowing I can be trained like any other animal. And I want to train myself to enjoy waking up and being productive. I also want to prevent hunger later because it might interrupt my flow,” Adams has said.
Fran Tarkenton, NHL Hall of Famer and founder of GoSmallBiz.com, swears by his consistent breakfast routine, which consists entirely of berries and an occasional foray into steel cut oatmeal. He says it helps him control his thinking, stamina and weight.
Read. Read. Read. Read. You think you don’t have time? Tell one of our billionaires that. If they have time, you have time. They read every day, and more many hours, always furthering their knowledge and broadening their minds.
According to recent survey, at least 85 percent of wealthy people read two books a month for learning or educational purposes. If you decide to read just 30 minutes a day, you will be doing what the top 1 percent do.
Among these 1 percent is American business magnate Warren Buffett. Once he was asked about the key to success and he responded, pointing to a stack of books: “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
Billionaire Bill Gates would agree. He reads every night for about an hour before going to sleep. All told, he figures he reads about 50 book a year and that his cumulative knowledge gives him a significant advantage over people who don’t read.
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep, especially after a tough day at work. And, nobody knows it better than highly successful people.
“Sleep your way to the top,” says Arianna Huffington, and she doesn’t mean any sinister. She needs 8 hours a night sleep but before that she turns off her phone and plugs all her electronics in to charge overnight outside her bedroom. This is to make sure she isn’t tempted to check messages in the middle of the night. It’s a routine that also includes giving up the digital and diving into a good book.
Tech billionaire Mark Cuban gets by on six hours of sleep a night, though seven is ideal, and he is always ready for a good nap to reboot.
“Before I go to bed, I can put my phone down and not worry about having to pick it up in the middle of the night and I can just get a good night’s sleep,” Cuban says. Cuban uses a fitness tracker to know if he is getting good sleep or not.
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