All posts by Esther Abraira

Bad habits vs Good habits

5 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People

February 23, 2016

We all know that habits can either help or hurt your success in life. Bad habits can fester and grow into a lifestyle that takes you away from the things you want to do—and good habits can help you create a life that’s full of action and accomplishment.

If you were to look at someone you respect, someone who’s successful, you would see that they spend each day doing the things that help them accomplish their biggest goals. This isn’t to say they’re perfect—because no one is—but despite the things that are not perfect in their lives, they continue to make moves that have a positive impact. And it starts with their daily habits.

Now, while we can all study successful habits, it’s meaningless if we don’t implement that knowledge. So here are five daily habits of highly successful people—habits you can adopt to create the life you truly want to live:

1. Successful people plan out their day the night before.

It’s easy to get off track when you don’t have a plan. Without planning what your day will look like, you wake up not knowing what you want to do or accomplish. Successful people spend a little time the night before giving themselves clear goals for the next day. Then they wake up and go down their list.

Life doesn’t always work out as planned, but with a plan, you can adjust without losing momentum.

2. Successful people read books to get inspired.

Reading is an essential element in success—books contain so much knowledge. Apparently Elon Musk would read at least four hours a day growing up. Four hours. And look how successful he became.

 

There isn’t necessarily a defined length as to how much time you should be reading, but forming a daily reading habit will expand your knowledge and help you on your journey to success.

3. Successful people make their health a priority.

What you eat and how much you exercise affects every area of your life. Successful people use their exercise as a time to reset and plan. And they make smart food choices that will give them the energy they need to accomplish everything on their daily to-do list.

              So, what’s for dinner? Is the gym on your to-do list? Choose wisely.

4. Successful people don’t get distracted by what other people are doing.

Other people’s journeys to success can be inspiring; you can learn so much—about their mistakes, their victories, what to do, what not to do. But if you start comparing your progress to theirs, instead of using their stories as inspiration, you can feel jealous, stressed, unworthy.

Successful people realize their journey is unique and can’t be compared. So don’t get stuck in the comparison trap—stay focused on your why.

5. Successful people live each day as if it were the last.

Life is busy, it’s chaotic, and so you tend to want to focus on the future—we all do it, worry about what’s next. But while planning is important, so is living—being fully present.

Life is short, and there’s no guarantee as to when it will end. Successful people live each day as if it were their last and make the most out of each moment—and so should you.

When you look at a big goal, it’s common to get frustrated at the enormity of what you’re trying to accomplish. If you wake up each day determined to spend it forming good habits, you give yourself a better chance at success. So use these five habits as a starting place to build whatever a successful life means to you.

 

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5 Learnable Mindsets of Highly Successful People

5 Learnable Mindsets of Highly Successful People

May 12, 2016

Have you ever wondered how truly successful people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Muhammad Ali became successful and continued to excel? I sure have. I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people successful.

This was probably because I wasn’t very successful in school. It wasn’t until I discovered and started applying what I learned from competitive sports, biographies and books by Stephen R. Covey and Tony Robbins that things began to turn around for me.

A lot has happened in the 25 years since I nearly flunked out of school. I’ve read hundreds of personal development books, obtained three psychology degrees, and trialed-and-errored my way through my own personal-development journey.

As a psychologist, I’ve assessed and treated everyone from hardened criminals to anxious executives. I now work with athletes, executives, academics and entrepreneurs to help develop their personal and professional potential.

Throughout the last 25 years, I’ve discovered five (learnable) mindsets that set apart the achievers from the rest of the world:

1. Successful people know and accept themselves.

They know their strengths and weaknesses. They accept themselves for who they are and work with or around what they are given.

Think of people like Bill Gates or J.K. Rowling. They accept and work with their introverted personalities. They don’t try to be something they aren’t. If they’d spent their lives fighting against their introversion, we likely wouldn’t be enjoying the fruits of their labors today.

2. Successful people set goals congruent with their personality, values, interests, strengths, skills, mission and purpose.

Not based on their immediate urges, moods or circumstances.

Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela and Oskar Schindler all lived their lives based on who they really were, what they valued, what they were good at and what they realized their mission was. Some of them paid dearly for pursuing their path. But I doubt that any of them would have had it any other way. Friedrich Nietzsche aptly said, “He who has a whyto live can bear almost any how.”

3. Successful people know they have much more control over the trajectory of their lives than others realize.

At the same time, they know that even though they are steering their ship, they can only control themselves. They understand and accept that they can’t control what the world throws in their path, but they can control how they react to those obstacles. They know that they can anticipate and act before the world acts upon them. They know that if they keep pushing forward they will eventually reach their destination.

4. Successful people accept that they will repeatedly go through tough times.

Tough times are par for the course for those who do big things. They know that’s how the world works and don’t fight or complain about it. Without difficult times and failures, there is no learning, no growth. They know that nothing worth achieving comes without a struggle. They know there’s a difference between suffering and struggling.

The Dalai Lama wrote, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Successful people struggle and feel pain, but don’t suffer because they are living their lives and pursuing goals that are in line with who they are, what they value, and what they believe to be their purpose or mission. To them, it is worth it.

5. Successful people know that once they get to their destination, they will find another.

Because of this, they accept and enjoy the struggle, for they know that the journey is the destination.

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10 Things Successful People Never Do Again

10 Things Successful People Never Do Again

We all make mistakes but the people who thrive from their mistakes are the successful ones.
June 24, 2014

“Never go back.” What does that mean? From observations of successful people, clinical psychologist and author of Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again (Howard Books, June 2014), Dr. Henry Cloud has discovered certain “awakenings” that people have—in life and in business—that once they have them, they never go back to the old way of doing things. And when that happens, they are never the same. In short, they got it.

“Years ago, a bad business decision of mine led to an interesting discussion with my mentor,” Dr. Cloud says. “I had learned a valuable lesson the hard way, and he reassured me: ‘The good thing is once you learn that lesson, you never go back. You never do it again.’

“I wondered, what are the key awakenings that successful people go through that forever change how they do things, which propel them to succeed in business, relationships, and life? I began to study these awakenings, researching them over the years.”

Although life and business have many lessons to teach us, Dr. Cloud observed 10 “doorways” of learning that high performers go through, never to return again.

Successful people never again…

1. Return to what hasn’t worked.

Whether a job, or a broken relationship that was ended for a good reason, we should never go back to the same thing, expecting different results, without something being different.

2. Do anything that requires them to be someone they are not.

In everything we do, we have to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this? Am I suited for it? Does it fit me? Is it sustainable?” If the answer is no to any of these questions, you better have a very good reason to proceed.

3. Try to change another person.

When you realize that you cannot force someone into doing something, you give him or her freedom and allow them to experience the consequences. In doing so, you find your own freedom as well.

4. Believe they can please everyone.

Once you get that it truly is impossible to please everyone, you begin to live purposefully, trying to please the right people.

5. Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit.

Once successful people know they want something that requires a painful, time-limited step, they do not mind the painful step because it gets them to a long-term benefit. Living out this principle is one of the most fundamental differences between successful and unsuccessful people, both personally and professionally.

6. Trust someone or something that appears flawless.

It’s natural for us to be drawn to things and people that appear “incredible.” We love excellence and should always be looking for it. We should pursue people who are great at what they do, employees who are high performers, dates who are exceptional people, friends who have stellar character, and companies that excel. But when someone or something looks too good to be true, he, she, or it is. The world is imperfect. Period. No one and no thing is without flaw, and if they appear that way, hit pause.

7. Take their eyes off the big picture.

We function better emotionally and perform better in our lives when we can see the big picture. For successful people, no one event is ever the whole story. Winners remember that—each and every day.

8. Neglect to do due diligence.

No matter how good something looks on the outside, it is only by taking a deeper, diligent, and honest look that we will find out what we truly need to know: the reality that we owe ourselves.

9. Fail to ask why they are where they find themselves.

One of the biggest differences between successful people and others is that in love and in life, in relationships and in business, successful people always ask themselves, what part am I playing in this situation? Said another way, they do not see themselves only as victims, even when they are.

10. Forget that their inner life determines their outer success.

The good life sometimes has little to do with outside circumstances. We are happy and fulfilled mostly by who we are on the inside. Research validates that. And our internal lives largely contribute to producing many of our external circumstances.

And, the converse is true: people who are still trying to find success in various areas of life can almost always point to one or more of these patterns as a reason they are repeating the same mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes…even the most successful people out there. But, what achievers do better than others is recognize the patterns that are causing those mistakes and never repeat them again. In short, they learn from pain—their own and the pain of others.

A good thing to remember is this: pain is unavoidable, but repeating the same pain twice, when we could choose to learn and do something different, is certainly avoidable. I like to say, “we don’t need new ways to fail….the old ones are working just fine!” Our task, in business and in life, is to observe what they are, and never go back to doing them again.

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