There are more than a few people who have commented that I seem to be obsessed with the topic of success. I write about it, I study it and I do my very best to live it. While I don’t disagree with the notion that achieving more Success on the Far Side of Fifty is an obsession (or at least a passion) I think my reasoning is sound. I see no reason that any of us don’t at least strive to lead spectacular lives. After all, as far as any of us know, we have only one life to live. My research has shown me that success in any endeavor is largely a repeatable process. If we do more of what succesful people do we become more succesfull. What successful people do differently is a compilation of some of the major major things that truly successful people do differently than everyone else on the planet.
I hope you enjoy;
What succesful people do differently
Successful people integrate their work with their passion and their play
Poor people have jobs, middle class people have careers and truly rich people work on their passion and purpose.
Sadly the majority of us have jobs that just pay the bills. We spend decades of our lives working for an hourly wage in a role they we have no passion for.
Successful people earn their living doing what they love. Money either comes or it doesn’t; they are happy regardless. Richard Branson became incredibly wealthy pursuing his passion, Mother Theresa remained poor, but they both achieved success.
One of the most succesful people I know is a good friend of mine who is in charge of an employee wellness program for a large organization. She has been able to intigrate her love for helping people get healthy with her career. While she isn’t making boat loads of money she is certainly living a life of passion and purpose. And the smile on her face tells the world that she loves her work. That make her a success in my book.
Successful people buy assets not liabilities
In terms of finance a major difference in wealthy people vs poor people is how they spend their money.
The distinction between rich and poor is not a matter of income. It’s a matter of what they do with their income. I know many people with 6 figure incomes who are living paycheck to paycheck. I also know people who make much less money who are very comfortable and financially wealthy. Even people who make realtively little money can amass large amounts of money.
The real secret is spending habits.
Regardless of income, people who buy too many liabilities like cars, televisions, computers and other consumer goods are destined to remain poor.
On the other hand people who spend at least 10 percent of their income on assets that pay them a rate of return usually wind up wealthy, or at least finanancially well off. Assets that pay a rate of return can include rental properties, stocks and bonds.
In other words “Poor people work for their money and rich people make their money work for them”.
A great book on this subject is called RICH DAD, POOR DAD: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money by Robert Kiyosaki
Succesfull people have gotten used to failure
People who grow to be successful are used to living with the prospect of failure. As a matter of fact almost every successful person has experienced multiple failures on the path to success.
The list of extraordinary people who experienced failure is rather impressive and includes Oprah, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg and even Thomas Edison.
If you want to learn about other successful people who failed on the way to the top check out THIS post from Lifehack.
Successful people have a very different view of failure than nearly everyone else. Most people take failure as some sort of character flaw; “I have failed, so I must be either bad, or inadequate.”
When successful people fail they look at is as a learning opportunity and a chance to improve.
Succesfull people know the rule of “The aggregation of marginal gains”
Once successful people have a goal that aligns with their purpose and passion they get to work. They learn to overcome failure and they focus on getting better at their chosen craft.
But truly successful people don’t set out to do one thing 100% better, they set out to do 100 things 1% better.
I apply this to my life all the time. For me my definition of success means that my life is firing on all cylinders; I am healthy, my head is in a great place, my relationships are solid, my business is moving ahead, I am living in alignment with my passions and I am continually improving in all areas. But I never set out to make anything better all at once.
If I focus on improving my health and fitness I don’t just focus on how much weight I lift; I try and improve the quality of my sleep, my diet, my cardio as well as my work out routine. In fact I live my life looking out for opprtunities to make those slight improvements in everything I do.
This was the philosophy of the great basketball coach John Wooden who would start coaching NBA players by showing them the right way to put on their socks.
John has been quoted as saying “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
My advice to people is to stop looking for the magic bullet and start focussing on doing small things better.
If you want to learn more about the aggregation of marginal gains and the impact they can hae on your life read THIS post by James Clear
Succesfull people are at peace with being uncomfortable
This is a common theme across all streams of success and self-improvement.
ANYONE WHO ACHIEVES ANYTHING LEARNS TO LEAN INTO DISCOMFORT.
There is no growth in the comfort zone. To get stronger you need to lift weights that are heavier than you are comfortable with. To gain more fitness you need to push harder and run further than you comfortable with.
If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always gotten. The only way to success is through the comfort zone.
My advice to anyone who will listen is to continually do the things that you are uncomfortable doing. Moving beyond your comfort zone is the only way to realize personal growth and satisfaction.
Succesfull people know that effort comes before reward
Researchers across the world have proven that the ability to delay gratification is one of the surest indicators of success. To learn more about this concept check out THIS short video called The Power of Delayed Gratification.
The point is that successful people know that they have to put in the effort before they get the reward and, in fact it is the effort that truly makes the reward worthwhile.
As an example I have climbed to the top of many mountains and driven to many places that offered beautiful views. It is always the places that I worked the hardest to get to that offered the most exhilarating views, driving to the top of a mountain is not as rewarding as climbing.
Reward always works that way.
Expecting reward before effort is usually a losing propisition. All you need to do is look at all the people who have acquired mountains of debt because they got into the habit of spending money they hadn’t earned yet.
Successful people know that both happiness and success have to be earned every day
Finally; truly successful people know that both happiness and success have to be earned each and every day. Success isn’t a place on a map and neither is happiness. Both success and happiness are ideals that change as we move through life, and we always need to be working toward them.
J.J. Watt the defensive end for the Houston Texans said it best;
“Success isn’t owned, it’s leased and the rent is due every day.”
Succesful and happy people know that the true key to success and happiness is the work it takes to get there.
By the way if you are interested in hearing more about my thoughts on what success truly means check out THIS post called Why your definition of success may be wrong.
As always Thank you for reading Success of the Far side of Fifty feel free to leave a comment or to send me an email.
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If you want to learn a bit more about my views on success try reading THIS Blog Post called 5 critical questions to ask if you want more success