In Success on the Far Side of Fifty I often share the latest tips and techniques on how to create the fantastically successful life that you want and deserve. Today’s post is a little different. In this post I share some of the most useful, well-known, and yet least acted upon pieces of advice that were ever given.
One Day at a Time, the true secret of success
The title says it all and is as simple and as truthful as it gets.
Most of the major outcomes in our lives are simply the accumulation of years of consistently repeated actions. But often we don’t see the true consequences of our actions until later in life. Those of us on the far side of fifty are, more or less, the product of half a century of habits, rituals and daily actions.
We gained or lost our health one day at a time and we got rich or poor the same way. In fact, luck aside, after 50 plus years on the planet virtually everything that matters in our lives is a direct consequence of our daily routines. The number and the quality of our relationships is a reflection of our daily habits as are our own self perceptions. Even the positive or negative outlooks we have on the world are the results of our own repeated thoughts and actions.
Success, however you define it, is almost totally a result of consistent daily action and has very little to do with luck and circumstance. Now this is not to say that circumstances play absolutely no role in life. People with great, healthy lifestyles get sick, while people who have abused their bodies for decades enjoy amazing health.
But the vast majority of people attribute too much to luck and too little to behaviours.
The fact that one person got wealthy after a lifetime of careful investing, while another remained broke due to years of out of control spending is no accident. It shouldn’t be a shock that the chronic smoker develops breathing issues. Nor is it a great suprise when the morbidly obese person is stricken with joint problems or worse.
The opposite is also true. The fact that a super fit and super active 80-year-old is still able to climb mountains is more likely the result of a life time of clean living than amazing genetics, (or it could be a combination of the two.)
Most people discount the impact of small actions and never consider the cumulative impact of those actions.
Eating a little bed time snack seems harmless enough until you do the math.
Just 10 taco chips will add about 146 calories to your caloric intake which could equal 15 pounds of fat gained in 1 year. A mere 10 chocolate covered almonds contain about 170 calories, which, if consumed daily, is the equivalent of 17 pounds of fat per year.
To be very direct, people don’t get fat all at once, they gain their weight one meal, or even one snack at a time.
But the opposite is also true; you can lose all the weight you want to by making one, small, healthy choice at a time. If you eliminate those 10 taco chips per day you might just lose those 15 pounds.
Similarly one of the greatest complaints in our modern world is a lack of time.
People say they have no time to work out, visit friends, get a degree, write a book or fulfil any number of dreams and goals they have in life.
Yet the majority of North Americans are proven to watch 5 hours of television per day.
Each hour of television that you watch costs you about 9 full weeks (360 hours) of productive time per year. Think for a moment what you could do with a 9 week block of time. Imagine the relationships you could build, the money you could earn, the fitness you could achieve or the good you could do for the world.
But what if you eliminated all television? You would literally have an extra 45 WEEKS OF PRODUCTIVE TIME PER YEAR to use as you see fit.
People sometimes ask me how I have managed to accomplish the things I have life, and my answer was, and is, simple:
I watch very little television which gives me plenty of time to read, write, exercise, work on my business, pursue my hobbies and pay attention to all the things that I feel add great value to my life. In fact for most of my adult life I have held down a full time job and still have plenty of time left to pursue my goals and dreams.
So, to anyone who has any intent of doing great things with their life, please pay close attention to the things that you do on a consistent basis.
And for my readers on the far side of fifty please remember that it isn’t too late to make the changes you want to see in your life. You need not worry about next year, or even next month. If you make the effort to do your very best each and every day then the subsequent days, weeks and months will take care of themselves.
Even if you are broke, unhealthy and alone, with time and effort you can gain most, if not all of those things back. Relationships can be remade, money can be accumulated and health can be returned.
The only resource that is completely irreplaceable is time, so use it wisely and start making today the very best day you can.
If you want to hear more of my thoughts about time management check out THIS post called 5 Quick and Easy Ways to Save Hours a Day.
If you want to learn my daily routine please check out my next post, where I will fully explain most of the things that I do on a daily basis.
Thanks for reading. I hope this post helps you make today the masterpiece you deserve.