Do you ever wonder what successful people spend their time doing?
Have you ever been so jealous of someone’s success that the only thing you can do to make yourself feel better is to make fun of them? I know I used to do that.
Plenty of times I’d be outwardly ripping some successful person and their ambitions with my friends. Funny thing is, they were out living their dream and I was on the couch just running my mouth.
But if I was being honest, I secretly wished I had the same drive as them. I wished my life had more purpose. I wished I was a successful as the businessman, actor, singer, athlete, or random individual who got my verbal beating that day.
I used to be a hater from afar in high school and my freshman year of college. Then I decided that I wanted to be successful and provide value to people. Now, I get hate from other people and it’s all cool.
What about you? Can you relate to my former self that only criticized others making their dreams happen while I wasn’t? If that rings true to you, why don’t you stop criticizing and start doing what successful people do? Have you thought about that?
It takes nothing to criticize people. You have no skin in the game. But that also means you don’t get any reward or satisfaction. Again, because you have no skin in the game.
When you do what successful people do, you eventually achieve success and satisfaction—imagine that!
So here’s a checklist of what successful people spend their time on. Do what you want with it.
What Successful People Do
1. They have a vision.
Top performers have a long-term vision for their future. And then they relentlessly work toward that future. Their vision carries them in times of struggle. And it guides them on whether to say yes or no to opportunities.
On the other hand, many less successful people go by the philosophy you only live once (YOLO) and focus solely on getting the most fun out of the day. This YOLO mindset of fun over work will shortchange dreams and satisfying futures.
And don’t get me wrong because I’m all for making the most out of the day, see point #2. However, trying to get the most pleasure out of the day and working toward a greater future are two completely different ideas.
2. They get the most out of every minute.
I’m sure you’ve heard that time is the most valuable resource, yet do you live that way? Successful people do live that way. They don’t waste unnecessary time as they value each minute of the day to complete their daily goals.
What about you? Have you ever found yourself with 15 extra minutes to do something (because a meeting got cancelled, or whatever) but you sat at your desk and did nothing? It’s probably because you look at time in chunks of 60 minutes and 30 minutes, not individual minutes. You’ll improve your productivity when you begin to value each minute of the day: all 1,440 of them.
3. They have a positive attitude.
Understand this: Thoughts influence actions, actions influence success, therefore thoughts influence success. Got it? Having a positive attitude is what’s required to do your best work. Plus, other people enjoy the company of a positive person, so making connections is easier when your positivity is overflowing.
It’s hard to be successful if you consistently think negative. And you limit your ability to create change when you stay frustrated over your inability to change the world’s problems. If you find yourself often on the negative side, you would benefit from taking the 7-day positive challenge.
4. They read to continue learning.
I’m not going to go too far describing this one because I’ve previously written passionate pitches encouraging reading: Are You Reading Enough Books To Be Successful? and Book Reading Challenge: 4 Books In March. If you want to rapidly gain wisdom, use the mistakes of others, and improve your communication then reading is crucial. Plus, this George R.R. Martin quote highlights the power of reading, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”
An unsuccessful person has the mindset that they know it all. So the average person would spend their free time watching television instead of reading. Watching television is turning your brain off. Reading is empowering your brain to grow.
5. They talk about ideas.
Talking about ideas is inherently positive and enlightening. Whether it’s new business opportunities, the future, or solutions to your problems, ideas are a breath of fresh air. That’s why top performers talk about ideas—and sometimes these ideas turn into a breakthrough.
While wise people are sharing ideas, the majority of people enjoy gossiping because it temporarily makes them feel better to put someone else down. That’s not all it does though. It creates a negative mentality, leads to awkward situations, and breaks trust and relationships. There’s no use for it, so don’t waste your breath gossiping.
6. They fully recharge.
You won’t find a lot of successful people who are out of shape. To perform at your best, your body has to have the energy you need. The best at what they do work out often and eat healthy. Oh yeah, they also sleep around eight hours a night.
Contrary to popular opinion, successful people don’t get two hours of sleep before they’re up and at it the next day kicking butt. See what Arianna Huffington had to say about a great night’s sleep.
7. They live by routines.
Zuckerberg wears the same shirt every day. And President Obama only wears two types of suits. Why? Because having a routine gives them more willpower for their work, which happens to affect billions of people. For another example, Warren Buffett got in the routine of spending 80% of his work day reading financial documents, which has worked out for his bank account.
To compare, unproductive people waste time deciding their plan of action. They go back and forth deciding what to start first, and waste time on what they’re going to eat or wear. A lack of routine usually points to disorganization, too.
8. They’re a team player.
People who accomplish a lot are extremely complimentary of others because they have an abundance mindset. They know there’s enough success and money to go around for everyone. This allows them to support others and be grateful for the people and family around them. Then when they need it, other team players are ready to support them.
Unsuccessful people have a scarcity mindset, meaning they see other people’s success as less for them. That’s just how they operate. Little do they know that they’ll win more when they support others and help them succeed.
9. They bounce back from failure.
Edison failed his entire life, totaling 10,000 plus failures. Yet those failures helped him become arguably the world’s greatest inventor. Edison shows that the more you fail, the more you’ll understand that success and failure go hand in hand.
If you don’t have the right mindset towards failure, it can crush your spirit and cause you to give up. And quitting is the only way you truly fail. Otherwise, failure is just a lesson that you can use in your next attempt at success.
10. They are patient.
Big things take time to come together. Top performers realize this, yet they don’t just sit around and wait. They stay patient while working hard, remaining focused, and growing personally. For a great example, check out this success story of Harland Sanders, KFC’s founder.
An underachiever tolerates so little patience that once something doesn’t happen as quick as they want, they stop working for it. Don’t be that guy or girl. You could be one day away from making a huge accomplishment. So stay patient.
Are you afraid of success? If you are, you’re not alone because many people are. They fear everything will be different and they won’t be able to handle their new reality. They will be alone and have no one they can trust.
But there’s nothing to fear. Your true family and friends will still love you, and keep you humble, if you go on to be super successful.
So I encourage you to put your skin in the game and aim to be successful in your career through the outline of what successful people do above.
Jim Rohn caps it off best, “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
Related: 11 Words Successful People Don’t Say