(#230) Your Habits—Your Choices

As Aristotle said, “Excellence is not an act, but rather a habit.”

Ever wonder what separates the achievers from the non-achievers (besides what they actually achieve)? In the November issue of Success Magazine, Tom Corley outlines what he calls “Rich Habits-Poor Habits” (from his book Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals).

Based on his research, he found the clear differences between the wealthy and the poor existed not in talent, charm or intelligence but rather in their daily habits.  The Success article outlined 16 Rich Habits (see pages 73-76 of the magazine).  For our purposes this week, I will focus on the five habits that spoke to me.  As you read each one, do a quick mental check of how you fare in these areas.

rich habits

  1. Read every day.
    Read at least 30 minutes per day.  And it’s not just any kind of reading.  The rich habit focused on reading to learn—to gain knowledge about career, business, balance and well-being.
  2. Forget television and web surfing.
    Corley found that nearly two-thirds of the wealthy people in his study spend less than one hour per day in front of the television or on the Internet (unless it is job-related). Tellingly, more than three-quarters of those who struggle financially spend more than one hour per day in front of the boob tube.
  3. Go above and beyond in your work.
    The poor habit found itself mired in the “it’s-not-my-job” syndrome. What employer wants to entrust that mindset with the keys to the kingdom? Contrast that with the workers who go above and beyond to make themselves invaluable to their bosses and clients.  Yes, focus is important (see #5 below) but so is being a self-starter. The rich habit here is to keep stretching yourself. Find ways to learn more about what you do for your calling.
  4. Avoid toxic people.
    I have written often on this blog about energy vampires—and all of their toxic consequences. Corley found that 86% of successful people associate with successful people, while “96% of those struggling financially stick with others struggling financially.”  Think of the power of networking.
  5. Know your main purpose.
    Video recommendation for the week:  Steve Jobs spoke of the power of saying “No!”  This rich habit is about understanding what your core values are and focusing on them.  In business, that means not being distracted by the little things that may seem interesting or not saying yes because it would make someone feel good.  Your actions should complement your purpose.

To start your week, address each of the habits above. For instance:

  1. I will set aside 30 minutes each day to read for personal/professional development. You could do this with an audiobook or while riding the stationary bike in the gym or getting up 30 minutes earlier to have one-half hour of sustained silent reading.
  2. I will limit my television time to 60 minutes or less. Consider this: If you spend two hours/day in front of the TV that equates to 10 hours per week. (I’m not even counting weekend viewing.) In the course of a month that is the equivalent of one full work week (40 hours). Over the course of the year, you have just kissed more than three months good bye! Really?
  3. This week I will explore one area in my workplace that really is not in my job description. I will work to understand how this area fits with what I do for whom I serve.
  4. I will not only minimize my time with energy-sucking people, I will seek out and continue to develop (start to develop) a relationship with at least one positive and nutritious person this week. Need I really say more?
  5. This is an area that I have had to really work on during my career. I have gotten better—but still need work. My current goal is to work with a mentor by year’s end to help sort through all of my projects and re-focus on/fine tune my core purpose and avoid projects that distract me from that purpose.

As Aristotle said, “Excellence is not an act, but rather a habit.”

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 

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