What is success? Time and Life. The daily life habits for success As a teenager the definition for success was simple. The internal measures of success that include happiness, good relationships, feeling fit and healthy and being in control of your life are what we strive for every day.1 So what habits produce that sometimes elusive sense of success? Here are the daily life habits of happy and successful people. Commit to the habit of exercise1 I am too busy and don’t have time for exercise. I don’t know about you but being at the beck and call of other people’s priorities is not a good place to be and a time suck. Block out time each day for the important projects and deep work that over time will create true success. Make goal setting a habit I had just started in the technology industry. “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you at your funeral….. there you will find your definition of success” Success is very personal.
What is success?
That small question has led to thousands of books being written, countless conversations and much soul searching. Is it measured by a big house, a successful career and a large pay-packet? The Oxford dictionary defines it as “The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status”
But can we really fit success into that small box? Is the meaning of success much bigger than that? Is that definition losing relevance as more of us move beyond just survival and more stuff to creating a life that needs more meaning and purpose.
The reality is that success can be seen from two sides. From the outside and the inside.
There is a tension between our personal view of success and what society sees as “success”. And they are very different.
How society defines success
Society, friends and family can shape your view of life, bend your priorities and have an impact on our success or failure habits.
What others think can be an external force for good or anxiety producing pressure. Is it keep up with the Jones’s or write your own story. Sometimes the truth sits somewhere in between.
In a recent online study by the NAB bank titled “Rethink Success” that interviewed 2,019 people aged between 16 and 70 those external pressures are revealed. It seems to fit the dictionary definition that is all about the externalities.
How we personally define success
But when the individual was asked what success meant for them, then the measures were a world apart. The external falls away and the true measures of what success really is are revealed.
So at a personal level success sits for most between “being happy” and “being on control of your life”. When you add the external expectation of a society to the mix then dissonance arises.
This matrix of success leads to two types of conversations.
But at the end of the day success for most is an “inside” job.
There are two types of conversations that we have every day.
The one we have with others and the silent internal dialogue. That quiet and often conflicting commentary can be the deciding agent for moving forward or sitting still. It depends on what you allow to reside in the moments between bustling activities.
But the antagonist is not in plain sight.
It whispers in your ear as you delay a project or contemplate starting that venture. It lurks in the stillness of the night and fills you with dread. Fear takes flight and doubts are amplified.
Your bashful adversary is ever-present.
Your biggest enemy
So we often look for enemies from without but the biggest one? The one within. It’s the daily battle with self. That is a challenge we face daily on many fronts
It’s fear of failure, putting off the important things that make a difference and being judged are but a few.
So don’t blame your parents.
Self mastery is where the magic starts and success happens and every day is a new battle.
The curse of procrastination
Tatsuo Miyajima (the reknown Japanese contemporary artist) is famous for his visual art. The theme that sits beneath and in his creations is the irreversibility of two things. Time and Life. And you can’t buy either of them.
They are given to you at birth and they are disappearing everyday. Every moment. Procrastination is the enemy.
Tim Urban in a lengthy post (and in an inspiring and funny TED talk) mentions there are two key types of procrastination. The one’s with deadlines and those without a starting point. The ones without that deadline are the most dangerous.
As an entrepreneur it could be that new product you should be developing or a new marketing initiative that you should be implementing.
The cruel fact for the self employed?
Mum or the professor is not going to call you and say “when are you delivering that project?”.
The habits and rituals of life are often the only thing that stand between you and success. You just need to commit to the right ones.
The daily life habits for success
As a teenager the definition for success was simple. A fast red sports car. I eventually bought one of those. It made me happy for a while.
But I have discovered that true happiness and success lies within. More stuff doesn’t mean more happiness it just means more anxiety and more insurance.
The internal measures of success that include happiness, good relationships, feeling fit and healthy and being in control of your life are what we strive for every day.1
So what habits produce that sometimes elusive sense of success? Here are the daily life habits of happy and successful people.
#1. The creation habit1
Life is busy. We show up at work and become buried in our tasks. The day is spent building a business for someone else. It is a value exchange. And along the way we do build skills and experience.
But creating for others is one thing. But if that is where it starts and finishes then you are giving away your best work to others.
Make and take the time to create something for you.
Start your day creating. Then the day is already a success. Life long success and creating a legacy is just a superset of that daily investment.
But some of us are night owls. So whatever your preference, block out the borders for the time you need to create and guard it religiously from distractions and procrastination.
Make it a habit to create something of consequence.
#2. Commit to the habit of exercise1
I am too busy and don’t have time for exercise. Have you heard that internal chatter before?
But the reality is that we are interconnected human beings. The physical body houses the brain. The mental health and the physical are interwoven.
In a busy life of family, work, commuting and socialising it can be put on the back burner. This is fine for short…