There are no shortage of lists of things to find on the internet. If you follow entrepreneurial or personal development feeds in social media or have stumbled upon one of those email newsletters that you can’t seem to unsubscribe completely from, then you have undoubtedly read your fair share of lists of tasks that successful people always follow that ensure their success.
We are skipping the lesson on correlation, causation and coincidence to later in this article, but there are some general consistencies that are at least anecdotally simple to spot in people who have some level of success and the habits and rituals that they perform religiously. Add the notion that these rituals are completed as early in the day as possible, before the monotony of daily tasks begin, and you can see how easy it can be to get yourself psyched up for a tough day by working through some of the possible stresses before they can form.
This article highlights four rituals consistently mentioned as key by those we view as ‘have made it.’ Remember, there are no guarantees that you will find fame or fortune by adopting any or all of these. But they certainly can’t hurt your efforts.
Meditate Without Getting Distracted By Semantics
The goal of daily meditation should not necessarily be about chakras and becoming one with the vast expanse of the universe. The goal is to spend a little quiet time with yourself, maybe with some positive thoughts, or even in quality conversation with your creator. Find a quiet, comfortable, and distraction-free place, and start with just five minutes of trying to keep your mind clear. If you find soothing background sounds or music necessary, add it. If you need a little help keeping your thoughts clear, download a guided meditation. If you fear you are opening up your soul to bad vibes, say silent prayers of protection. If you are completely lost on what you should be doing, just close your eyes and repeat to yourself in very low tones, ‘Thank you.’ Meditation should not hard and does not need to be that serious.
Get In A Workout Regardless Of Your Sweat Level
A popular excuse for not getting a good workout is a simply a lack of time. Many people are not blessed with free blocks of hours and access to classes, treadmills and Smith machines. While this does pose a problem for people working toward elite level fitness, a two-hour gym session is not necessary for the average person just trying to maintain a good level of strength and agility. In fact, your body doesn’t know the difference between a 50-minute aerobics class and five 10-minutes calisthenics sessions spread over the course of the day. A mile traveled is the same distance and mostly same effort, whether run in 6 minutes, jogged in 12, or walked in 20. You can get a lot of fitness mileage out of knocking out a quick set of pushups and jumping jacks, and you will not get too sweaty in the process. There are too many benefits from exercise and too many simple and quick ways to work it into any busy schedule to not do it.
Read Something Other Than Your Social Media Feed
People can make the argument that we collectively read more thanks to the invention of social media. Many people you know will boldly proclaim to have not read a physical book since high school while proudly showing off the random list of articles skimmed and ‘liked’ in various feeds on their mobile phones. The problem is the content being compared is not comparable. A quick list of 10 things made mostly of pictures is not the same as what is found in a bound book, regardless of the book’s content. From salacious romance novels to detailed autobiographies, even the shortest book will take a good amount of effort to create, which in turn requires a good amount of time to consume. A book can be a quickly read, but still a deeper read than a ‘you’ll never believe what happens next’ article. Set aside some time and read a few pages. If lugging a physical book is a problem, download a book reading app on that fancy smartphone you are so proud to own. Then, you can read as much ’50 Shades of Grey’ as you want in public with no shame whatsoever.
Make A List, Baby
One of the most powerful tools you can keep in your personal development toolbox is a daily checklist. The optimal way to work a checklist is to create it ahead of time for a specific need, such as a list of your important tasks for your workday created the night before. Creating your list gives you a game plan to work through, and a tool to reconcile your progress or lack thereof at the close of your mission. Tack on a regularly scheduled appointment with yourself for a detailed review of all your work and you will find you have created the ultimate progress report for yourself.
Try Them All, Or Try Them One At A Time
The four habits presented here can do a lot to advance you on the path of success. Or not. You must first remember to not let getting any of these things done get in the way of getting your regular stuff done. Second, getting back to that lesson on correlation, causation and coincidence we promised earlier. While correlation does establish a connection between two things based on their co-occurrence, correlation does not imply causation. That means just because it happens together, does not mean one always triggers the other. That is just coincidence, just the circumstances of events, with no real connection. Daily meditation will not make you as spiritual as Deepak Chopra. Daily workouts will not make you as intense as Tony Horton. Daily reading will not make you a quoted as Malcolm Gladwell. And making your daily list of activities will not make you a billionaire like Oprah Winfrey. Doing the work should help you toward greater success. You still have to rely on your hard work, a little bit of luck, and the pursuit of a solid and obtainable goal.