What separates the super successful from everyone else? There are well-known factors such as work ethic, passion, intelligence and grit. But there are also less obvious habits that allow certain individuals to separate themselves from the pack and become truly great at what they do.
Below are five common behaviors of the super successful.
1. They avoid decision fatigue.
Did you know willpower is a finite resource? It's true. It's like a gas tank.
In the morning, our gas tanks are full. But most of us wake up and immediately begin to make small decisions. Each one uses a small amount of willpower, burning some of the gas in our tanks and depleting our reserves for the rest of the day.
Super successful people recognize that by wasting their willpower on unimportant decisions, they have less fuel to make great decisions on the things that really matter in their lives and businesses.
This theory helps explain why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg never strays from his uniform of a gray t-shirt and black hoodie and why Tim Ferriss eats the same thing for breakfast every day.
2. They’re not afraid to say no.
We've long been taught to seize every opportunity. We're supposed to say yes to everything that comes up, managing our own priorities while also being a team player. Counter-intuitively, it’s this can-do attitude that often holds us back.
As billionaire Warren Buffett said, "The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
Every time you say no to a low-priority obligation, you free up time and energy to chase after what you really want.
3. They embrace boredom.
Super successful people generally have the resources to go on adventures, travel, try new things and learn new skills.
In the face of all this stimulating opportunity, many embrace boredom. Why? When it comes to business and personal development, they realize that growth is often the result of slow, incremental improvements.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps didn’t become the fastest swimmer in the world overnight. Instead, he embraced a rigid, repetitive series of pre-practice actions that primed his mind and body for success in the pool.
Mastering a skill typically requires sticking to a routine. Many successful athletes, artists, entrepreneurs and business leaders have embraced the boredom of repetition in order to master their crafts.
4. They don’t try to improve their weaknesses.
You know that annoying question you're often asked in job interviews?
It goes something like this: "What is your biggest weakness, and how have you tried to improve it?"
Most of us have an answer ready: we endeavour to be more focused, more patient, better verbal communicators etc.
Super successful people don’t think this way, however. They view improving their weaknesses as a fool's errand and instead focus on channeling their energies into areas where they naturally excel.
As author and researcher Tom Rath put it, "If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.”
5. They wake up before the sun rises.
What do CEOs and entrepreneurial millionaires have in common? They wake up early.
Business leaders from Richard Branson to Margaret Thatcher and Howard Schultz report rising long before the sun does. While the majority of us are still snoozing, they’re meditating, exercising, engaging in creative work and generally getting a productive start to the day.
Looks like Ben Franklin was onto something when he said: "Early to bed and early to rise makes and man healthy, wealthy and wise."