Self-made people are fairly common in this country. The only reason you do not notice them is because they are not driving around in flashy cars or buying office blocks. They are simply making a living and getting by via the sweat of their brow and the ache of their own thoughts. There are some important habits to learn from self-made people. Adopt them and achieve your own success.
1. Keep a Diary
Reflective learning happens naturally when you keep a diary. You write down the things that went well during the day and you try to apply them to your plans for the future. You write down the things that went wrong during the day and you learn from them and try something different the next time the situation occurs. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is never going to move you forward.
2. Manage Your Time
The things to which you devote your attention should be positive either for yourself or other people. Those that expend most of their time and attention on a lover that doesn’t love them back are simply digging themselves into a hole that separates them further from the things that make them happy. Take the time to consciously direct your time and attention to things that move you forward and make you stronger.
3. Control Your Budget
A budget may be meaningless since most people break them within days of making them, but they are very illuminating devices. They enable you to see just how little money you actually have. With a budget, you can see how quickly you are going to run out of money and therefore you may slow your spending in anticipation. Always assume your expenses are 20% more than they should be, and assume your income will be 10% less than it should be. Also, create space for a contingency budget. If your contingency money isn’t spent one month, then you can put it into a savings account and self-insure yourself.
4. Treat Your Time like a Valuable Commodity
Denis Prager went to a liberal college to speak at the request of a six republican-minded students. Denis charged them for the time he spent speaking, and the students clubbed together and paid. Some in the college saw Denis charging students as an evil and horrible act, but all six of those students went on to become professionals ranging from corporate lawyers to managing partners in a dental practice. Denis taught them that their time was valuable to the point where you can put a dollar amount to it. This lesson itself was worth more than the money they paid for Denis to speak.
5. Build Self-Discipline
Knowing what you want and knowing what you are going to do to get it is a good place to start. However, you need a fair degree of self-discipline to be able to move forward and make the sacrifices required for success.
6. Develop the Habit of Avoiding Negative People
The world’s most successful people wouldn’t have gotten that way if they surrounded themselves with negative people. There is a place in this world for negativity, but negative people use negativity as their default position. Such people are poisonous. They can discharge a battery by touching it. They can draw the lifeblood of an idea out of it with a look on their face, and they can drain the energy and enthusiasm out of a group like a high-powered dehumidifier in a steam room.
7. Talk Yourself up
So many people are in the habit of talking themselves down that they do not even realize they are doing it. Some people are their worst bullies and they do it so often they don’t know they are doing it. Their default position is “I can’t”, “I shouldn’t” and “No.” Get into the habit of consciously talking yourself up. You may think you cannot do a task, but gosh darn it you are going to, give it the best effort you can.
8. Keep Your Money
Ask somebody what they would do with hundreds of dollars, and they will give you a laundry list of things they would spend it on. What they are actually saying is that if you give them money, they will give it away as quickly as possible. Stop wasting your money. Get into the habit of keeping your money; otherwise, what is the point of working so hard to get it. When you are about to spend, ask yourself how long you had to work for that money. Suddenly the subway sandwich doesn’t appear that appealing when you realize you had to work 30 minutes to get it.
9. Do Not Bend to the Will of the opposite Sex
One of the scariest things about people is their unsophisticated and base urge to give in to their libido. It almost appears as if humans have no control over their sexual urges. Yet, if you take a step back, you discover you are a lateral thinking human with the ability to live with your libido without acting on it. Being controlled by somebody of the opposite sex is a very bad habit to get into.
10. Understand That Sport Makes You Stronger
There is a competitive edge that can be transmuted, rather powerfully, to other areas of your life so that you may excel. Sport in its purest form is not about damaging the other players to get ahead; it is about becoming the most superior thinker, tactician, and performer. The same is true of life. You do not have to trample over your competitors to get ahead.