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The Science of Success: 6 habits that lead to higher income, happiness and growth

How many times have you heard someone say, “Don’t do that – do this to make more money!”, followed by some other self-proclaimed “guru” touting their own magical mix?

Just because someone else’s model or “success map” worked for them doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results – or get even close.

But, there is a scientific approach to success, and it’s couched in six habits that, when practiced consistently, have been proven to deliver higher income, greater happiness, richer relationships and more. They’re not hard – but as with any habit, the challenge is in practicing key actions long enough that they become second nature.

 

Habit 1: Clarity

 

Clarity isn’t just being clear on your goals or what you want most from your business and life. It includes those things, but goes a step further: How do you need to change so that what you want becomes both possible and a reality? Can you visualize yourself living the life you want – and do you know how it will feel?

Do this: Grab your notebook and write, in great detail, the life and business you want. Describe how your days go, where you travel, what you eat, how you feel, even how you sleep! The reticular activation system in your brain will kick in and you’ll find that you begin to see opportunities that can move you towards what you want most.

 

Habit 2: Energy

 

If you don’t have the energy to get your work done, then you’re sunk. What you eat, how and how often you move and the level of care you take to stay emotionally grounded all factor in strongly to being successful. Trillionaire hedge fund founders have meditation rooms in their offices. There’s a good reason for that! The more regulated they are, the more capable they’ll be in handling the crazy stresses of the business.

Do this: Take a deep breath in for six seconds and hold it. Take two more sips to fill your lungs further, and then let it out for another six seconds. Slowing down your breathing leads to a longer life, greater calm, faster metabolism and increased focus.

 

Habit 3: Courage

 

There are many types of courage – moral, ethical, physical, emotional – and all are critical to success. Fear is your friend until you make it your enemy by allowing it to fester with fantastical (and fake) thoughts about how it could go wrong, fail or lead to rejection or humiliation. Our minds are designed to look out for danger, but by feeding that impulse too much and too often, it can take over. Courage is to act despite that fear, overcoming our resistance to change and growth.

Do this: Think of something you’ve been avoiding that would grow your business – making a call, shooting a video, sending a text, etc. Write down what it is about that action that has been holding you back, and ask yourself if it’s a real fear or an assumption. Most often it’s the latter, so get in there and do it! Start “little chunking” – take a big thing (business growth) and turn it into such a small task that you say, “I can do that.”

 

Habit 4: Productivity

 

Productivity is avoiding being busy by packing the day with useless or distraction-based tasks (laundry, mowing the lawn, cleaning your desk…again). By being intentional with your time, you’ll get more done in less time, with more focus and intention on the work that really matters.

Do this: At the end of your day, take out your list of to-do’s and look at the next day’s schedule. What are your obligations, and what time do you have in between? Assign tasks to those gaps, being careful to allow for extra “bonus” time in between. The next morning, look at your upcoming day and double-check that nothing changed, and then ONLY do that work. Repeat this process every night.

 

Habit 5: Influence

 

Influence has been described as the most important habit that leads to higher income and success. If no one is saying yes to you, then you won’t have a team to help you rise in your business, your clients will fall away and your pipeline will dry up. As Napoleon Hill notes in Think and Grow Rich from the 1930s, getting people on board with what you have to offer is the only way to succeed, now and in the long term. This has stayed true through to today.

Do this: The next time you have to make a sales or follow-up call, think of what you can give to them first before you make your ask. You can supply information, advice, something tangible – the idea is to provide incredible value before you ask for something in return. Our brains are wired for reciprocity, but you have to lead by giving first.

 

Habit 6: Necessity

 

Necessity is the habit that envelops all the others: It’s the art of making something so important that it becomes your top priority every day. When you know how to determine the importance and impact of the work that you do, how you spend your time becomes easy to figure out.

Do this: Define what makes something important to you – things like driving profit or reducing expenses, substantially moving your business forward, enriching a relationship, etc. Make a list of all the actions you can take that are important and look at your calendar. How much time are you devoting to those tasks, or to building the habits that will lead to the success and happiness you truly want?

 

Success, growth, profits and joy are all well within the reach of every one of us, but not all of us want to put in the work to achieve them. If you practice these habits and strive to get better at them, even 1 per cent at a time, you’ll watch as your entire life starts to pivot and brighten – no matter what’s happening in the market.

 

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