Habits of the Super Rich (2015)
Chapter 7: Become Aware of your Surroundings
Think back for a moment when you were a child. Your parents, grandparents or even your teachers may have said to you at one point, “Don’t become friends with him. He’s nothing but trouble. Did they ever warn you about keeping company with certain individuals because they’ll certainly take you down the wrong road?
They probably worried about who your friends were. For many of us, it seemed so silly.
Your parents knew more than what they let on, however. They were only expressing themselves in good old fashioned terms. But if you’re seeking to be wildly successful at whatever you choose, you should once again be careful about how you choose your friends and acquaintances.
Today, psychologists believe that who you keep company with could indeed spell the death of your success in the business. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but not much. It’s estimated that you are the average of the five individuals you spend the most time with.
Who are five of your best friends? Who in the course of your working hours, you spend the most time around? Who do you spend your off hours from work with? List these five people and examine their attitudes. Are they optimistic or pessimistic or just indifferent to their surroundings?
Are they successful in their endeavors? Do they exemplify good habits?
Maybe in your pursuit of success and attaining your goals, you may want to add spending time with individuals who/ are more aligned with your thoughts, who are liable to more supportive of your goals, and ideally have already been where you are and have turned the corner and are successes in their own right.
If you want to be an online marketer, then make it a point to meet people who have already launched successful web sites. If you can’t find any people to meet in person locally, find out where on the Internet people with your interests visit. Make it a point to engage others into conversations and to participate in ongoing conversations. You’ll be surprised at how quickly and graciously people will help you out.
If you want to be an author, joining creative writing groups and professional organizations. Here you’ll find not only those just beginning in the business, but those who have already published a book. Soon, without you even realizing it you’re absorbing and adopting some of the best habits of these individuals.
On the flip side, do you only spend time who think they’re doomed even before they begin, who know for a fact it would be a waste of time to even start a business because the odds are stacked against them? Over time, their pattern of thinking may influence more than you’ll know. You may, without even realizing it, began to adopt the same type of thinking and belief system.
If you’re serious about success, then you really would be doing yourself a big favor if you begin to seek out and spend time with individuals who are already successful. Ideally, you’ll want to spend time with those who have attained their goals. Ideally, you need to be spending more time with those who have made it in a career you’re interested in.
If you’re thinking you need a mentor at this point, you’re almost there. These people will be mentors – and this is important – but they’ll also at a deeper level become friends. They’ll be those you most want to emulate. You’ll be in a position to view up close and personal the habits that have taken them from where you are today to where they are today.
Meet Others of Like Minds
One of the best places to discover people like this – a whole roomful of individuals like this – is at a local Rotary Club. If you’re a woman, you can also check out a local Business Woman’s group. Both of these, and whatever other professional organizations you can discover that fit your niche, would be perfect for you.
At this point, may think you have to dump a specific number of your older friends who have bad thought habits, aren’t encouraging and believe that any attempt at making something of yourself is a pie in the sky silly notion. That’s just not so.
What you’ll find occurring, though, is that as you progress in searching out more encouraging acquaintances, you’ll have less in common with those whose thinking doesn’t align with yours. It will be more of a parting of the ways because you and these more pessimistic individuals have less in common than ever before.
There’s also another, far reaching reason to spend time with professional people more in line with your interests. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify two aspects of their actions that you can adopt as your own: their good habits which in turn will shed light on your own bad habits.
At this very moment, you may be saying you have no bad habits. And you may really believe it. It could be, though, you just don’t recognize them either. Once you discover the actions, thinking patterns and habits of the successful, you may be better able to turn the light onto your own habits you’d like to either replace or adopt.
Don’t take this personally. Every person on this planet has some type of bad habit, even if it’s only fueling their energy on caffeine. The odds are far more likely that even that person has more bad habits than he cares to admit. When you think of a bad habit, you only believe it deals with things you’re now doing that are blocking your success.
Consider that a bad habit could just as easily be the omission of something you could be doing that would make you more successful. If you’re not exercising, you may very well call this a bad habit – even though most people wouldn’t say this.
If you’re a part-time entrepreneur now and aren’t getting up at four in the morning to add a couple hours to your already harried day, wouldn’t be called a vice by some. However to an individual who does wake up at four in the morning every day it is.
One of the biggest obstacles many of us encounter when we attempt to break a bad habit is that we attempt, merely just to quit doing it. We don’t realize we’ve just created a void where an action used to exist.
One of the keys to help underline your success is to replace your bad habit with another action. This method recognizes that the laws of physics can’t stand a vacuum. When you quit one habit, it’s easier to fill that empty space – that vacuum – with some action. We’ve all met people who want nothing more than lose weight for example. Some who try to quit smoking will naturally turn working crossword or Sudoku puzzles.
If you’re trying to quit smoking for example, you may be at a loss, especially at the initial changes of the process, because you don’t know what to do with your hands. There are some individuals who recognize this and choose instead of smoking to buy a deck of cards and play solitaire at those times they were smoking instead. Or some individuals merely shuffle the cards, discovering that’s action enough.
The key to adopting good working patterns and shedding the bad ones can be summed up in one simple phrase: become aware of your surroundings. If you’ve ever performed mindful meditation, then you know just what we’re talking about. The first step is to become aware of them, but not to judge them. At least initially, they’ll be a time and place you’ll want to kick the bad working patterns to the street. When that time occurs, then here is a way you may like to do it.
- Acknowledge and identify your bad habit.
As we discussed earlier, they’ll come a time when you see that your waking up later than you think you should be is a bad habit that needs broken. Once you realize that, you’re more likely to work at establishing a new morning routine that starts earlier in the day. After that it’s just a matter of time before you make that happen.
What is one of the most effective ways of acknowledging a bad habit for what it is? You may want to create and work with what many call an awareness log. It’s a simple approach composed of a series of personal questions to heighten your awareness of when these habits are occurring. Exactly what kind of questions you ask yourself is going to depend on the habit you’re trying to break.
Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself include these:
- Where are you when you get the urge to perform this habit? (Time and place)
- Does this urge occur at a certain time of the day?
- What is your emotional state? Tired? Depressed?
- Does this habit occur when you’re with specific people? In other words, is the “average of five” kicking in? Are your friends bringing you down?
- Was there some action that occurred right before you got this urge?
- Give yourself a deadline to begin your new behavior.
That’s right! You’ve read that it’s important to set a goal and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach it. It’s also important, if not more so, to give yourself a target day on initiating the new pattern.
There’s a very specific reason for doing this. You must make sure you – and your subconscious mind – are ready for this adventure. If you begin prematurely – especially if you’re feeling you’re coercing your body into this – then you’ll probably setting yourself up for failure. And perhaps scarring your psyche.
- Recognize the triggers
Many bad habits are triggered by performing other actions. You’ve probably heard people say they crave a cigarette the moment they have a beer or other drink in their hand. If you’ve ever smoked or drank, perhaps you have firsthand information about that.
Similarly, some individuals recognize that watching television triggers their desire to munch on junk food.
If you’re trying to quit one habit, be sure you’re aware that your toughest moments may be those in which you can’t avoid a trigger. In fact, many experts tell you to take your time and make a list of those type of activities. In this way you’ll be able to identify them beforehand. But don’t stop there, you’ll want to have a reasonable game plan already in place so you’re prepared – at the least not completely blindsided.
- Work at your own pace.
The tendency when you start a new habit is to give yourself an elaborate new make-over. Many people tend to tackle all of their bad habits at one time. This practice can be exhausting. It can also be setting you up for failure.
Don’t think about how many habits you can shed in the shortest amount of time. Think about the habit you believe is the one that’s the largest obstacle to your success. You may want to do away with that one first. Or may want to dip your feet into the water with one of the minor bad work patterns you believe you have. Instead of trying to conquer them all, settle on cutting them down one at a time. Pull them up by the roots, so to speak. In this way, you’re sue you’ve eliminated at least one of them
If you choose a single lesson first, then once you conquer this with relative ease, it’ll build your self-confidence. In this way, you’re also building momentum for more and greater changes.
- Be prepared to forgive yourself.
Far too many individuals fail the first time they try to shed themselves of a bad working pattern and are fearful of starting over. Talk to anyone who has ever quit smoking and most of them will tell you that they tried several times before they were successful.
If you don’t succeed on your first try, don’t get discouraged. In fact, react with the opposite energy – increase your resolve to try again and succeed this time.