There is a difference between successful people and those who are not. While it’s easy to think that successful people got a lucky break or were born with a better disposition, that is hardly ever the case. They are human and have the same challenges as everyone else. They wake up with the same worries and fears. Culture has also affected them and some come from very difficult backgrounds.
So what’s the real difference? Why are some people successful while others struggle? It’s because successful people prioritize and work on their own personal growth.
How do I know this? Because I interview successful people all the time for articles and for my podcast. I also frequently attend personal growth events, the most recent one being Tony Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within.”
In other words, I am in the business and personal growth world enough to notice specific patterns and tendencies among successful people. By the way, when I say “success,” I don’t just mean business success. The principles I’m about to share can be applied to improve any area of your life.
Focusing on growth as the end goal
Do you ever wonder why some people seem to rebound faster than others? More often than not, it’s because there’s a difference in what they are focusing on.
Those who struggle with rebounding are usually focusing on how they screwed up or, even worse, blame others. They are focused on the minutiae of the situation. They focus on how they are failing.
Meanwhile, those who are successful have a different goal. Their main goal is personal growth, so they may see “failure” as a fun challenge or a problem that needs to be solved. These people are usually referred to having a “growth mindset,” a term that was coined in the 1960s by Carol Dweck and is backed by decades of research.
This is something Tony Robbins speaks about at his “Unleash The Power Event.” Everything is a personal growth opportunity, and it’s focusing on the progress that actually makes us happy and successful.
Here’s an example to get the point across: Let’s say you’re hoping a business deal goes through and it just doesn’t. Most people would immediately go into a negative spiral about how they will never be successful. However, successful people use it as a learning opportunity. They assess the situation, look for the lessons and use it to grow – because their true focus is their own personal growth, not necessarily landing the deal. It just so happens that when you focus on improving, you also get better at landing the deal.
Meditation (or some sort of spiritual or mindfulness practice)
After interviewing several successful personal finance influencers for my podcast, I am beginning to notice a common pattern. Each of them credits their success, in part, to some sort of spiritual or mindfulness practice.
For some, it was meditation with no particular denomination. For others, it was practicing Buddhist principle. And for another group, it was a Christian understanding of their challenges that helped them get through.
Tim Ferris also speaks about this in his latest book, “Tribe of Mentors.” He found that 90 percent of the successful people he interviewed had some sort of mindfulness or meditation practice.
From a practical level, research shows that meditation helps improve focus and balance emotion. Even secular versions of meditation can lead to these results, which is why a specific religion is not a requirement.
As a related side note, many successful people also exercise which has many of the same effects as daily mediation.
Reading a personal development book every day
One of the things I notice as I interview successful people is they are always reading or listening to something that will help them improve their lives. They look for answers because they truly believe they are out there. This goes back to the growth mindset idea I mentioned earlier.
At the Tony Robbins event I attended, he made a specific point in mentioning that we should each spend at least 30 minutes a day reading some sort of personal growth book. In fact, a large focus of the weekend is about how we as humans must continue acquiring and applying knowledge in order to succeed.
He’s not the only one either. Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey are all known for having insatiable appetites for reading and acquiring knowledge. Socio-economist and author, Randall Bell, Ph.D. also found through his research that individuals who read seven or more books a year are 122 percent more likely to be millionaires.
When it comes to success in any area of your life, it really comes down to a few key factors that keep you going. These factors are focusing on growth, having some sort of grounding practice and continuously acquiring knowledge. The best part is anyone can do these three things, and from anywhere.