As you carve your own path toward success and imagine what legacy you’ll leave behind, note that uniquely successful people live by a different set of rules.
Collecting accolades, reaching the top of the corporate ladder, or acquiring riches isn’t as important as having a calling, pursuing a passion, and changing lives. And while working your butt off is the usual path to greatness, trading your family life, health, and well-being in exchange for 120 hours per week at the office is pure insanity. (I’m looking at you, Elon Musk.)
Successful people walk in the rarefied air of managing their emotions and achieving that perfect balance of grit and serenity. If you’ve taken your share of licks lately, don’t give up. Put into practice the techniques of the best and most successful, so you will feel exactly the same.
They start the day with silence and meditation
With so much stress coming their way and so many people demanding their attention, successful people seek quiet time in the morning to reflect and process; they may journal about the previous day’s events and express gratitude for the doors that have opened up. They’ll watch the sun rise and empty their minds to experience the moment, be still, and just… breathe.
Take Oprah’s meditation practice, for example. The media mogul whose worth is $2.9 billion spends 20 minutes twice per day (once in the morning, once in the evening) soaking in the moment and letting nothing else enter her mind.
She writes, “I wake up to the sound of birds now — what I’ve taken to calling real twitter. Before getting out of bed, I pause for a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the sound.” She adds that this is a “heightened state of being that lets whatever you’re doing be your best life, from moment to astonishing moment.”
And meditation is scientifically proven to improve sleep, and increase productivity and creativity.
They fail forward
If you’re the type of person who gives up too soon after failing and just can’t bounce back from a setback (thus tossing in the towel on your dreams), you’re missing one of the greatest lessons of every successful person: Failing is part of the journey that will lead to success.
Accept this fact early on so that when failure comes knocking and tries to scare you away, you stare it down with confidence and embrace it, learn from your mistakes, and try again a different way.
They overcome their fears
Darren Hardy, best-selling author of The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, says that the real reason 66 percent of all entrepreneurs fail is due to mental and emotional roadblocks that get in the way of success. And the biggest roadblock holding entrepreneurs back, according to Hardy? F-E-A-R.
President Franklin Roosevelt famously quipped, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It’s what happens before you make that super important call or walk onstage for a keynote for the first time. The anticipation of fear kicks in and you turn to Jell-O. But after you pull it off, you realize you’re not in danger and no monster ate you. Training your brain to accept there’s no threat will help you to switch off the fear response.
Hardy suggests a simple hack — 20 seconds of courage. He explains the idea: “Think of everything you could accomplish if you forced 20 seconds of bravery on your primitive mind just three times a day. Imagine how doing so would multiply your success, lifestyle, and prominence in the marketplace. Think of the breakthroughs you could create.”
They surrender to the process
It takes copious amounts of trust to surrender the outcome of your goals and life’s dreams to the universe or forces greater than you. That’s what I mean by “surrender.”
Leadership thinker and author Mike Myatt brilliantly captured my thoughts about surrender in this article in Forbes, where he states:
You’ll rarely encounter the words leadership and surrender used together in complementary fashion. Society has labeled surrender as a sign of leadership weakness, when in fact, it can be among the greatest of leadership strengths. Let me be clear, I’m not encouraging giving in or giving up–I am suggesting you learn the ever so subtle art of letting go.
So, surrender to the outcome, to your faith or higher power, and believe that things will work out according to the plan. As you let go, surround yourself with trusted advisers, friends, and family who will support you and love you throughout your journey.
Originally published at www.inc.com