There’s also a strong correlation between per capita cheese consumption and the number of people who die from being entangled in their bed sheets.
Why am I telling you this? Because these ridiculous examples show how easy it is to mix up correlation and causation. If Nicholas cage suddenly decided to stop acting (to the dismay of no one), pools wouldn’t suddenly get safer.
In the same way these ridiculous examples show that one thing doesn’t cause another, the fact that many people are ultra successful while sharing similar habits doesn’t mean their habits caused their success.
Reading 30 minutes a day won’t make you a millionaire.
Journaling won’t make you a successful artist.
Attending a seminar definitely won’t make you an entrepreneur.
There are strong correlations between certain habits and being successful. Why?
Because many habits fall in line with values that can help you become successful.
I’ve developed many habits that have contributed to my success, but they came as a bi-product of these underlying values including:
I started the habit of reading 30 minutes a day because I wanted to get smarter. I wanted to get smarter because I wanted to be able to handle any situation that came my way. I also believed getting smarter was key to succeeding in business.
Notice the chain goes from wanting to get smarter → the act of reading → using what I learn to adapt and thrive → then success. Not read → magically become a millionaire. The chain from values → action → result is something people overlook. I’m going to state the rest of the habits I’ve adopted starting with value first.
As far back as I can remember I’ve been addicted to words. I loved reading as a child. I was the one kid in class who looked forward to vocabulary tests.
That love of words is a subset of creativity. My life changed when I tapped into that nostalgic love for words and made creativity a priority again. The value of creativity led to the desire to write which led to a daily practice of writing 1,000 words per day. The practice of writing 1,000 words per day led to me writing books which have led to monetary success and elevated status.
Too often I see people jump into writing because they think it’s a good way to make money. It’s a horrible way to make money if you take all other options into consideration. You have to value that creativity is you want to stay the course and be “successful.”
If I were the type of person who was content to sit in an office all day, collect a paycheck, and work for the weekends, I wouldn’t try to build my own projects and businesses. There’s this new trend of everyone saying you have to be an entrepreneur, but that’s not true. Some people like the safety and security of jobs.
I, on the other hand, value freedom and autonomy, which is why I’m building side hustles with the hopes of making them full-time business soon. My habits to reach success in that area include doing something on a daily basis to build on my side businesses, like writing, planning marketing activities, and reaching out to people I want to network with.
Figure out what you value first and then build habits around it.
If you’re not sure where your values lie, I wrote an entire book to help you out with the process.
Values → Habits → Outcomes
In short, your values become pretty apparent based on your reactions to your current situation.
If your job makes you feel caged-in, you probably value freedom.
If you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you help other people, you value generosity.
If you can’t stop buying things, you value materials, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you own it.
Most people’s lives are out of balance because they aren’t aligned to their specific values. That’s the key. There’s no rulebook for being successful. It depends on how you define success.
Some people can feel like the most successful person in the world making 30k and others can be millionaires and feel like chumps.
I won’t pretend that finding your specific values and continuing to align your life to them is easy. It’s not. But maybe living a life of contentment and joy isn’t a privilege you get to have because you’re alive. Maybe it’s something worth working for…
Speaking of privileges, the odds of you being the sperm that swam to the egg are so small it’d blow your mind.
Perhaps your first “daily habit” should be reflecting on that every morning. Then you’ll value yourself. Then you’ll build habits to align with your standards. Then, and only then, will you ‘succeed.’
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Originally published at medium.com