What Successful People Have In Common? 10 Habits of Highly Successful People and Self-Made Millionaires

by - March 03, 2022

What makes some people more successful than others, isn’t education, upbringing, or luck. It’s the result of their habits.

Practicing success habits will help you achieve anything worthwhile in life.

In fact, studies show that 95% of everything that you think, feel and do is the result of your habits.

Below are 10 habits of highly successful people and self-made millionaire that will make you a successful person.

Ready? Let's jump in!


What is Success?

Success is the ability to achieve your dreams, desires, and goals in every important area of your life.

Although each of us is unique and have different desires and goals, we all have four desires in common:

Becoming healthy and fit

We all want to have high levels of energy and enjoy a life free of pain and illness. People with good health habits are having more energy and are getting less sick than people with poor health habits.

Enjoying excellent relationships

We all want to enjoy excellent relationships, whether they were intimate, personal, or social, with the people we like and respect, and who like and respect us in return.

In fact, the quality of our relationships can largely determine our happiness levels more than any other factor in our lives.

Doing what we love

Doing what we love, doing it well, and being well paid for it, is one important goal and desire for us. We want to enjoy our work, get paid more, and promoted faster.

Achieving financial independence

We want to reach a point in our lives where we have enough money that we never have to worry about money again.

How to Develop Success Habits?

Your habits determine 95% of everything you think, feel, and do, which, in turn, determine everything you are or will be. This is why the key to becoming a person of value and achieve great things in life, is for you to develop the habits of successful people.

The good news is that all habits and learned and are learnable. Through a systematic process of practice and repetition, you can develop any habit that you need to become successful in your life.

Developing a new habit is very much like following a recipe to prepare a dish. By following the steps explained below, you’ll find it easier to develop more good habits.

1. Make a decision

Decide that you’re going to start acting in a specific way 100% of the time and whenever that behavior is required. If you decide to become punctual, start leaving home early enough in order to arrive on time.

2. Never allow an exception

Don’t make excuses or rationalizations, especially during the formative stages of the new habit pattern.

3. Tell others that you’re going to start a new habit

You’ll become much more disciplined and determined and it will give you the willpower to follow through on your resolution.

4. Visualize yourself performing your new habit

The more you imagine yourself behaving in a particular way in a particular situation, the faster it’ll be accepted by your subconscious mind and the more automatic the habit becomes.

5. Create affirmations

Repeating affirmations to yourself over and over will increase the speed at which you develop the new habit.

If you want to start waking up earlier at 6:00 AM every morning, you can repeat to yourself before falling asleep “I get up and get going immediately at 6:00 AM every morning.”

6. Resolve to persist

Resolve to consistently repeat your new habits until it becomes automatic that you feel uncomfortable not to do it.

7. Reward yourself

Giving yourself a reward for practicing the new habits, helps you reaffirm and reinforce the behavior.

At an unconscious level, you begin to associate the pleasure of the reward with the habit.

For example, after working out, you can make yourself a post-workout smoothie with your favorite fruit.

How Long Does It Take To Develop A New Habit?

The time period it takes to develop a new habit can be any length from a single second to several years.

In fact, the speed of new habit pattern development is largely determined by the intensity of the emotion felt when you decided to begin acting in a particular way.

Someone who had been struggling for years to lose weight, can change his diet immediately and begin exercising after the doctor tells him that if he doesn’t lose weight and improve his physical condition, he might risk dying at an early age.

In general habits of medium complexities such as getting up earlier at a specific hour, planning every day in advance, exercising each morning… can be easily developed in 14 to 21 days when practiced consistently.

Successful People Habits

#1. The Habit of Self-Discipline

The habit of self-discipline is one of the most important habits you can develop to achieve great things in life.

Elbert Hubbard defines this habit as, “the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”  The more self-disciplined you are, the more in control you feel and the more positive and powerful you become.

#2. The Habit of Optimism

Optimists are usually the happiest, healthiest, and enjoy success the most.

Because “you become what you think about most of the time”, you learn this habit by thinking the way optimists think, and that’s: “What you want” and “how to get it”.

The idea of thinking about what you want and how to get it is enough to make you happy and positive. It releases your creativity and increases your energy. Pessimists, on the other hand, are the opposite.

They think about what they don’t want, and complain and blame others for their problems. As a result, they’re attracting more of what they don’t want.

#3. The Habit of Setting Goals

Successful people are future-oriented.

They develop a clear ideal image of what they want to accomplish, set specific, measurable, detailed goals and objectives, and work hard to achieve these goals. They make sure they have their goals written down and they review them constantly.

In fact, one of the reasons why people don’t follow through their New Year’s Resolutions is because they don’t write them down according to a study reported by USA Today in February 2003.

While only 4% of those who didn’t write down their resolutions had followed through, fully 46% of people who had written down their New Year’s Resolutions, had carried them out. This is a difference in success rates of more than 1100%!

Here is the most effective way to set your goals:

Step one. Decide exactly what you want and write it down in detail. Make sure your goals are measurable and specific.

Step two. Set a deadline for the achievement of your goal. If it’s a large goal, break it down into smaller goals and set sub-deadlines for each of them.

Step three. Make a list of everything you need to do in order to achieve this goal.

Step four. Organize your list of action steps into a plan. This plan should be organized based on the priority and sequence of every action step.

To prioritize, apply the 80/20 Rule. “20% of the things that you do will account for 80% of your results.”

To organize by sequence, determine which steps you need to take first, and order them.

Step five. Determine the limitations and obstacles that might hold you back from achieving your goal, whether they were in the situation or within yourself. Then address that limitation. If you think you need more skills, learn it. If help and assistance are what you need, ask for it.

Step six. Start taking action immediately toward the achievement of your goal.

Step seven. Do something every day, no matter how small it can be, that will move you toward the achievement of your goal. This will build momentum for you to reach your goal faster.

« The average person starts life traveling through an unmapped and uncharted world with no road map. This is the equivalent of starting off in life with no goals and plans. He or she simply figures things out as he or she goes along. Often, ten or twenty years of work will go past and the individual is still broke, unhappy in his or her job, dissatisfied with his or her marriage and making little progress. And still, he or she goes home every night and watches television, wishing and hoping that things would get better. But they seldom do. Not by themselves. » ― Brian Tracy – Goals!

#4. The Habit of Committing to Lifelong Learning

Successful people are committed to lifelong learning.

Their commitment is what makes them among the top people in their field. Decide to start waking up earlier each morning and read for 30 to 60 minutes in your field. Take notes and think of ways to apply what you’re learning to your day-to-day work.

At the end of each day, review your day based on your new knowledge and evaluate your progress and how you can improve. Another way you can learn is by attending every seminar and course you possibly can.

These courses can save you years of hard work. A third way to help you grow as a person is listening to audio programs and audiobooks while you’re driving, or while you walk or exercise.

#5. The Habit of Surrounding Yourself With The Right People

Consciously choose the people you spend most of the time with. Be clear about the kind of people that you’re going to allow to influence your thinking.

The people you habitually associate with and consider yourself to be one of, are going to determine more than 90% of your success or failure in life.

#6. The Habit of Taking Action

Successful people are action-oriented.

This means that they move quickly when they have an idea, or when an opportunity comes their way. They’re always thinking of what they want and how to get it. They set goals that will move them closer to what they want and they start taking action on them.

Even if you don’t have a clear idea about what you want, start taking action immediately and you’ll figure out the rest as you keep moving. When you move out of your comfort zone and take the initiative to try new things, you move faster toward your goals.

#7. The Habit of Excellence

One key to great success is to “go the extra mile”, by adding greater value to your work and achieving better results, you open up opportunities for yourself to be paid more.

Think about what more you can do, do your job properly and quickly and ask your subordinates for more responsibility.

Focus on your high-value activities, what you can do best, and what will give your work a greater value and do it first.

Self-Made Millionaires Habits

#8. The Habit of Positive Money Consciousness

If you want to become rich, the first thing you need to do is to believe that it’s possible and that you deserve it.

Most people, find it hard to believe that it’s possible for them to enjoy wealth. Too often, they’re limited by their own beliefs about money and by the question of whether or not they deserve it.

These beliefs are usually held from childhood like "Money doesn’t grow on trees", "There’s not enough money to go around", "Money is the root of all evil", "You can’t buy happiness", "Rich people are selfish and self-centered"…

It’s important to identify any negative subconscious beliefs about money and replace them with more positive and empowering ones.

For example, if you believe that “money is the root of all evil”, argue with that belief by writing down new beliefs to challenge the old ones. Like writing down “money is the root of all philanthropy.”

Related: How Rich People Think 21 Difference Between Rich People & Average People

#9. The Habit of Frugality

Wealthy people are careful with their money. They never buy new when they can buy used. They never buy if they can rent. They never rent if they can borrow.

In fact, Thomas Stanley and William Danko, in The Millionaire Next Door, explain that most self-made millionaires live in average neighborhoods, wear average priced clothes, drive used cars, and are very careful with their money.

Stanley and Danko point out that there are “Those who look rich and those who are rich.” If you want to become a millionaire you’ll need to spend less than you earn and save.

#10. The Habit of Saving and Investing Money

Self-made millionaires develop the habit of saving and investing money from an early age. In fact, saving money is one of the keys to financial success.

By paying yourself first and saving 10% of your income before any expenditure for the entirety of your working life, you make sure you reach financial independence in no time.

When you develop the habit of saving, you’ll soon find yourself spending less, paying down your debt, and not incurring any new debt. Saving money helps you feel more positive about money, and worry less about making ends meet. You’ll have a security blanket in case of an emergency.

This positivity will form energy that begins to attract more money into your life and into your savings account.

Related: 4 Easy Steps to Pay Off Debt And Save Money

Wealthy people don’t become rich by following get-rich-quick schemes.

They save and invest their hard-earned money wisely. They make sure they get good financial advice before investing their growing account.

The rule is, “Spend as much time investigating the investment as you spend earning the money that you are thinking of investing.” Take your time and find out every detail of the business or investment before spending a dime.

Take Charge of Your Financial Life

Most people spend every penny they get their hands on, and then whatever they can put on their credit cards.

In fact, 80% of Americans are in debt. To matter worse, even with being in debt, people wouldn’t take responsibility for their financial lives.

Many people are trusting to luck and the idea that somehow someone else will come to the rescue. They buy lottery tickets and gamble in the hope they’ll somehow become rich.

The fact is, serious money is long-term money.

Millionaires don’t get rich through get-rich-quick schemes or easy money. They discipline themselves to save and accumulate money over the course of many long years. They manage their money wisely and investigate thoroughly before investing their hard-earned money.

Eventually, their wealth increases every year until it passes the million-dollar mark.

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Portions of this article were adapted from the book Million Dollar Habits, © 1998 by Brian Tracy. All rights reserved.


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