20 Habits That Make Successful People stand out from the Rest
Personal Growth

20 Brilliant Habits that make Successful People Stand Out

What do successful people do differently? What makes them stand out from the rest? While most of us slog but can’t seem to get a grip on life, successful people seem to have it all.

This category of super–achievers inspire us, leave us in awe and make us wonder are they secretly superhuman? But nope, they aren’t! They are all flesh and blood like you and me.

People who are successful in life have learned the art of mastering their habits, mindset and time, three crucial aspects whenever you are trying to achieve your goals.

They have truly manifested the saying ‘work smart’ by being productive and building up certain habits and traits that contribute to their success.

If too you wish to build your dream life and be highly successful you need to pay attention to your habits as well as develop some productive routines.  

Here are 19 behavioral patterns common to almost all successful people, making them unique from the tribe. You can draw inspiration from these and bring in some positive changes in your life.

20 Excellent Habits of Successful People

People who are successful mould themselves to be their best versions and reach the highest potential. They have spent years sculpting their habits for maximum productivity because it’s largely our habits that decide our future.

They have certain common traits like self-discipline, zeal and passion to work and make consistent progress. The list below discusses some of these traits hopefully you will find some inspirations and apply these in your life as well.


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20 Brilliant Habits that make Successful People Stand Out

#1. Wake Up Early

Early bird catches the worm

– old proverb

This old proverb is true for almost all successful people. This well-known maxim means when you wake up early have more chances to seize opportunities.

Most successful people like to wake up early and get a head-start to their day. Mornings are scared to them for prioritizing their plans and tasks even as most of us prefer to sleep comfortably.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi who wakes up at 4 a.m everyday said in an interview that, “they say sleep is a gift that God gives you … that’s one gift I was never given.” Nooyi revealed she started her work as early as 7 am.

Dan Brown the best-selling author of The Da Vinci Code starts his work by 4 am after having a glass of smoothie and a cup of coffee.

Some other well-known early risers are Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Michelle Obama, former US First Lady and bestselling author of “Becoming”.

#2. Follow a Routine

Most highly successful people are extremely disciplined and have daily routines which sets the tone for rest of the day. These routines are essential to stimulate their productive buds, give them a clear head before starting their day. Here are some morning routines of three famous people you can easily emulate.

Oprah Winfrey begins her day with 20 minutes of meditation which she says gives her “hope, a sense of contentment and deep joy.” After meditation she pumps up her energy levels with 15 minutes of exercise following by walking, listening to music, preparing a healthy meal and finally eating a nutritious breakfast.

Tim Ferris, entrepreneur, blogger and author of 4-Hour Workweek has a similar routine like Oprah’s. He starts his day with a very simple but essential task of making his bed after which he meditates for about 10 to 20 minutes followed by some 30 seconds of light exercise and tea. He concludes his routine with 5 to 10 minutes of journaling.

Tony Robbins, famous life coach and author, has a very interesting 10 minute morning ritual. Robbins refers this ritual as “priming”. According to him “priming'” takes up only 10 minutes of your time. He starts his ritual by 3 sets of 30 Kapalbhati Pranayams, a breathing exercise, followed by practicing gratitude and finally visualizing goals.

#3. Contain Distractions with Deep Work

People who are super productive know they cannot afford distractions they have to maintain their eyes on the prize therefore they are laser-focused on their goals.

They value time hence even if they get distracted they are easily able to bring back their focus to the task at hand. In fact people who are highly productive maintain a time when they answer attend to their distractions like making personal calls and return texts.

They mostly stay away from productivity killers like mindlessly scrolling social media, useless gossips and answering endless emails. They understand the value of deep work and practice it by adapting to time blocking where they maintain a window period to complete their tasks.

#4. Prioritize difficult tasks

Eat that frog

-Brian Tracy

This popular book and term coined by self-development author Brain Tracy rings true for almost all successful people.

This phrase means when you are starting your day tackle the most difficult task first, mostly because this would give you a huge peace of mind and you will be able to concentrate better on other things.

People who are successful never feel intimidated by challenging tasks. Infact they start their day with the most important task and prioritize their to-do list as per the urgency of various tasks.

Whether it’s seizing a business opportunity or attending a con-call at an odd hour highly productive people never back down from prioritizing tasks.

#5. Draw long-term plans

An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing

Dale Carnegie

Planning ahead is the hallmark of every successful person. For your enterprise to be successful you need some plans and goals to map out your vision.

Break big goals: Most successful people have their 5-year plans and 10-year plans in place. They further break these goals down to small annual and monthly targets.

Contingency Plans: They are also well-prepared for any unforeseen events and have emergency set-ups and contingency plans well ahead of time.

Lists: People who are highly motivated usually maintain a strict to-do list and at the end of the day compare how much they have achieved.

Infact US Founding Father and author Benjamin Franklin is famous for his ’13 virtues card’, written by Franklin himself. At the end of each day he analyzed if he actually practiced those virtues he had written. This critical self-analysis becomes really important if you want to achieve something.

#6. Visualize goals

The power of visualizing is enormous. This meditative practice fuels your positive thinking, boosts your self-confidence and belief in your abilities. It helps you to visualize yourself achieving your goals.

Visualization technique is used by famous personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carrey, Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

For his body-building Schwarzenegger used visualization the power of positive thinking. He said, “I had this fixed idea of growing a body like Reg Park’s.. The more I focused in on this image and worked and grew, the more I saw it was real and possible for me to be like him.”

Speaking about his visualization techniques, Will Smith said, “In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.”

#7. Follow Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle says 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. Highly successful people adhere to this by focusing on things that would bring maximum returns.

They are constantly identifying opportunities, honing their skill-set, prioritizing their tasks that will ultimately pay rich dividends. Instead of wasting their energy everywhere they are super-focused on selective 20% of things to skyrocket their success.

You can also apply the Pareto principle in every aspect of your life by identifying time-wasters, concentrating on your skills and perfecting them. Focus your time and energy by forming very specific smart goals.

#8. Innovate Constantly

Change is the only constant


People who are highly successful encourage innovation and creativity. Think of Facebook CEO Mark Zukerburg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin or more recently Tesla CEO Elon Musk these people have shaped and changed industry patterns.

Successful people are constantly evolving; they believe in new ideas and are excited about new possibilities; they are eager to learn new things by upgrading their products, services and work systems.

They are open to fresh perspective and committed to be better by constantly questioning themselves and searching for answers.

kindle ebook reader

#9. Read A Lot!

Knowledge is Power

Francis Bacon

One habit most successful people have in common is that they are avid readers. They read books to increase their knowledge bank.

Famous US investor Warren Buffet had once credited books as the key to success. He said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.” Buffet apparently read 600-1000 pages a day at the beginning of his investing career.

Bill Gates is known to read about 50 books a year while Mark Cuban reads for three hours every day.

Interestingly, successful people don’t just read any books they are on constant look out for reading material related to self-improvement, biographies and autobiographies of other successful people for guidance and motivation.

They never stop learning they and are well aware of the benefits of reading which prevents depression, memory loss and stress.

Another interesting habit of super-achievers is that they remember what they read, they can quote from memory and most of them even write down and book mark pages they can use later for inspiration.

#10. Aware of their Surroundings

Successful people are acutely aware of what is happening around them. They keenly follow world affairs, political developments, latest market trends and news.

Most are avid social media users and use these platforms to raise awareness and provide their opinion on various issues. They are deeply interested in new cultures and customs make it a point to travel to new places every year.

#11. Invest to create multiple income streams

Successful people believe in investing and multiplying their wealth by creating multiple income streams. As per a research millionaires create as many as 7 income streams to diversify and grow their wealth.

Most reinvest a part of their savings to create a passive source of income, like investing in real estate and start-ups. As a matter of fact, angel investment is a potential earning source for most rich people.

Actor Aston Kutcher made a fortune with his investment in Skype after it was acquired by Microsoft.

#12. Motivated not disheartened by setbacks

Successful people are not scared of failures they understand that setbacks are a part and parcel of life. They are motivated by challenges and take valuable lessons from every failure.

Author JK Rowling was broke before she hit gold with the Harry Potter series. Stephen King’s first book was rejected 30 times by publishers. Scientist Thomas Edison was told by his teachers, he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’. Edison later went on to hold over 1000 patents.

#13. Take Accountability for their Actions

Successful people take accountability for their actions. Whether their efforts bear results or fail, being leaders they take responsibility for their decisions. They believe in leading by example. Similarly when their decisions bear excellent results they don’t hog the entire limelight. They share the credit with their employees and colleagues.

#14. Take quick decisions

Successful people understand believe in taking fast decisions when it comes to crucial aspects of their businesses. They are go-getters, always on their feet who don’t delay opportunities.

#15. Positivity

They surround themselves with positive people and motivated individuals who share their vision and passion for work.

Office Communication

#16. Delegate tasks efficiently

Highly successful people understand the importance of delegating tasks. They are well aware of the perils of multi-tasking hence don’t try to control every aspect of their enterprise.

Not just delegating, they also entrust responsibilities to those people who they know will deliver results. Result-oriented approach while distributing tasks to the right people is essential for a successful enterprise.

Being tech savvy they automate their workflow as much as possible to save time, resources and avoid employee fatigue.

#17. Network

Successful people understand how essential networking is for growing their business. They are constantly networking with their peers and competitors.  Most keep a tab on their businesses through social media platforms.

It is also interesting to note here that these people practice some of the best communication skills while networking; like calling people by their first names, trying to establish a personal relationship, being a keen listener and paying due attention to the other person.

Former US President Bill Clinton is considered amazing as a networker due to his quality of making the other person feel important.

#18. Keen Observers

Most successful people are sharp observers they keenly follow details and rarely miss anything any crucial aspects during discussions or while working. One of reasons for this is that these people are able to see things from a creative perspective or think of an alternate scenario that you and I may miss.

#19. Conserve Energy by talking less

Most of them don’t talk unnecessarily and come to the point fairly quick. Being super productive they understand the importance of conserving their energy for better things by being judicious with words.

#20. Strive for Consistency

Successful people are persistent and consistent in their efforts. They rarely take ‘no’ for an answer and are thrilled with the idea of taking up a challenge. They understand that passion alone cannot sustain a business you need to consistently deliver high-quality result.

#21. Develop Healthy Habits

People who are successful in life have a number of healthy habits which are supportive habits are the foundation of their success.

#22. Meditate and Exercise

Most productive people engage in some sort of physical activity during the day. A lot of them vouch by the power of mediation to increase their concentration and mental clarity.

#23. Schedule breaks

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’, successful people realize that short breaks are essential to avoid monotony and work fatigue.

#24. Eat well

They rarely skip meals because maintaining their energy levels; remaining fit and healthy is so important for their life plans.

Maintain family time

They keep sometime exclusively for their family it helps them in rewinding and maintaining a work-life balance.

#25. Live Frugally

Successful people such as Warren Buffet, Jay Leno and Tyra Banks lead fairly simple lives. Most successful people don’t unnecessarily waste money nor make a display of their wealth. They live modestly and realize the sweetness of a penny earned after a hard day’s work.  

The other interesting reason why many billionaires love a frugal life is because it limits their choices for unimportant things. On an average daily we make 35,000 decisions; like what to eat, what to wear these decisions conserve a lot of energy and time. So it helps if there is a way of our simplifying our daily decision making process it will ultimately boost our productivity.

This is why famous people like Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg frequently repeat their clothes, because they would rather spent their energy on doing some productive than wasting a whole lot of time thinking “what should I wear today.”

#26. Have Philanthropic Ventures

For most millionaires philanthropy is a part of their life and they take it seriously. Besides using their humanitarian ventures in creating good PR and positive brand value they view it as a way of giving back something to the society.

Final Thoughts on brilliant habits of successful people

To sum up, most successful people have build their empires with hard word, dedication, discipline and patience. They also started from somewhere and took the first step towards a better life when they were nothing.

The change in their lives is a result of years of persistence and maintaining consistency. If you are inspired by their lives and want to work towards excellence trying making simple changes in your lifestyle, starting with your habits. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

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