Author, Brian Tracy, notably said, “All habits are formed by habits.” Every day, you should create a habit of writing out your plan with your top priorities and goals. In fact, stop for a second and think about what you can do right now, at this moment, to maximize the rest of your day. What about tomorrow? If you knew for a fact you had to leave for vacation in a few days, what would you do today to make sure you were prepared for a week away?
Martin Grunburg is a highly successful entrepreneur and the author of the international best-seller, The Habit Factor. In our interview, he opened up about how spent years of his life dedicated to the study of habit and the philosophies of Confucious, Aristotle, Ben Franklin, and other notable influencers throughout history. Grunburg shares one of the key takeaways from his research, “We are all born and we are all going to die. We all eat, sleep, and procreate. Really, what separates us in our results, in our achievements, is our habits and our behaviors.”
“All men’s natures are alike, it’s their habits that carry them far apart” Confucious
“It is very important that teachers should realize the importance of habit, and psychology helps us greatly at this point. We speak, it is true, of good habits and of bad habits; but, when people use the word “habit,” in the majority of instances it is a bad habit which they have in mind. They talk of the smoking habit and the swearing habit and the drinking habit, but not of the abstention habit or the moderation habit or the courage habit. But the fact is that our virtues are habits as much as our vices. All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits, practical, emotional, and intellectual, systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be. “—William James, Talks to Teachers, Harvard, 1892
Grunburg further elaborates James’ sentiments by explaining that both vices and virtues are essentially habits. A vice may be perceived as a negative habit, while a virtue may be perceived as a positive habit. A vice may be smoking or swearing, a virtue may be kissing your spouse every morning.
In my interviews with accomplished athletes and entrepreneurs, I asked them to share with me their top 10 habits; not knowing what vices or virtues they would openly admit to. Leaving the question completely open-ended, I was braced for the worst but kept my fingers crossed for the best. A pattern emerged. Five core habits came up over and over again. Ironic or not, none of the habits they shared were vices, but rather all were virtues. Every one of them took the approach that a habit is a fundamental association that could be used as a tool to kindle the fire of success.
The Top 5 Habits:
1. Going all in
3. Early to bed, early to rise
4. Living a healthy lifestyle
5. Giving back
You can read more in-depth about habits by checking out the updated version of I AM ___:The Untold Story of Success on March 13 by clicking here.