“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell
It took me years to understand this simple secret of success. If you want to achieve big things, you need to focus on little things. Success is not a summation of big changes but it is the multiplication of small changes. In the beginning, those small changes in your routine may not make sense, but over time when they compound you start to see the real magic. And that’s what happened to me. Before we dive into those habits, let me tell you my story quickly.
During the pandemic, I quit my job. I know, my timing was the worst. But I had no other choice. That job was killing me mentally. And on top of that, I had some family obligations. So I left that job. I took a break from work for the first 3 months; to heal, relax and get back to my form. But instead of feeling active, energized, and ready to take action; I became lazy, depressed, and overweight.
Before I knew it, 3 months of a break turned into 6 months then 12, and then 15. This kept on going until the day I had a wake-up call. It was my birthday and I started thinking about my life and I realized that everything is wrong with my life. This is not how things were supposed to be. I felt ashamed of myself. And I decided to change. During that time, I came across the book Atomic Habits. And from that day, my life has never been the same.
I started developing small habits. Initially, I didn’t see any results for 6–7 months but then things really started to change and now after a year, my life is a completely different story.
I doubled my income and I’m in the best mental and physical shape I could ever have been. All of this is because of 5 simple habits I have developed over time. They are working together to help me reach my highest potential and win every stage in the game of life. Let me share them with you.
I’ve always been a reader. I’m reading books since I was 4–5 years old. But I used to read fiction mostly. After reading Atomic Habits, I started reading more and more nonfiction; self-help, biographies, true accounts, guides everything. Now, I’m reading non-fiction every day from 30 mins to 1 hour.
Here’s how I’m doing it.
I’ve made a list of things I want to change in myself and things I want to learn.
I researched the best books available on those topics.
I give 1–3 months for every new change or skill I want to adapt.
Then during that time, I read all the books I’ve researched on that topic, take notes and implement the lessons as I read those books.
Over the last 13 months by following this habit, I made significant changes in myself.
Learned negotiation, and decision-making skills
Learned Marketing, Sales, Copywriting, SEO, Freelancing
Got rid of anxiety, procrastination, and self-doubt
All of these things I mastered, simply by reading books for 1 hour every day. Can you imagine, how much in debt I would have been if I were to join a professional institution to learn all of these skills? It took me hardly $200-$300 dollars worth of books to change my life completely upside down.
Books are the most underrated form of learning. There are hundreds of books available on anything you want to learn. And they all are written by experts in those areas. You can literally learn anything from any expert by paying merely the price of a cup of coffee. How crazy is this?
I urge you to invest time in your reading habit seriously, even if you don’t like reading. Because it’s truly a life-changing habit. Do it for 10–15 mins daily for 2 months at least and notice the difference.
If there is only one habit you ever cultivate, let it be this. Meditation is a way to connect your body to your mind, your mind to your heart, and your heart to your body.
Meditation is a way to establish the connection between what is keeping you alive and letting you experience this world. It is very important to keep your body, mind, and heart in sync with each other so they never go out of sync and pull some stunt that may disturb your presence in this world.
The benefits of meditation cannot be explained, it can only be experienced.
I started meditating for 5 mins a day before going to sleep. I did this for around 4–5 weeks and started noticing the huge shift in my attitude. I started being more aware, calm, and happy. I liked the way things were going and I wanted more of it. So I read and researched more about meditation and came up with 7 different types of meditation techniques to include in my daily routine. The best thing is they don’t demand extra time from my busy schedule and I get to reap the results 7X times.
When I first heard about meditation, all I knew about it was that you sit quietly for some time watching your thoughts…
I’ve tried going to the gym many times in the past but I never managed to be consistent. And I never had any positive results. That developed a negative perception of exercise in my mind. I started hating the activity until the day came when it became a necessity.
I met with an accident and had to go through major knee surgery. The new situation made it difficult to walk. Running, Jumping, or Walking down the stairs like a normal person was out of the question. And I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life like that. But I didn’t want to go to the gym again. So I started googling about the ways to exercise at home.
I came across many studies during that time that talked about not just physical benefits but also positive mental shifts you’ll experience from exercise. And so I seriously started to develop the habit.
Challenge was to find something I’ll enjoy doing and also will help me get the results I was looking for. So after a lot of studying, I decided to start by walking. Because that was the first thing I wanted to improve.
I started walking 500–1000 steps a day. I did this for a month and I didn’t feel anything. No negative or positive changes. But I started feeling comfortable with walking. So I gradually increased the steps challenge. Before I knew it, 6 months went by and I was walking 7k-8k steps a day in 40 mins without any discomfort.
And apart from physical fitness, I also started noticing mental changes. I no more felt fatigued, tired, and dull. I started being in a good mood, feeling cheerful and energetic. My sleep routine became normal, so much so that I started sleeping like a baby for 8 hours without any trouble. I started getting more things done in less time and my work quality improved. All of these changes in my physical and mental shape started making me feel confident in my own skin.
And that’s how I fell in love with exercise forever. Now not a day goes by without some form of exercise. Walking is still my primary preference but now I also do some running, cycling, yoga, and aerobics. And with each passing day, I’m noticing bigger and bigger rewards.
So if you don’t like exercise or don’t have time; I would suggest you find something to do for 30 mins every day that you enjoy doing, doesn’t feel like exercise but is still some form of physical activity. Do this for 15–20 weeks and you’ll start to reap the results.
I’ve seen a lot of people preach about the power of manifestation. But I never fully grasp the concept. And so I started reading more about it. I read dozen of books on the topic and they all talked about one thing — Visualisation.
They all had one common message. If you cannot imagine it, you cannot achieve it. What you see in your mind is what you see in reality.
And my mind was always showing me the results I never wanted. That is because I was living in a state of fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of scarcity, and whatnot. Because of that, I used to feel negative emotions all the time.
“I’m a failure.”
“Nobody loves me.”
“I won’t be able to achieve anything.”
“I’m wasting my life.”
My self-destruction thoughts acted like background music while my mind was playing images relevant to those thoughts.
When I learned about the power of visualization, I started seeing what was wrong and why I’m not getting the results I wanted. To get rid of this negativity, I started a simple routine.
Visualize 10 mins right after I wake up and right before I go to bed.
Here’s how I do it.
I have a notebook where I’ve written positive affirmations.
I have a secret Instagram account where I’ve uploaded the relevant pictures of those affirmations.
I sit in a quiet place, open my Instagram account and look at each picture with concentration. Then I close my eyes and repeat the affirmations loudly while imagining myself in those pictures.
I’m doing this every day for the last 5 months and I’ve seen amazing results in my life.
My goal was not to accomplish materialist things but mental peace. And by doing this exercise, I got both. Yes, I didn’t just find mental peace but also I’ve manifested quite a lot of those pictures in real life. No kidding! The power of visualization is life-altering.
All you need to do is give your 100% undivided focus to do it consistently over a long period of time; without questioning the credibility of this activity.
If you want to bring change into your life, start with your mind first.
Developing good habits are like growing a plant. No harm only benefits. If you water it patiently and cultivate it consistently you’ll bear the sweetest fruits for the rest of your life. But if you don’t, nothing will happen. No tree, no fruits. As they say, nothing changes if nothing changes.
But if you’re starving your soul, dreams, potential, or life in any way, then you need those fruits to survive, live, and be healthy.
And in my opinion, we all are starving and we all need some good, healthy and delicious fruits to feed the hunger of our life and feel content for life.
Contributed by Komal Kamble
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