Essential habits that make you effective and successful

By: Lucell Larawan

“Luck” does not exist in my vocabulary. Truth is, the more you prepare to be lucky, the luckier you get. Success is not a result of external factors; it comes from within.

What habits can you count on to make you effective and make prodigies? How can you produce the desired results if you are an entrepreneur?

Reaching goals consistently is not possible when approached in a haphazard, hit-or-miss fashion. Effectiveness depends on discipline and routine, not talent or genius. Exemplars like Elon Musk and Jack Ma make sure that they are detailed, organized and fully equipped before executing any goal or plan. In the background, they have self-awareness and self-esteem.

In practice, Dr. Waitley shares eight characteristics of effective entrepreneurs, first of which, is having a visionary mindset. This means, they dare to dream big. Their most powerful asset is their imagination. They are not afraid of what others think: the Wright brothers could not think about the possibility of flying if they were.

After selling PayPal, Elon Musk could have thought of a “safe” investment for his $200 million. But he read and read about rockets and how to build them; he did not have knowledge about rockets before. His friends told him that only governments build rockets. Nevertheless, Musk’s vision was powerful and he has built SpaceX.

Another habit that can make you an achiever: embracing the day early. Very successful CEOs wake up at 6 a.m. to speak affirmations of success over their mindsets. They start with exercises that pump their blood and make them mentally alert. They are the first ones to arrive in their offices. This habit makes them gather their thoughts while they list their priorities and plan how to accomplish them. For instance, Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock”, wakes up at 4 a.m. for a gym workout before he reports to a taping schedule at 7 a.m. His physique tells his preparation that very few can emulate.

I did not have a morning routine until I was 27. From the day I realized how important it is, I wake up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. for a morning walk or martial arts training—arnis, karate or a little Muay Thai. If I did not develop that habit, I probably get sicklier and more fearful about risky situations.

While you need to wake up early, you also need to schedule your activities—another rule for effectiveness. Those who make big waves put their responsibilities first before anything else. They are keen about what to prioritize and how to accomplish them. They also put a premium on socialization, not just for interconnectedness but also for generating creative ideas and reducing stress. However, in order to put socialization in their schedule, they see to it that their to-do lists are already done so that they enjoy their free time unencumbered by nagging responsibilities that are not met.

Someone said that I am like a horse with a blinder. I gladly acknowledge this trait. I am not yet successful as I want myself to be but I am focused on my goals and avoid distractions—the reason, among others, I finished 11 research contracts from two universities and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in an individual competitive grant. I also mounted five solo visual arts exhibits in different galleries in lieu of my previous job as a business mentor with a normal load of 27 units.

Exemplars, though goal-oriented and laser-focused, respect the power of sleep. They respect the laws of nature. Lack of sleep can cause stress, lack of frustration tolerance and uncontrolled emotions, repeating a cycle of lack of sleep. With enough sleep, they get sharper and mentally prepared.

Moreover, successful entrepreneurs simplify their routines. This makes them handle workloads without stretching their limits to the point of stress. They maintain their productivity and effectiveness if they are not strained. Even Superman takes a day off.

I have just learned from Dr. Waitley that journaling is not just for researchers doing qualitative studies; entrepreneurs must also journalize what is important to them: the good and the bad of the day, and how they can improve. This habit calms the emotions and disconnects one from daily distractions such as electronic devices. Exemplars, according to Dr. Waitley, “value participating in an active dialogue with their inner critic as it helps them transmute this negative voice into a positive coaching voice that’s all about overcoming odds.” This is one way to strategize in order to beat a challenge.

Flexibility is another important habit. As the likes of Jeff Bezos and Larry Page  constantly deals with uncertainties in the environment, they are flexible in order to adapt. This helps them learn and grow.

A successful entrepreneur cannot forget about the habit of curiosity. They constantly ask questions about life and about their specific field. From this curiosity, they create a reservoir of creativity so they can easily determine what their next steps will be.

How many winning habits do you have? Which habit do you need to develop?