Where you are in your life is a result of your habits. Will Durant (not Aristotle) said it best:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I think that’s also true for the opposite of excellence. Mediocrity is a result of mediocre habits.
That means we can go from mediocrity to excellence by changing our habits.
But how do you do that? Before we get into that, I want to clarify my statement: Habits change your life, but they do not guarantee success.
Because that’s what “the habits of millionaires” type of articles and books tell us. We get it, Elon Musk sleeps 2 hours a day and eats Cheerios for dinner—or something like that.
Do you struggle to finish your tasks? Are you always distracted by notifications, gossiping, or anything that’s random?
In that case, you and I are alike. Because focusing on a single thing is one of the hardest things at work.
There’s always something that interrupts you, right?
- Another person
- A call
- A meeting
- A false emergency
- Your cat
- A stranger’s cat
- News about last night’s NBA game
Sure, you can blame those things — but that’s weak. You and I both know that those things can’t interrupt you without your permission.
What’s your money strategy? Do you even have one?
If not, it’s not uncommon. Until two years ago, I didn’t have a financial plan, whatsoever.
Even though I’ve been reading about money, finance, and investing ever since I made my first few bucks as a teenager, I never created a financial plan.
But now, I think every single working professional needs a financial strategy. How do you spend your money? How much do you save? What are your thoughts about debt? How do you invest your money? How much money do you need to retire?
These are questions that every person who makes money must answer.
Let’s face it. If you want to retire comfortable (I’m not even talking about living a luxurious lifestyle), you need to get rich.
What do you do when you feel tired or overwhelmed? Do you power through? Or do you take some time off?
In the past, I thought that you should always power through — no matter what. Now, I still think that way when it comes to life in general. You can’t quit taking care of yourself and your family.
A sense of responsibility is one of the most powerful motivators in life. But I’m not talking about a lack of motivation here.
I’m talking about taking time off work. But there’s still a massive taboo on taking time off. Some people think it’s for losers. Others think it’s about escaping your work.
After all, “If you love your work and life, why do you even need a break?”
Do you ever feel misunderstood by others? Maybe you feel that people at work don’t get you. Or that your friends are not on the same page.
Maybe others truly don’t get you. But that’s not because of them, it’s most likely because of your own behavior. I’ll tell you why.
When I started working for a major IT research firm in London several years ago, it was the first time I worked in an organization with thousands of people.
On my floor alone, there were probably two hundred people at work. For me, it was the first time that I was a part of such a big team.
One of the most important lessons I have learned from my mentor about working in large teams is this: People can only judge their perception of you. And often, there’s a difference between perception and reality, right?
When I got my business degree in 2011, I was ready to start my career.
I wanted to start a business, earn money, and also invest. Those were my main priorities for the past seven years.
I did all those things. You know what I found?
Every decision you make in life is either an investment or a waste.
Here’s what I mean:
- Browsing social media for hours is a waste of your time
- Eating junk food is a waste of your health
- Having a job that makes you miserable is a waste of your energy
- Working out is an investment in your health
- Spending time with people you care about is an investment in relationships and personal wellbeing
- Reading, taking courses, watching informational videos, are investments in your education
Those last three things are all good. And investing in your education has the highest return on investment. Why?