15 Things Successful People Do Differently

There are certain habits and behaviors common to most successful people. Here are 15 of them:

  1. They get up early.
    Successful people use the morning to meditate, plan their day and work on important projects without interruptions. When my son was little, I used to get up at 5 a.m. to work on my books so I wouldn’t be distracted or interfere with anything that had to do with my kidlet.
  2. They exercise almost every day.
    Exercise increases your energy level, elevates your mood and makes you more confident. Nothing feels better than finishing a hard workout.
  3. They eat right and watch their weight.
    Eating healthy makes you feel better in every size, shape and form.
  4. They do what they have to do, even when they don’t feel like it.
    Why? Because it needs to be done, and it’s the honorable thing to do.
  5. They don’t try, they do.
    Saying, “I’ll try,” means you’ve already decided on a give-up point. Trying is an escape plan; doing is a commitment.
  6. They plan their day.
    When I was in college, I would make a 3 x 5 card of everything I had to do the next day before I went to bed. Practically every 15 minutes was accounted for (going to class, studying, taking breaks, eating meals, going to the gym, etc.), and I didn’t let anyone or anything short of a tornado change my plan. It was a great way to make sure there wasn’t chaos the next day.
  7. They have the right attitude.
    Successful people think about what they want and formulate a plan to achieve it. They don’t sit around dwelling on what they don’t have, what they’ve missed, and how they have gotten screwed over. Sure, we all have moments where we are pissy about things that probably won’t change, and it’s OK to spend some time getting the aggravation out. But you can’t spend all your time there. You can visit, but you can’t move in.
  8. They have guts.
    That doesn’t mean they are not without fear.  It means they are scared and do it anyway. Successful people actually experience more fear than most people because they put themselves in riskier situations of learning and growing to reach goals. Most people are unwilling to risk being uncomfortable. The night before I was to go national with my radio show for the first time, I was terrified. I sat by the phone hoping somebody would call to say that they had changed their mind. However, I got up in the morning, turned on the microphone, and told myself that it didn’t matter if it was local, national or interplanetary – I had a job to do.
  9. They don’t waste their time with mindless activities.
    Successful people don’t spend their time watching reality TV or glued to Facebook. A movie or witty, half-hour comedy is fine, but not the other mind-numbing stuff.
  10. They are constantly learning, growing and stretching their brains.
    They take classes, read and watch instructional videos.
  11. They are people of great strength, character and conviction.
    They stand by what they say, and say what they mean out loud.
  12. They manage their money carefully, even if they entrust money matters to their spouse or professionals.
  13. They decide what they want to accomplish, and then figure out a way to make it happen. 
  14. No matter how large or small the task, they do everything with excellence.
    Excellence is not the same thing as perfection because perfection is not possible. But when it comes to doing something, good enough is not good enough.
  15. They are loyal.
    They pick their friends wisely, avoid people who are a pain in the butt, and surround themselves with good people. They take care of others, but also allow others to take care of themselves.

Quote of the Week

If you can’t fly, run;
If you can’t run, walk;
If you can’t walk, crawl;
But by all means, keep moving.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Civil Rights Leader
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1964
1929-1968
From the Founder’s Day speech at
Spelman College, April 10, 1960

My Parents Don’t Like the Person I’m Dating

If you and your parents are having a difference of opinion about the person you’re dating or engaged to, you are probably WRONG and your parents are right. Not always, but that’s probably the case 95 percent of the time. Why? Because unless your parents are evil, psychos, bigots, nutcases or drunks, they only want to protect you from your silly self.  Your parents have been around longer, they have more relationship experience, and unlike you, they aren’t horny for this person so they are more objective. Unlike your parents, you may be too young, blind, desperate, or frightened to be thinking rationally. 

Just because you’re enthralled with someone doesn’t mean it’s a good project for the rest of your life. I can’t tell you how many times callers on my show have told me they saw the red flags when they were dating and people told them marrying their spouse was a bad idea, and yet, they did it anyway. Don’t walk into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, have three kids, and then decide that everyone was right and you should have listened. Not all things in life are fixable; in fact, they can get a whole lot worse.

For example, one of the biggest warnings people ignore from their parents is about dating someone who is a different religion.  A lot of people think religion is not an issue when they’re head-over-heels in love, but it is an issue when the kids arrive.

I once gave a talk to a Jewish group at a synagogue. During the Q&A, a man stood up and said that he had married a Christian woman who had agreed to raise their kids Jewish. The problem was, they got divorced. Now he was upset that she was raising the kids to be Christian. On a side note, this is why a lot of kids grow up to be atheists. They figure that neither parent cared enough about their religious point of view to create a family around it, so why should they?

The bottom line is, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth all the stress and drama for the rest of your life.  If there are some personality issues, it’s a good idea for everybody (boyfriend, girlfriend, and both sets of parents) to sit down and talk openly without getting defensive.

So, when your parents tell you that the guy or gal you are dating is a loser, psycho, drunk, cheater, or you can’t count on them, you need to stop and say to yourself, “My parents are good people, and I respect them. There must be a good reason why they don’t like him/her.” And if you’re dating someone who is rude or acts superior to your parents, dump them. These are the people who gave birth to you, nurtured you, raised you, and protected and provided for you.

Remember: The Romeo and Juliet story is very romantic, but people ended up dead.