Copying the habits of successful people isn't going to make you a millionaire overnight.
I get asked all the time – ‘Antonio, I want to be a successful man. What can I add to my daily routine to guarantee a successful future?'
Unfortunately, it doesn't really work like that.
Success isn't about making a small number of short term life changes in the hopes one of them sticks and starts bringing in the big bucks.
Rather, success comes from the consistent implementation of positive changes across different aspects of your day to day life.
But how can a man know what he needs to add to his daily routine to increase his chances of success?
Guys – I'll let you in on a little secret. It's not so much about adding positive routines to your life as it is about changing the negative habits that you already have.
Not sure what those habits are? Don't worry – I've got you covered.
In today's article, I'm gonna take you through the top 7 everyday habits that could be stunting your success.
Let's get to it.
Guys, before we start, I want to tell you about the best reading app currently on the market: Blinkist. Blinkist is the only app that takes the need-to-know information from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15-minute insights.
In short, it allows you to save time, money and learn new things faster than ever. Recently, I used Blinkist to learn the contents of Atomic Habits by James Clear and Make Time by Knapp and Zeratsky – two great nonfiction texts I'd recommend to any man looking to improve his lifestyle. With Blinkist, I could learn and enjoy the key points of both texts in an afternoon.
Self Destructive Habit #1: Being Mr. Nice Guy
Too nice? Is that even a thing?
You'd be surprised. Psychologically speaking, being too nice can actually have pretty negative personal effects.
According to the guys over at PsychologyToday.com:
What always-nice people tend to do is internalize — hold in negative emotions that naturally rise up in the course of everyday life. The byproduct of these emotional crunches is often depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Now I'm not saying that being a nice guy will ruin your life – being pleasant to people most of the time is the mark of a well-mannered gentleman.
However, there's something to be said for the fact that many people take advantage of kindness. Many people see overt kindness as a weakness and will try to use that to their advantage.
A good rule is to be kind in social situations but fair in professional situations. Do your best to be a nice guy, but when things get down to business, be ready to fight your corner and push for what you want.
Self Destructive Habit #2: Avoiding Discomfort
No one likes discomfort.
However, the best things in life usually take work to achieve. In the pursuit of success, sometimes discomfort is necessary to achieve the bigger picture. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the key habits of successful people.
Many men don't understand this concept – some think that success will fall into their lap if they keep doing what they're doing.
More often than not, these men do not succeed to their fullest potential.
Why? Simple – because they're not putting themselves out of their comfort zone.
Discomfort makes a man think on his feet – it hones his senses and sharpens his mind.
Think about it this way. What advice would you give to a friend who's tired of being overweight? Get down to the gym and pump some iron, right?
Would they be comfortable doing that? No.
Would their discomfort result in weight loss and a healthier lifestyle? Yes.
After all, running headfirst out of their comfort zone is definitely one of the top habits of successful people worldwide.
Self Destructive Habit #3: Toxic Friendships
I still chat with a lot of my childhood buddies now and again.
Most of them have made great men of themselves – through hard work and determination, they've worked their way to the top of their fields.
Sadly, some of those I used to know haven't made such good choices. They're struggling financially, have gotten themselves into trouble, and don't act like gentlemen a lot of the time.
Don't get me wrong; I still catch up with those guys when I can. But would I choose to surround myself with them frequently?
The answer's ‘no'. Not because I don't like those guys but because I don't want them harming my own success and good nature.
If a friend of mine is behaving in an immoral or illegal way, I've got two choices.
- Do my best to get my buddy back on the right track.
- Cut my ties with him and move on.
Gents, I always opt for the first choice. But sometimes, a man can try his hardest and still not get through to those he's trying to help.
What I'm trying to say is this: if you surround yourself with like-minded, driven people, then you'll be boosted by their success and succeed further yourself. Sure, having a variety of different friends is good – but if your so-called buddy is still acting like a punk kid at the age of 4o, then it might be time to reconsider your relationship with him.
Self Destructive Habit #4: Being Lazy
Gents, this one is simple.
Let me spell it out to you nice and clearly: laziness kills productivity.
Unless you're one of those lucky few that wins the lottery or inherits a family fortune, then chances are you're gonna have to work hard to earn your keep.
Trust me, guys, that's not a bad thing.
Hard work can be exhausting sometimes. Believe me; I know what it's like.
Starting a business from scratch takes a lot of hard graft – long hours running the numbers and sleepless nights thinking up innovative ideas. However, let me tell you, it's all worth it when you start seeing your business grow and your efforts rewarded.
Lazy men will never feel the satisfaction of seeing a business boom or feel pride when landing that dream interview. Those who coast along without any care for self-improvement fundamentally lack the characteristics that make a man great: vision, drive, and perseverance.
Is that the sort of man you want to be? Of course not.
Bad Habit #5: Not Owning Your Mistakes
We all make mistakes – that's just part of being an adult.
A lot of guys I talk to get embarrassed about their mistakes. They see mistakes as a sign of weakness or ineptitude, and some even try to hide their mistakes from others.
Gents, I'm here to tell you that owning up to your mistakes is one of the most common habits of successful people. Sure, a mistake means that you've gone wrong somewhere, but if you consider that mistake a lesson in what not to do next time, mistakes can actually be a powerful tool for self-improvement.
As the old adage goes:
You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
In fact, many of history's greatest achievements have come about through people utilizing their mistakes.
In the early 20th Century, a scientist tried to invent the ‘wonder drug' that could cure a huge range of different diseases. After many attempts, he got frustrated and decided to throw away the Petri dishes that contained his failed experiments.
Sometime later, he noticed that one of those discarded Petri dishes had a strange mold growing within it. Interested by this, he observed the mold and realized that it was killing all of the bacteria surrounding it. After some testing, he found that the mold was, in fact, a powerful antibiotic – one that we now know as Penicillin.
That scientist went by the name of Alexander Flemming – the inventor of one of the most widely used antibiotics of the modern age. If he hadn't looked at his mistakes and carefully examined his failed experiments, chances are we wouldn't have the life-saving antibiotic medicines we so heavily rely on today.
Bad Habit #6: Procrastinating
Procrastination is a very dangerous thing. Distracting yourself from achieving your goals is a sure-fire way to ruin your success in life.
To pass your final year, you're gonna have to complete your academic dissertation.
To keep your business running smoothly, you're gonna need to file your taxes.
Are these things conventionally enjoyable? Absolutely not – most men would describe them as chores.
But the thing about chores is they've got to be done eventually. This means you have two choices:
- Do the work early and get it out of the way.
- Procrastinate and put the work off until you can't leave it any longer.
There's a great phrase that I like to think of when I'm in this situation:
Eat the frogs first.
Sounds weird, right? Why would anyone want to eat a frog?
Gents, that's the point. The idea is that it's better to get the nasty stuff out of the way first and enjoy the good stuff afterward. Procrastinating is only delaying the inevitable.
It's also a sure-fire way to kill your motivation and ruin your chances at success. Working hard isn't fun all the time but getting down to business straight away instead of putting off those all-important tasks is the best way to ensure your work is completed to the high standard that you've come to expect from yourself.
Remember: getting straight down to business is one of the top habits of successful people.
Bad Habit #7: Eating Junk
The final bad habit on my list is probably the worst.
A bad diet not only prevents you from performing at your best throughout the day but can also have detrimental effects on your health and overall life span. In short: a bad diet could end up killing you.
Now I don't want to seem alarmist. I enjoy a double-stacked burger as much as the next red-blooded American male.
However, the key to any extravagance in life is to only ever indulge in moderation.
That means only eating that double-stack maybe once a month as a treat.
Now I hear what you're saying – ‘Antonio, I'm not a rabbit. Lettuce every day isn't gonna happen.'
I agree – only eating salad items is actually just as dangerous as stuffing your face with burger meat. A good diet should be one that consists of a healthy balance of fat, protein, carbs, and fiber.
A poor diet can affect the body and the mind in equal parts. In fact, the International Labour Organization has found that:
Poor diet on the job is costing countries around the world up to 20 percent in lost productivity due to malnutrition that plagues some one billion people in developing countries.
Shocking right? Is it any wonder that eating well is one of the trademark habits of successful people worldwide?
Everyday Habits Ruining Your Life
We've all got habits we'd like to break – it's human nature to pick up on bad habits as the years go by.
Am I saying everyone needs to be perfect? Of course not – I know I'm far from perfect.
However, some specific habits have the potential to cause you long term damage if not kept under check. Rather than trying to stamp out bad habits immediately, it's a better idea to be mindful and manage those habits, so they don't get too far out of your control.
After all, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves.
Every man has the potential to be great – don't let those bad habits get in the way of that.
Good luck, gentlemen.
Read next: 10 best habits for men.