The 5 Obvious Life-Changing Habits You Ignore

The 5 Obvious Life-Changing Habits You Ignore

People want to get ahead in their lives, to become more influential and powerful. Even if they don’t say so, it is part of human nature to want to have control over yourself and other people.

This control is not necessarily negative. In fact, it can be very positive.

Imagine a child in a home of argumentative parents. What if she learns how to change the mindsets of her parents so they become harmonious with one another?

Imagine a school teacher wanting to help school children with low self-confidence. What if she could learn how to re-wire their minds to have higher self-esteem?

The only problem is that most do not know how to get there. Because they are lost, they begin to think that the route to influence and power must lie in birth: only the born-talented will have access to this kind of influence and power.

They imagine the steps to be reserved for people with talent, not them, who are ordinary. So they give up and let circumstances dictate how their lives go.

The truth is that anyone can become influential and powerful. Most people have more control over their lives than they believe they do. And it begins with building habits.

Why habits?

Habits control our decisions and activities on a daily basis. A tiny change in habit can change an entire life.

By changing them, your world will automatically shift.

Anorexics who change from eating 200 calories a day to eating 1,200 calories a day can save themselves from dying.

An unfit person who goes from not doing anything to running 20 minutes a day for a year would be able to run in a 5km marathon.

Today, I want to show you five habits anyone can start and if they practise it enough, will see life-changing results.

 

Turn people you admire into your personal advisors

We admire people for characteristics, achievements or social statuses that we want for ourselves.

Their ideologies change our lives though we have never met them.

Their stories of success drive us to build our own.

While there are numerous benefits of having idols that you look up to, you would have unlocked only 0.0001% of their value if all you do is read about them and look at their speeches from afar.

The remaining 99.9999% is only reachable to you if you turn your idols into your personal advisors.

The first obstacle you will have is: you assume there is no way for you to reach them. You are not important, successful or influential. Why would they give you advice?

You are right.

If you were to ask a favour from a busy and important person you do not know, you would get ignored.

But it is not only busy and important people who will ignore you. In fact, if you were to ask a favour from anyone you do not know, you will be ignored.

To get anyone to help you, you must first help them. You may imagine your idols as not in need of any help, but you are wrong.

Everyone needs help, no matter how powerful, famous or influential they are.

Like you and me, they have limited time. They have goals they want to achieve. They have problems that drag them down.

To turn your idols into your trusted advisors, first help them. Help them many times before asking for anything.

Too many people ask for help and too little give help. If you can find a way to help people you admire, you can weave yourself into their inner circle and turn them into your personal advisors.

The catch: helping people is hard work. This is why so few people do it. If you want the rewards of advice and connection, be ready to put in the work to build trust and comradeship with people you admire.

Your approach must be sincere. People can smell ulterior motivates from far away. Your intentions are transparent. If you use them only for your personal gain, you will not go far.

While trying to reach your own goals, bring people up with you, don’t drag them down.

If you approach people you admire with an earnest intention, they will bring you very far.

When they do, never forget them. Thank them in public at every opportunity you have and your personal advisors will be your forever allies.

Get mentored by people you never meet: read books

People are reading a whole lot less than before.

It may appear that you should do the same. But don’t.

A trend like this gives you an opportunity to create an unfair advantage for yourself.

People around you may doubt this but people who have succeeded in their goals know this secret: wisdom for living and strategy for winning hides in books.

“Writing is refined thinking.” – Stephen King

The famous investor Warren Buffet is a voracious reader and so is U.S. president Barack Obama.

Both credit reading to building for their successes.

If people around you are reading less, that is a good thing. This means you can create a unfair, but hidden advantage over them.

The books you read will make your mind a silent powerhouse.

While others may become frantic and not know what to do, you will appear to be able to magically come up with elegant solutions that quickly resolve longstanding issues.

People will begin to look up to you.

Having people look up to you, however, should not deceive you into thinking you are without flaws.

Instead, allow yourself to see the bigger opportunities that public admiration can give you.

Richard Branson, one of the best personal branding man of the century, admired by millions, uses his influence to help in environmental and humanitarian causes, encourage startups and build modern work cultures.

The catch: it is easy to fool yourself into thinking you have no time to read. In actuality, you are distracted.

If you make your life internet free, you will find the time to read a few books a week.

For you to be able to create an unfair advantage for yourself, you must make no excuses.

Listen more than you talk

Most people are poor listeners.

Even when they appear to be listening, their minds are elsewhere. They think that people cannot see their minds wandering off, but in reality their hollow eyes reveal the truth.

Poor listeners are everywhere.

This again is an opportunity for you to create an unfair advantage for yourself.

Become the one single good listener in a sea of inattentive people and people will begin to pay attention to you.

“And so I had him thinking of me as a good conversationalist when, in reality, I had been merely a good listener and had encouraged him to talk.” – Dale Carnegie

In one sense, it is ironic: the more you listen, the more people want to listen to you.

When you listen to many people, many people in turn will listen to you. In this way, you will be able to create influence without creating resistance.

You do not even need to choose who to listen to. Listen to everyone you meet so even when you have not met with them for a long time, their memory of you remains sharp.

The catch: it is actually difficult to hold back your own thoughts and listen. Our tendency is to be self-centred. Our assumption is that influence is created by talk alone.

In truth, the most influential leaders are not only eloquent in speech, they are also the best listeners. President Bill Clinton was known for his listening skills. Many people have said, ‘He makes you feel like you are the only person in the room.’

Don’t tell everyone about your goals if you haven’t done anything yet

When an exciting thought comes to our minds, our tendency is to tell everyone about it.

Post it on Facebook. Tweet it. Blog about it. Talk to people about it.

The problem with this is two-folds:

First, talking about something gives you a sense of pseudo-accomplishment. It makes your brain believe you have already accomplished something when in reality, you have not.

In this case, you are most certain not to do anything about it.

Second, when you talk about something with burning passion at first and then end up not doing anything about it, and you do many times, you will begin to build a reputation of being a ‘talk-only’ person.

If you are trying to create something important in your life, a reputation like this will only impede you.

Instead, refine your ideas and work out a plan in secret with a few people before telling everyone about it.

This way, when you do talk about it, people will be doubly impressed because of the substance behind your talk.

The catch: people are impatient. The reason why we prefer talking about it than doing it is because doing is one thousand times harder.

Talking about grandiose plans draw admiration from people around you. But this admiration is short-lived and turns sour when you don’t deliver on your promise.

Do not let your ego enjoy admiration for ideas that you only talk about. Instead, allow people to see you as nothing on the outside, but secretly work towards making your ideas a reality in an intense way.

Become good at teaching

Our notion of teachers is skewed. We imagine people dressed in ugly looking clothes, teaching students who would rather be somewhere else.

But this is only one version of teaching. If you have only this version, you must allow for another version to enter your mind.

This first kind of teachers have limited influence. They often last until the end of the semester.

Upon graduation, we rarely seek the advice of our high school or college teachers. The reason is simple: they rarely have much to offer beyond the school curriculum they are limited to.

In fact, most teachers in this version are bound to an academic environment that does not reflect the world outside of it. So their advice is only useful if you are pursuing the same kind of career.

Instead, outside of school, we seek teachers who can show us how to create wealth for ourselves or how to have better relationships with our significant other, to name a few.

Teachers who can show people the way to solve life problems like these have no expiry date. In fact, their materials improve over time. Teacher and student grow together.

This is the kind of teaching you must become good at. Even if you never hold a class, becoming good at teaching people things you know will change your life.

Teaching people is a way of helping people see how to solve their own problems. Do this often enough and you will create an large group of people who you can turn to for help later on.

The catch: we sometimes make the mistake of thinking that wisdom shared is wisdom reduced. We think that by giving away things we know, we become less important.

The truth is opposite. The more you teach, the more you know as your thoughts become more refined the more you talk them out loud and apply them in varying scenarios.

To gain the benefit of teaching, avoid being stingy with what you know. Give away the farm. You will suddenly see that the farm was not all you had.

 

Conclusion

These habits are not new. But most people ignore them because they appear too simple.

In truth, most of life’s best philosophies are simple. The biggest problem is that they are underused. With enough practice, these simple habits will show themselves as powerful.


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