12 Habits Of The Highly Successful

Those who have become very successful have deliberate habits that make them more productive and effective. To emulate these habits, we must train ourselves and be focused; we must take our bad habits and replace them with new ones.

Here are 12 powerful habits that can help you build success into your life. How many do you already have in place, and which ones do you need to pick up? Which of these habits did Jesus include in His very successful life.


1. Be an early riser. Research shows that 44 percent of successful people wake up three hours before going to work, compared with just 3 percent of those who are not. Just the simple act of getting up early adds an hour a day to their lives. Imagine how much productive work you can get done early in the morning, with no interruptions or distractions. The morning is also the best time for prayer, meditation and reading the Bible.

  • Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. (Mark 1:35 NIV)

2. Network. Research says that 79 percent of successful people spend at least five hours a month networking–going to conferences, meeting new clients, attending webinars, meeting for coffee. Spending time with like-minded people allows you to align yourself with others and learn from them. Whom you hang out with determines what you talk about and what you do about it; you can change your effectiveness by being with successful people who will teach you, lift you, and support you.

  • After this, Jesus and His disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where He spent some time with them… (John 3:22 NIV)

3. Keep your focus. The most successful people are those who found their purpose–and from there, they became focused on being the best at what they were called to do. Follow their determination; ignore the noise and keep your FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success.

Jesus is a prime example of this.. He would not be deterred from what God had called Him to do. He knew His purpose and wouldn’t let even His closest companions deter Him.

  • Jesus ~ I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)
  • After Peter tried to deter Jesus from God’s plan ~ Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

4. Read to learn. According to research, 86 percent of successful people love to read, as opposed to 26 percent of those who are not successful. When you read, make sure you read to learn. Those who achieve wealth and success are constantly in a state of self-improvement; they read to learn and grow. As Dr. Seuss said so well, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

It should also be noted that the Bible, the most successful book ever written, is one of the best books to learn of the wisdom and ways of God. Here is a link to some great reading plans for the Bible.

  • Jesus stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. (Luke 4:16-17 NIV)

5. Make a list. To achieve an overarching goal, you need to list what you want to accomplish. The majority of successful people create daily to-do lists–81 percent of them. What’s more, 67 percent of highly successful folks actually complete 70 percent or more of their to-do items every day. They have goals they focus on, and they work hard to achieve them.

Jesus didn’t have a written to-do-list but He clearly had a plan that He daily followed.

  • Jesus ~ “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
  • Jesus ~ “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
  • Jesus ~ “It is finished” (John 19:30 NIV)

6. Get off the couch. It’s an hour or less of daily TV for 67 percent of highly successful people, while only 23 percent of the rest limit their TV intake. When it comes to reality shows, only 6 percent of the successful watch them, compared with 78 percent of the others. Highly successful people choose more productive and meaningful activities.

Jesus filled His life with doing good, spending time with God, mentoring His disciples and following the plan set out for Him.

  • Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,  for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38 NLT)

7. Treat time as a precious resource. Successful people avoid wasting time on unimportant matters or distractions. They don’t sit for hours at their computer or TV because they know that time is a nonrenewable resource. Time wasted is not time you can get back.

Jesus only had three and a half years to accomplish His goal. It is amazing that He was able to change the world in that short period of time. Today over two billion people follow Him.

  • Jesus ~ If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 NIV)

8. Take intentional risks. Successful people understand that risks lead to rewards. As a result, they’re more willing to take risks–not reckless risks but calculated ones. The very successful know what they stand to lose if a risk fails and they don’t get the reward they are seeking.

Jesus took a risk. He knew that not everyone would receive Him or understand what His purpose was. But He persevered and followed God’s plan anyway. And in doing so, He forever changed the world.

  • Jesus ~ “For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38 NIV)

9. Work smarter, not harder. A smart approach to work, including taking breaks, makes people more productive. Hard work is critical, but that doesn’t mean they can never enjoy personal time for relaxation and self-improvement. They have a good balance of work, personal tasks, and pleasure so they can be more creative and more productive–which, in turn, makes them more effective. Work hard, and then take a break. When you come back, you’ll be refreshed and more productive.

In spite of all the great good that Jesus did and who He was (the Son of God). He regularly spent time alone, praying and listening to the voice of His Father.

  • At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him. (Luke 4:42 NIV)
  • Jesus ~ “The Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing. In fact, the Father will show Him how to do even greater works than healing this man.  (John 5:19-20 NLT)

10. Invest in your health. Highly successful people understand the importance of eating right and working out to stay healthy. Studies show that 76 percent of successful folks do aerobic exercise at least four days a week, compared with 23 percent of people who are not wealthy; 57 percent of successful people count calories every day, as opposed to 5 percent of the rest. Even more interesting, 70 percent of successful people eat fewer than 300 calories of junk food a day. Successful people know the correlation between healthful eating and working out and their ability to accomplish the things they want to do.

  • As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee…  (Jesus walked everywhere He went)

11. Foster your emotional intelligence. Successful people know that having good relationships is crucial to success. They are tuned in to their own emotions, which also means they’re perceptive at reading the emotions of others. Warren Buffett has stated that emotional intelligence, more than IQ or expertise, accounts for 85 to 90 percent of success. IQ is a threshold competence–you need it, but it does not make you a star. But emotional intelligence can.

  • Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? (Luke 5:22 NIV)

12. Pay it forward. To be truly successful, you need to understand the importance of paying it forward. As Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” What you have, you share. Help someone, because along the way someone helped you. And the truth is, life is always about giving what you get.

  • Jesus (The Golden Rule) ~ So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7:12 NIV)

True success is not measured by how much you have but by how many hearts you have touched.

Adapted from Lolly Daskal: 12 Habits Of The Super Successful

About Mark Cole

Jesus follower, Husband, Father, Worship Leader, Writer, Pastor, Church Consultant, Founding Arranger for Praisecharts.com, squash & tennis player, blogger & outdoor enthusiast.. (biking, hiking, skiing). Twitter: @MarkMCole Facebook: mmcole
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