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6 Habits of Highly Successful People
If you want to be successful, however you measure success, you must be highly disciplined. Success is not luck, nor is it tied to your race, IQ level, or the size of your bank account. Success requires a certain mindset. While there’s no proven formula, there’s no denying that successful people share certain habits and traits that have helped them get ahead.

Tom Corley, author of Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, surveyed 233 ultra-wealthy individuals over a five-year period. Here are six habits he identified from a few of the most successful people of our time.  

Read…a lot – Corley found that 88 percent of the people he studied said they devote at least 30 minutes to reading, every single day. Most of them prefer non-fiction works like biographies, history, and self-help books. Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett reportedly once said that reading regularly is the most important habit he’s picked up.  

Wake up Early – Notable early risers include Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Disney CEO Robert Iger, and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer. Nearly 50 percent of the people researched by Corley say they wake up at least three hours before their work day starts.  Many use the time to tackle side projects, exercise, or make plans.

Daily Exercise – According to Harvard Health Publishing, exercise that “gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping” doesn’t just help you get vanity muscles, but actually improves memory and learning. Corley reports that 76 percent of his wealthy survey respondents say they spend 30 minutes or more each day on aerobic exercises like running or biking. Billionaire Richard Branson claims that staying fit doubles his productivity.

Dedication and Hard Work – Serena Williams, world renowned tennis player, wakes up at 6 a.m. most days, to practice tennis, and she’s been doing that since she was a kid. Dallas Mavericks owner and famous “Shark Tank” investor, Mark Cuban, didn’t take a vacation for seven years when his company was just starting up. Dedicating time to your goal is a habit for success.

Communication Skills – Highly successful people are clear communicators—and they’re always trying to get better. Spending your day with data and facts doesn’t do much good if you can’t translate the information to people around you. Self-help author and world-renowned life coach, Brian Tracy, said this about the importance of enhancing communication skills, “If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”

Give Back – Successful people allocate time to give back to their community by working with charities - volunteering and donating. Corely states that 73 percent of the people he studied volunteer at least 5 hours a month. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg, all donate financially to different causes. The key is to give back. You can volunteer at your local soup kitchen, help at the nursing home, or teach kids to read. Many times, your time and the pleasure of your company is enough.

Adapted from an article on by Paul Schrodt.

This material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only.  Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to its accuracy.  This material is not intended to be construed as legal, tax or investment advice.  You are encouraged to consult your legal, tax or investment professional for specific advice. 

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