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7 Habits from the Most Effective People In The World

Luckily for us, all these people have written down their successful secrets. You can read key insights from their bestselling books with the Blinkist app.
by Carrie M. King | Apr 20 2018

Nonfiction books are a great shortcut to a more effective and meaningful life. The world’s bestsellers offer insight and advice to help you crush any challenge.

7-habits-most-effective-people

Here are 7 life-changing habits practiced by some of today’s most influential individuals — all distilled from bestselling nonfiction titles. If you like what you see, you can then use the Blinkist app to skim the main points of each of these titles. With the Blinkist app, you can read or listen to the key insights from any of over 2,500 bestselling nonfiction titles — in 15 minutes or fewer.

For a glimpse of what Blinkist can help you learn, here’s a look at 7 life-changing habits practiced by some of today’s most influential individuals.

Habit #1: Aim high

from The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

So-called “unrealistic” goals are often easier to achieve than you might think, says productivity hacker Tim Ferriss. As he sees it, most people don’t attempt to achieve remarkable things, meaning there’s less competition at the top.

“It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming.”

– Tim Ferriss

Instead of following a fixed career path and a predictable life plan, go wild. Take risks to do what you want to do rather than what’s expected of you. By aiming high, you’ll set yourself apart from those who settle for mediocrity and ultimately live a more enjoyable life.

Habit #2: Expose your mind to positive thoughts

from Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Surround yourself with positivity. There’s a constantly raging battle in our brains between our analytical mind and our instinctive mind. Find a healthy balance between the two by exposing yourself to things that make you feel good.

“Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.”

– Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman explains that our brains have evolved to react favorably to positive messages. When you’re in a good mood, the part of the mind that is alert and analytical tends to relax. This means that the more intuitive part of your mind can take over and opens the door for heightened creative thinking.

Habit #3: Accept responsibility for your own life

from What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey may be a one-woman media juggernaut now, but her early life was one of sadness, loneliness, and adversity. But rather than letting her tough start in life beat her down, she instead realized that she was the only person who could provide her with the love, happiness, and success that she wanted from life. And boy, did she achieve them.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

— Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey also writes about the power of gratitude to take you where you really need to be in life, and how she overcame her fear of judgement.

Habit #4: Ditch to-do lists

from Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Gain more control of your time and find it easier to unwind by following Allen’s time-tested productivity method. Set a concrete goal, then list step-by-step actions required to accomplish it.

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

– David Allen

Focus on one action at a time, and put everything else into a virtual or physical “collection bucket,” that you clean out weekly to eliminate what’s no longer important.

Habit #5: Break rules to overcome obstacles

from Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

If there’s one lesson billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson can attest to, it’s the virtues of being a rule-breaker. His independent attitude and willingness to test limits helped him blaze a trail through a number of industries including airlines, entertainment, and aeronautics.

“Breaking the rules and challenging convention is in the DNA of every successful entrepreneur. Doing things differently and solving problems with new, innovative and fresh approaches are the very reason many start-ups are able to compete and sometimes outpace the established market leaders.”

— Richard Branson

And by leveraging his charismatic personality, Branson continues to make the most of new opportunities while embarking on outrageous adventures.

Habit #6: Stand up to your inner critics

from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

We all harbor fears about the work that matters most to us. When those fears are repeated to you by a chorus of inner critics, they begin to feel very real and true. However, in order to do anything worthwhile in life, you need to learn to stand up to those inner critics and prove them wrong.

“This, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

— Elizabeth Gilbert

By listening to what excites you, to what sparks your curiosity, and not what makes you afraid or anxious, you stand to create your best work. Your inner critics may still make plenty of noise, but by choosing not to listen to them, you’re already winning.

Habit #7: Make sleep a priority

from The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington

After struggling with bad sleep habits for years, media magnate Arianna Huffington learned the true value of a good night’s sleep and made it a priority to catch plenty of zzz’s each night. From giving you an edge when it comes to athletics, to having a noticeable effect on your love life, the benefits of quality sleep are innumerable.

“Treat yourself as well as you treat your smartphone, making sure to sleep until fully recharged.”

— Arianna Huffington

To start sleeping better yourself, stay away from screens before bed, and consider using wearable technology to monitor your unconscious activities.

Read all 7 books on the Blinkist app

These are just 7 of the thousands of life-changing concepts you could be discovering each day with the Blinkist app. With more than 2,500 titles in virtually every category of nonfiction, there’s no telling what you’ll learn. Here’s a preview of what you can get from Blinkist:

Download the Blinkist app today to join a community of over 6 million like-minded learners.

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Blinkist Magazine is made by the same people who make — yep, you guessed it! — Blinkist. We spend our days transforming crucial insights from the best nonfiction books into powerful little packs of wisdom that you can read or listen to in a matter of minutes.

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