Every great achievement is commensurate with an equal degree of sacrifice. But, in the pursuit of success, one aspect that's almost always sacrificed is health; indeed a great concern. Health, both physical and mental, must be considered the single most valuable asset for a person. If you're not healthy there's no way you can become successful, much less enjoy your achievements. Ill-health, in short, is the biggest obstacle that stands between you and a happy life.
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Your well-being lies in your own hand and can be a challenging task especially when you're time is split between pursuing your aspirations. But it is certainly possible and there are countless successful people who stand testament to the same. It all boils down to one thing: habits, or more specifically, good habits. And here are 10 habits that need to be developed if you want to preserve your health while chasing success:
Regular exercise is proven to be incredibly beneficial for health, both physical and mental. Even 30 minutes of light exercise a day can provide a major boost to your fitness and make you a more productive person. Several successful people start their days with a run or some other form of exercise. Exercise isn't enough though, you should follow healthy eating habits as well — avoiding junk foods and eating a minimum of three meals a day is a key aspect of a healthy lifestyle.
Reading is a habit every successful person swears by. From Warren Buffett to Bill Gates to Elon Musk to Mark Cuban, the greatest business moguls of our era have one thing in common: they are all voracious readers. Reading helps you develop new perspectives and gain knowledge while stimulating your mind at the same time. It also helps you detach from reality for a while when it feels all too overwhelming. Reading is, simply put, the best exercise for your mind.
In the pursuit of success, we often forget that we aren't machines and rest is a prerequisite to consistently maintain high productivity levels. In today's fast-paced and ultra-competitive world, we wear 14-hour workdays as a badge of honour. And it's sleep that falls victim to such a hectic lifestyle. Getting enough sleep, Arianna Huffington stresses, is a vital aspect for achieving success. A self-proclaimed sleep evangelist, she says that sleep is the way to a 'more productive, more inspired, more joyful life'.
Scheduling is important. It's the bridge between thinking of doing something and doing it. But, it's important not to go overboard while trying to plan your day — scheduling every minute of your day will only serve to cause you more stress. Instead, identify and prioritise the three or four most important tasks that you need to complete in the day and dedicate specific time slots for them.
Most of us are guilty of wasting time thinking about and planning things only to never act on them. Taking an action is, ultimately, the only thing that counts. The fear of failure often tempts us into inaction but that has debilitating effects in the long run. Successful people take balanced risks and that's how they are always a step ahead of everyone else, who are stuck on the side-lines worrying their days away.
There are two aspects of taking things one at a time. The first is mono-tasking, that is focusing only on one task at a time and giving your 100 percent until it's completed. Multitasking is a waste of time and produces poor results while simultaneously lowering your productivity and raising stress levels. The second is breaking large goals into smaller, actionable steps and then completing them one at a time. This gives you a sense of progress which, no matter how small, is a morale booster and motivates you to keep going.
If there's one thing all successful people can attest to, it's that discipline matters much more than motivation. Motivation is fleeting and fickle, it lies outside your immediate control. Discipline on the other hand is something that you alone can cultivate and control. Being disciplined and establishing productive and healthy routines allows you to work towards success no matter how much you may not feel like doing so at the moment.
History is ripe with narratives of humans being social animals, we've sought to establish social relationships and continue to do so. In the pursuit of success, where time becomes the rarest of commodities, we often isolate ourselves from friends, family and other meaningful connections. By doing so, however, we only cause irreparable harm to ourselves. Studies have proven that social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behaviour, physical health, and mortality risk.
Several people have this notion that time spent not working is time wasted. In keeping with this, we work ourselves to the bone, not allowing ourselves the much-needed respite lest someone gets ahead of us in the proverbial rat race. This eventually results in a burnout and recovering from one is much harder than avoiding one altogether. Taking small breaks during the day; dedicating moments to just sit still and think; and taking regular vacations to rejuvenate yourself are crucial if you want to achieve success without exhausting yourself.
Financial woes are among the biggest causes of stress. To avoid unnecessary turmoil stemming from the lack of money, you need to start saving money judiciously at the earliest. But hoarding money alone won't contribute to your mental well-being either; how you spend it matters too. Investing in experiences instead of materialistic things, and charity are two behaviours consistently associated with happiness.
If you agree with these habits, get started immediately. Select the ones you can most easily incorporate into your life and work. Procrastination in this aspect will not do you any good.