7 Habits of Success That Don’t Look Like The Pictures

Success doesn’t look like the pictures.

If you spend approximately one minute online searching for images of success, you’ll think you’re watching a Hollywood movie:

You’ll see James Bond lookalikes posing with Lamborghinis. You’ll notice houses the size of hills resting in the countryside. And someway, somehow, none of these success serpents ever manages to spill anything on their clean-pressed suits.

Take it from me, a chronic spiller — It’s remarkable.

The only problem is that real success doesn’t look like the pictures. And how could it? The pictures are photoshopped.

And maybe it’s because… real success, and the habits that fuel success… aren’t that sexy.

In fact, their kind of… I don’t know… BORING!

In a world that lives to make mountains out of molehills (and then humblebrag about it online), I’d like to share the real habits of success I’ve learned from entrepreneurs that you don’t see online. 

#1) They Do It Anyways

For better or worse, Nike got one thing right: their slogan.

Just. Do. It.

Three simple words that take procrastination and kick it square in the balls.

If you have something you need to get done, just do it by using this formula.

  1. Write down what you need to do.
  2. Do it.

The truth is that the task you need to get done doesn’t care that you’d rather binge-watch Ozarks and contemplate what life would be like if you were a squirrel.

It just needs to get done, and doing it… is how you do it.

*Shrugs* Nothing sexy about that.

Take note from Seneca. “We suffer more in our imagination more often than in reality.”

Meaning the task you have to do likely isn’t as bad as you think it is; you just have to get started.

Keep it simple my friends; that’s how you gain speed.

#2.) They Limit Distractions 

Your phone is not your friend.

Neither is the load of laundry that’s calling your name, the mountain of days-old dishes you suddenly feel like doing, or the juiciest text about the driest gossip.

Anything that distracts you from the work that needs to be done is not your friend.

It’s a lonely world; get used to it.

If you want to get more done, you need to be intentional about creating an environment that has the least amount of distractions as possible.

The practical application for most people means taking your phone and putting it in time out.

Your phone, in particular, is a thief because it robs you of focus. Most of the apps you use are literally designed to keep you on as long as possible and sell you shit you don’t need.

It’s the American way.

Don’t give yourself unnecessary temptation. History suggests temptation will eventually win.

#3.) They Go On Walks

What do Einstein, Beethoven, Socrates, Aristotle, Hawthorne, Darwin, and Dickens all have in common besides being, um… geniuses?

They took walks… the long kind.

The successful people I know also go on walks or have some form of meditative movement.

Coincidence? I think not.

Walks have power. Besides, you know, making you feel good, promoting exercise and taking your mind off of the bullshit of daily life, they do one very cool thing:

According to this Stanford Study… walking can burst a person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent!

Who knew?

(The geniuses) that’s who.

#4.) They Set Strong Boundaries

The biggest gripe I’ve ever had in my professional career is the pre-8 AM text.

You know the text from the coworker that’s so important, so pressing, that it discredits the idea that … someone may have a life outside of working hours.

And its core, the pre 8 AM text bothers me because I feel it crosses personal boundaries.

I’ve found that the best way to fight against those experiences is by setting strong boundaries.

Having strong boundaries is how you create structure, and having structure is how you build.

The successful people I know have strong boundaries in their working hours, the type of work they take on, their bedtime, their diet, their content, and much more.

They essentially build guardrails with their boundaries that keep them on the road to their goal.

And that is pretty damn intentional.

#5.) They Like To See Others Win

Do you know what you rarely see?

Someone who is truly happy and successful putting other people down.

Isn’t that remarkable?

It’s like when you’re truly happy & successful; you don’t feel the need to complain, condemn and castrate random-ass strangers for your self-stroking ego.

And I think it’s because successful people share this quality:

They like to see and help other people win.

They don’t feel threatened by other people’s success.

Instead, they know the golden rule of reciprocity.

If you help someone out, they’re likely to help you out. Which, in turn, enables you to win more.

Plus… it just feels good.

What I find most interesting is that the most successful entrepreneurs I know, the ones worth 7 and 8 figures, are always happy to offer advice.

The people that earn less usually hold their wisdom to their chest like scalpers hold tickets.

Their selfishness becomes a constraint in their self-fulfilling destiny. 

#6.) They Stay Curious

̶H̶e̶r̶o̶i̶n̶.̶ Curiosity is the most potent drug.

One little sip of the good stuff, and you can find yourself across time learning from legends, both dead and alive.

And what’s fascinating is most CEOS stay curious, often exemplified by reading 4–5 books a month.

It’s almost like the more you learn, the more you earn.

Smartass-comment aside, successful people prioritize curiosity. And why wouldn’t you? The more you know, the more opportunities you can find.

The beauty in today’s age is that you don’t need to be as rigid as reading a book a week; instead, there are plenty of podcasts, videos, and platforms where it’s easy to find new ideas and grow.

All that matters is that you curate and consume.

Bon appétit.

#7.) They Give Their Personal Best

The quality that separates the winners I’ve met in my life from the rest of the pack is one quality.

̶W̶i̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ They give their personal best.

Or, in other words, they give a shit about the outcome.

Because when you care about what you’re doing, you are likely to go above and beyond and seize the results you crave.

You can’t teach this quality; it has an “I-want-it-factor” in its DNA.

You don’t want to die with regret.

Give your personal best, and if you can stack your best output for months on end, you will move the needle forward. I guarantee it.

Please like, comment, share and tell me what you think. What quality did you like best?

83 thoughts on “7 Habits of Success That Don’t Look Like The Pictures

  1. During the pandemic I cleaned my basement which was full of nearly 40 years of accumulated debris. I did it slowly – a set time each day & no more. One of secrets to success is it take small steps – if I said ‘I’ll clean this out in a day – it would still be a mire. Two years later I still go down there amazed at how ‘tidy’ it is.

  2. Success must be self-defined. Particularly in an arena like Art where there are few meaningful metrics involved.

  3. Very thought provoking. I enjoyed the read very much. Successful people are consistent and not afraid to “fail”. We learn so much when things don’t go as planned. The right mindset will see that as an opportunity to learn and adjust, not as a discouraging event.

  4. Thank you so much for this. I liked the very first point. Just. Do. It. I’m at a point in my life where I need to start being productive, to achieve my dream-driven goals. Thank you once again.

  5. I love how you brought in historical figures in this discussion! Walking is definitely meditative and I learned a lot from your post! And to your point of the more you know the more opportunities arise. It’s amazing and I am inspired to continue to expand my knowledge base.

  6. The taking walks quality resonates with me. 2 years ago I bought a dog and of course dogs love the outside and love to be walked. After a month of teaching my dog how to walk on a leash, I’ve become probably more excited than my dog to for the walk because when I’m walking my mind totally turns into this creative sponge. We picked a new park just yesterday and it was like a breath of fresh air, but not only that I was able to jot down some ideas in my notes app. Thank you for this.

  7. Amazing read! I started walking when I got my dog and I probably enjoy the walks more than him. We find a new park every week and literally my festive juices flow. Thank you for this.

  8. Taking walks and healthy eating and habits are incredible advice for success. It’s hard to maintain and sets the bar pretty high as a standard when life gets wonky but they definitely help. For me personally I think keeping the end game in mind works best of all. Fall get back up, but keep moving forward a little at a time.

  9. Nice blog post Anthony. I couldn’t agree with you more, success doesn’t look like pictures and what is great is that success in the real world means hard work and preparation….not just conclusion about success through a picture

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  10. Love it! I used to walk outside several times a week, and I typically wrote something afterward. Thanks for the reminder! I’m going to the hit the trails now.

  11. Habit number five speaks high volume and it’s a necessary for each and everyone of us to adopt because it will surely betterlize the world we live in. Thanks for writing this master piece, it certainly elivate hunger for success and reenforcement of boundaries.

  12. Friends. The other side of lonely. And now thinking what pictures real success would look like. Maybe the problem is the word “success”. When I see that word I tend to be future oriented. I see a carrot on a stick. Can I be ok, in the here and now ?

    Will read more on your blog.

    1. That’s a good point, I totally think you can be successful in the here and now … also success is a subjective term. Either way, so happy you checked out my blog!

  13. I totally agree with all points mentioned especially the one related to the phone.

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