Famous Routines Of Successful People
It doesn’t take too much digging into success stories to find examples of powerful routines. These routines not only help people reach their lofty peaks, they were likely quite integral to them.
Over the next couple lessons, you will find 8 stories of famous people and their routines.
We stuck to this number so we wouldn’t overwhelm, but this list was whittled down from dozens. I am sure with more research it could have easily been in the 100s.
Like they say, every good success story starts with a routine! OK, they don’t really say that …but maybe they should.
The people below are all super successful in their fields, and were known to have powerful routines that were significantly important to this success. First we will quickly break down their routine (and some are deceptively simple). Then we will share the takeaway you should have gotten from the story.
Pay close attention to these takeaways, because they are powerful tips that will help you when you create your own routines.
In today’s lesson, we’ll be taking a look at our first 4 famous routines and investigating why they were successful.
“If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?” – Steve Jobs
One simple question, each morning in the mirror.
The above quote is the focal point of Steve Jobs morning routine. I am fairly certain he had a number of routines, but this one is particularly fascinating.
After he would wake up, he would face himself in the mirror and ask that question. If he answered “no” too many days in a row, then he knew he had to shake things up.
Jobs knew that life was too short to waste time doing things that don’t make him happy. He wanted to make sure he was doing important, fulfilling work each day.
By checking in each morning, Jobs made sure he was being true to himself and it helped keep him on his chosen path.
What a simple, yet powerful routine. How many times do you wake up and just start getting ready for work?
How powerful would it be if you actually took a moment to ask yourself a simple question like that? A routine doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, or major lifestyle change. Sometimes, something as simple as asking yourself a question every morning can help drive you towards success.
“The alarm clock would go off at 5, and I’d jump in the shower. My office was 5 minutes away. And I had to be at my desk, at my office, with the first cup of coffee, a legal pad and write the first word at 5:30, five days a week.” – J. Grisham
This is probably obvious to most people, but John Grisham is a writer. He is an amazingly prolific and popular one at that. It makes sense that his routine revolved around writing. A good routine should complement your passion.
Every working day, Grisham would get up at the same time and be ready to roll at 5:30am. His goal was to write a single page every day.
Another simple yet powerful goal. He was a writer and his routine was… to write. It could take an hour, or it could take 5 minutes, but the routine was the same – a page a day.
With dozens of massively successful books under his belt, it is safe to say it worked.
Making your passion part of your routine can be very powerful. If you know your passion and are actively following it, then why not create a daily routine based around it?
Another lesson to be learned from Grisham is that choosing a results based routine can be very helpful. Instead of forcing yourself to do something for X amount of time, why not focus on the result you want instead? In Grisham’s case, he didn’t force himself to write for 2 hours each day. Instead he set a goal of a single page with a much more flexible time frame.
Beethoven, one of the most successful and renowned musicians of all time, was widely known as a man of routine.
In fact, he took it to the next level in some cases. He purportedly started each morning by meticulously brewing his morning cup of coffee by counting out 60 coffee beans.
For the focus of this lesson though, we want to look at his afternoon. After a morning of work and a midday dinner, Beethoven would go on a long, often vigorous walk.
The key to this walk was that he always brought a pencil and couple sheets of music paper in case he was struck with musical inspiration. He used a change of state and environment to break up the monotony of his day, while at the same time making sure he was ready if inspiration struck.
Create routines that help you in multiple ways. Beethoven’s midday vigorous walk, while simple in it’s nature, is actually complex when you look at the effect it had on him.
This one single routine, actually addressed multiple issues. A vigorous walk is a wonderful way to stay active. It is even better if you commit to it daily. On top of that, it was a great way to shake things up. A midday walk can break up the doldrums of working all day and help inspiration strike. Beethoven made sure he was ready by carrying pencil and paper. This one routine was actually a triple threat!
“We have a semblance of a normal life. We have a drink together and have dinner. Maybe after dinner I’ll read to him what I’ve written that day. He doesn’t comment. I don’t invite comments from anyone but my editor, but hearing it aloud is good.” – Maya Angelou
Another successful writer, Maya Angelou was also a firm believer in routine. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
When she was working, she had a strict routine that she followed each and every day.
A normal working day for Angelou, would start with a 6am morning coffee with her husband. After that, they both head off to work. She would head to a sparsely furnished room where she could focus on nothing but her passion.
She would work until the afternoon (exact time depended upon how well things were going) and then meet up with her Husband for a drink and dinner together.
The highlight in this routine is balance! Angelou works hard and focuses, everyday, but she also ensures her life has balance. In her own words, “we have a semblance of a normal life”.
This is an important lesson for anyone. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our goals and passion, that we forego life’s simple pleasures. Being able to have a drink and dinner with a loved one, is something we shouldn’t take for granted.
You should strive to create daily routines that honor multiple aspects of life – emotional, spiritual and physical.
Now, let’s take some time to look at how you can improve your lifestyle, using the tips above as reference.
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