7 Unusual Daily Habits of Highly Successful People
Success is not a one-size-fits-all formula, and oftentimes, the habits of highly successful people can seem rather unconventional.
While not prescriptive, these habits can serve as food for thought, inspiring us to step outside our comfort zones and explore different paths to personal and professional growth.
In this blog, we’ll delve into some of these unusual habits that some of the most successful people in the world do regularly.
7 Unusual Daily Habits of Highly Successful People
1. Taking Cold Showers
Imagine starting your day with a jolt of icy water cascading down your body.
Sounds invigorating, right? Or perhaps slightly terrifying?
For some successful individuals, like actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson this is an integral part of their morning routine.
Cold showers are not only guaranteed to wake you up, but they also have numerous health benefits.
They can improve circulation, boost mood, increase alertness, and even help to build resilience.
When you conquer the discomfort of a cold shower first thing in the morning, everything else in your day can seem a bit more manageable!
If you’d like to get started on your cold shower journey, check out our “Guide to 30 days of Cold showers”
2. Intermittent Fasting
Now, let’s shift gears to something that may make you rethink your breakfast routine: intermittent fasting.
This isn’t about starvation, but rather about timing your meals.
Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting.
Twitter’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey, follows this practice and has reported improved focus and energy.
There’s also a growing body of scientific evidence showing potential benefits such as weight loss, better brain health, and even increased longevity.
Before you dive in, remember that dietary changes should be tailored to your individual health needs, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.
3. Wearing the Same Outfit Everyday
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by having to choose an outfit in the morning, this next habit might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
It might sound monotonous, but some of the world’s most successful people, like the late Steve Jobs, chose to wear the same outfit every day.
It helps to eliminate decision fatigue, saving mental energy for more important decisions throughout the day.
Jobs’ iconic black turtleneck and jeans became a symbol of his commitment to simplicity and functionality.
So, if you’ve been considering a minimalist wardrobe, this might just be your nudge in the right direction!
4. Reading Extensively
The fourth unusual habit that we’re exploring today may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning for its sheer impact: reading extensively.
Not just novels or newspapers, but a wide variety of genres and formats.
For example, Elon Musk is known to read everything from philosophy to rocket science.
Reading extensively exposes you to a broad array of ideas and perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding of the world.
It also helps to improve your memory, stimulate your creativity, and enhance your ability to think critically.
If you want to walk in the footsteps of successful individuals, consider turning off the TV tonight and picking up a book instead!
There are a range of books you can start with, here are a few suggestions: Atomic Habits, Never Split The Difference, The Unfair Advantage, The Compound effect, The One Thing, and The Magic of Thinking Big.
If you don’t like reading, why not check out a book review podcast!
I personally have benefitted from reading books. If you want to see how reading has helped generate my business money, check out the video below.
5. Digital Detox
In our modern world, technology is everywhere.
But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be harmful.
This leads us to our fifth habit: digital detox.
Successful individuals, like the best-selling author and podcaster Tim Ferriss, regularly disconnect from their devices.
By doing so, they create a space free from digital distractions, providing room for reflection, creativity, and deep work.
Incorporating a regular digital detox into your routine could enhance your mental health, increase productivity, and improve personal relationships.
So, why not give it a try?
Even a short period of disconnection each day could yield significant benefits.
6. Writing a ‘Thank You’ Note Every Morning
Gratitude has the power to change our outlook on life.
Writing a ‘thank you’ note every morning is a great habit to kickstart your day.
This practice is employed by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS.
Each morning, he writes a note to express gratitude to someone in his life.
This habit not only brings joy to the recipient, but it also cultivates a positive mindset in the person writing the note.
Imagine starting each day on such a positive note (pun intended)!
The ripple effect of this small act of kindness can be immense.
7. Polyphasic Sleep
Our final unusual habit takes us into the realm of sleep, an aspect of our lives that’s often overlooked, but crucial to our overall well-being and productivity.
This isn’t about getting the typical 8-hour block though, we’re delving into the unusual practice of polyphasic sleep.
Polyphasic sleep involves breaking up sleep into several shorter periods throughout the day, instead of having one long nightly sleep.
Historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla are said to have followed this sleep pattern to maximize their waking hours.
While this method might seem extreme and isn’t recommended for everyone, those who adapt to it claim to experience heightened productivity and more time in their day.
However, it’s important to remember that good sleep hygiene and getting enough rest is crucial for our health.
Why do Daily Habits Help with Success?
Daily habits play a pivotal role in facilitating success for several reasons:
Habits, by definition, involve regularly repeated actions.
This consistent effort can lead to substantial progress over time. For instance, practicing a musical instrument every day, even for a short period, can make you proficient over months or years.
Habits free up our mental resources. When actions become habitual, they require less conscious thought, which allows us to focus our mental energy on other tasks.
Establishing and maintaining habits requires self-discipline, a valuable trait that translates into other areas of life, including career development and personal growth.
Habits provide structure to our daily lives. This can enhance our productivity by establishing routines that compartmentalize our activities and manage our time effectively.
Positive habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, or meditation can contribute to our overall well-being. A healthier mental state often equates to better performance in personal and professional realms.
The process of forming new habits cultivates resilience. It often involves overcoming challenges and stepping out of our comfort zones, both of which are crucial skills for achieving success.
Remember, habits are not an overnight phenomenon.
They require time to develop, and their impact becomes apparent over the long term.
Not every habit works for everyone, so it’s crucial to find what suits your lifestyle and aligns with your goals.
What Successful People Use Daily Habits?
Successful people across various fields often attribute their achievements, at least in part, to their daily habits. Here are a few examples:
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is known for his rigorous work schedule.
He has been said to break his entire day into five-minute slots to maximize productivity. He also reads extensively across a variety of disciplines, a habit he credits for much of his knowledge and success.
The media mogul starts her day with a meditation session, allowing her to focus her mind and prepare for the day ahead.
She also maintains a gratitude journal, jotting down five things she’s thankful for each day.
The Facebook founder is known for his habit of setting and following through with yearly personal challenges, such as learning Mandarin or only eating meat he had hunted himself.
These challenges keep him learning and growing.
The co-founder of Microsoft is a voracious reader.
He reads a book a week, enhancing his understanding and perspective on various subjects. He also takes annual “think weeks,” where he isolates himself just to read and think.
One of the world’s most successful investors spends 80% of his day reading. He believes this habit is crucial for making informed decisions. Buffet also plays ukulele daily for relaxation.
The founder of Amazon values his sleep and aims for a full 8 hours each night. He also starts his day with a high-energy breakfast with his family.
The motivational speaker has a morning routine that involves a cold shower, a ‘priming’ exercise involving breathwork and visualisation, and expressing gratitude.
These are just a few examples of how successful individuals use daily habits to drive their personal and professional growth.
Each individual’s habits are tailored to their personal preferences and goals, illustrating that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to success.
How Long Does It Take to Become Successful Using Daily Habits?
The time it takes for daily habits to lead to success varies greatly depending on several factors, including the nature of the habit, the definition of success, and individual differences in adherence, motivation, and circumstances.
According to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, it takes, on average, more than two months (66 days, to be precise) before a new behaviour becomes automatic — that is, becomes a habit.
However, the actual range can be anywhere from 18 to 254 days.
It’s important to note that this is about forming the habit itself, not necessarily seeing the fruits of that habit.
Success, on the other hand, is highly variable and dependent on many factors.
For some, success may come quickly, while for others it may take years, or even a lifetime.
It’s also important to recognise that success is subjective and means different things to different people.
A consistent, disciplined approach to daily habits, aligned with one’s goals, can definitely help pave the way to success.
However, there are no guarantees or precise timelines.
What’s most crucial is perseverance, consistency, and the ability to adapt and modify one’s habits and strategies in response to feedback and changing circumstances.
The journey to success is often a marathon, not a sprint.
It requires patience, resilience, and a long-term view.
As we’ve journeyed through these unusual habits of highly successful individuals, we’ve seen a myriad of paths to success.
From bracing cold showers to cultivating gratitude, from challenging traditional sleep patterns to embracing digital detox, the journey to success is deeply personal and wonderfully diverse.
Remember, the key to creating a successful routine lies in finding habits that resonate with you, suit your lifestyle, and align with your goals.
Success is a journey, not a destination, and the right habits can provide the compass.
It’s not about emulating someone else’s path, but about carving out your own unique route to success.
Please note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. Rest assured that all the products linked are ones I have personally tried and recommend based on my own experience.
Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker
BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation