It is said that we only need to look to our outside to see what’s on our inside. This refers to the fact that our habits, or actions, yield certain results; our circumstances. If we are frustrated with the way our life is, what is it we are doing that is resulting in undesirable conditions? And, what can we do to quickly improve this situation?
We must look at our habits; work habits, relationship habits, parenting habits, and even our self-improvement habits. Everyday, we wake up at some point and we have a basic routine. This routine is based on our standards, and what we accomplish in a day is a result of our routine.
Our ability to set a standard for our self and carry out our plan for the day will have much to do with our focus.
We can look at how good everything is and where we can improve, or we can focus on how difficult life has become and how it keeps getting worse. We tend to get more of what we focus on.
In this article, I will focus on the habits of a leader. Who comes to mind when you think of a leader? A family member? An employee at your workplace? A teacher? A television character? Which of their leadership skills stand out the most to you?
Whatever it is, we must understand the qualities that a leader has is something we can learn. Leaders set a standard and they constantly make choices that allow them to maintain or exceed that level.
If we are fed up with our circumstances in this life, we must start making changes. By learning and practicing what leaders do, we can start living like leaders live. Remember, leaders make a choice every morning to wake up and lead.
3 habits successful leaders practice that you can start doing today
Regardless of how life has turned out for us by this time, we have a choice to make it better or let it spiral downwards. The life of the successful leader is one that can be had by virtually anyone; but it isn’t necessarily the easy life.
If practiced regularly, our outward results will start to improve. Consistency over time will yield the best results for permanent changes. We effectively develop a new mindset that enhances our inner person, which directly affects our outer circumstances.
What is it that leaders do differently than someone who focuses on simply getting through the day without too much damage or pain?
Many things. The character of a leader is comprised of many things. A skill of continually searching for improvement is among the forefront. A great attitude of optimism tags along closely. The list is quite long.
For the sake of not getting overwhelmed, I am going to list three skills we can adopt to start living more like a leader and less like a passenger in this ride of life.
- Servant leadership by focusing on others
- Problem solving
1. Leaders practice servant leadership by focusing on others
We follow our focus. The more time we spend thinking about something, the clearer it becomes. This sounds positive, and it is. But only if our focus is on something positive. If we think about our problems or difficulties, those too will become clearer to us and will grow.
It is vital for us to understand where we are right now in life and make a choice to change. The change will happen by examining what someone in a more ideal circumstance has for habits and routines, and implement those in our lives, too.
Leaders might not always have a perfect life, but they tend not to dwell on the parts that are in distress. Instead, they shift their focus onto living the way they would rather be and they do what they can to help others expand.
The servant leader is one who inspires others to grow. Someone who equips others to start operating at a higher level and potential. The leader doesn’t focus on how this or that will make them look good, but rather, how will this or that help the team to succeed and thrive as one.
When we aren’t self-seeking, we tend to be happier. By trying each day to better others, we better ourselves, too.
The best way to really grow in something is to teach people how to do it. With as much understanding as we can get, we must step out and start putting it into practice by example. This will result in direct experience, and it is through experience that we learn, and also grow our self-confidence.
2. Leaders practice problem solving
Regardless of what it is we are now doing, our environment will either be ideal or need correction. As leaders are constantly working to improve their surroundings, we should too. This means that there should be very few times of the day where we sit idle.
It is good to have rest, but when we are struggling through life, it is better to engage in an activity that will solve an issue for us. When our circumstances improve, we will surely have time to relax and take it easy.
Continuously seeking to improve our surroundings isn’t some hectic activity. Rather, it is simply thinking through the processes that go on around us and trying to come up with a way where it could work better or go smoother.
What could you do today that would allow you to keep more money in your pocket at the end of the day? What would happen over time if you traded 30 minutes per day of social media time with personal improvement education? Try to answer these for yourself.
Often, the solutions to our biggest problems require small consistent changes in our routine. The idea of this article isn’t to try to get people to make massive changes in their lives; it’s to try to get people to understand that by making simple small changes to their daily habits, they can realize massive changes in their lives.
3. Leaders practice efficiency
Great leaders understand the value of time. Time is limited; for all of us. How do you use yours?
We can become more efficient with our time by cutting out stuff that is effectively making our life worse and by replacing it with activities that have a compounding effect.
Consider this; we can pay for a cable subscription for television and we can watch shows that are dramatic and entertaining. We must think for a moment what it is we are paying for. What is it that we are watching? Is it uplifting? Encouraging? Educational? Or, is it destructive? Is it full of hate and scandal and sex and fighting and substance abuse?
We must understand that we are paying to fill our minds with something. Will it have a good compounding effect or bad? I say compounding effect because whatever we fill our minds with is what will come pouring out. First, it’s on TV; now, it’s coming out of us in duplication.
I am a firm believer that if we want our life to improve, we must have deliberate actions for what we take in and what we put out. There isn’t any magic to this life; It’s cause and effect.
Try waking up with purpose. Plan to use your time in the most productive way possible. Think through the day ahead and try to group things together in order of importance. Work to get the important things done as early as possible. During downtime, try engaging in mind-enhancing activities that encourage efficiency and achievement.
I’m not saying to not watch TV. I am saying to be mindful of what you let into your mind. If you don’t like your current situations, way of thinking, or progress in life, make changes. Start learning what the leaders are learning. Start living like the leaders are living. Start getting the results the leaders are getting.
I have spent many years living in undesirable conditions. No more. I had to wake up one morning and face the truth; if I want my life to change, I must change.
It is a must. It is a deliberate choice to improve that we must make continuously throughout our day. When we accept that a small change in daily habit can result in massive overall changes, we can look for something to try to change and give it adequate time while we expect good results.
Here is an example of a small change:
Do you buy a $5 drink every day? What if you didn’t? What if you set that money aside instead? $5 x 30 days = $150. $150 x 12 months = $1800.
What could $1800 grow to in an investment over time?
It’s simple. If you don’t have enough money; look at your spending habits. If you don’t have a good relationship; look at your relationship-building knowledge; if you are frustrated and upset constantly; look at your focus. Become a resourceful problem solver.
What can you start doing today to let the leader out in you?