Everyday Tools for Extraordinary Success
by © Dr. Philip E. Humbert
I am often asked about the “secrets to success”. I’ve had the chance to work with thousands of highly successful people in business and finance, in sports, in entertainment and the arts, and the good news is, there are no “secrets” for success!
There are, however, a few tools that, when used together, come close to being a “secret weapon”. They require no special talent or skills. They cost very little, and every school child has a complete set.
They are around us every day, yet we fail to use them, and we deprive ourselves of their power. Here is my list of the Top 5 “secret” weapons of extraordinarily successful leaders:
- 3×5 cards. Yup, I’m referring to those little cards your Mom used for recipes. Successful people use them to jot notes, keep tips, and store valuable information. I carry them everywhere, and have supplies by the phone, beside my bed, and on the kitchen counter. They are wonderful! They last forever – I have cards I wrote over 30 years ago! And if you accidentally leave them in your pockets, they even go through the wash. (Trust me on this!)
- A watch. Highly successful people are intensely time- concious. They don’t spend their time, their energy or their lives on trivial pursuits. They wear a watch and they use it to stay on task until they achieve their goals and create the life they want. Time is your most precious asset and our most under-valued commodity. Wear and USE a watch!
- An alarm clock. Benjamin Franklin observed that “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise”. It’s still true! I live and work with wealthy people, and when I walk my dog after 10:00 p.m., there are no lights on. But when we walk about 6:00 in the morning, everyone is up, and the cars are already heading for the office. Buy and use an alarm clock! Start early, work hard.
- A list. Highly successful people plan their day. They make a list of their most important priorities. They choose the things that will make a major, long-term, difference, and they focus on them all day long. Last thing in the evening, or first thing in the morning, create a list and work from it during your day.
- A compass. My most successful clients always have a symbol or a map, a picture or poster of their most important goals and they use it to guide them during the day. They stay on course. If they get lost, they re- assess and get back on-track immediately. Have a “compass” that reminds you of your dreams, your goals, and your most daring desires. Stay on course!