One Habit of Highly Successful People

By Doug Armey

There are times I feel like quitting blogging. And times I’m motivated to spend more time writing.

Blogging has been one of the most frustrating as well as fulfilling things I’ve ever done.  Frustrating because it builds so slowly and takes such an enormous amount of work.  Rewarding because I have the opportunity to talk with people who I would never meet otherwise.

During one of those frustrating times we were in the mountains and had gone to meet a friend for some after dinner drinks at the lodge. She was sitting with some of her friends, who we didn’t know, out on the deck under a star filled sky. When she introduced us she said, “This is the super-achiever family.”  Honestly, I felt like anything but a super achiever at the time.

She went on, “Tell them what your kids are doing.”

As a very proud dad, I related that both our kids got graduate degrees from prestigious universities and were each involved in their dream jobs which had been incredibly competitive to get.

Then she went on, “And tell them about your career.”

I said, “I’m still trying to make up my mind what I want to do when I grow up. I’m now in my third, and best, full time career.  We’ve been successful in each and that set the foundation for the next.”

I told them briefly about my varied careers and they kindly listened like they were really interested.

“This one I enjoy the most and really went into it because I can work in it long as I want to.  I don’t plan on retiring.  I enjoy it that much.”

“And Jennifer has been a children’s minister and helps run our business and investments.  As well as she’s the gravity that helps hold our family in orbit together.  Without her we would all go zinging off.”

I thought about our conversation the next day.  I don’t feel like a super-achiever.  I look around at people who’ve accomplished much more.  Yet, I guess we have done some interesting things and each of us has been successful in competitive fields.  I thought mostly how we’ve been incredibly blessed by God every step of the way.

I  wondered, “What makes the difference?”

I recently read a blog by one of my favorite authors, Don Miller.  The post was titled, “Do This One Thing and You’ll Rise Above Your Peers.”

He writes, “But my point is this: If you want to be a person of influence, or if you want to lead, or for that matter if you want to succeed, start reading. “

He discussed a study that found, 42% of college graduates never read another book.  80% of American families did not read one book last year.

No wonder it feels like so many people are groping around in the darkness not knowing which direction is up.  No wonder so many feel confused and drift through life aimlessly and ineffectively.  There are books and blogs devoted to nearly every topic imaginable that will help us live better lives yet so few take advantage of the wisdom that’s available.

I love one of the only descriptions we have of Jesus growing up.

It simply says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

Jesus was God in human flesh.   As God he knew all things yet as a man had our limits.  So he needed to grow in wisdom.  He studied, learned and became wise.  And he grew in stature physically, emotionally and relationally.

If Jesus needed to grow in wisdom why would I think I don’t?  If he had the time why don’t I?

Truth is, I read a lot.  It’s made a huge difference.

Here are some of the sources I read constantly.

I read a few good blogs. Some are technical to my field, some about blogging, some about general success principles.  There are really good writers on the web who can be very helpful.  You can learn about virtually any topic you are interested in.

In addition I always have several books going on for more in-depth learning.

I read books on the business success, writing, personal success and investing. All help me grow in my vocation.

I’m always reading a book on spiritual growth. I want to grow in my relationship with God and others.  The rewards are obvious.  Our relationships are the rich fabric that our lives are woven into.  Our spirituality is the foundation of our success and happiness.

I also have going a historical story, biography or novel. This is my relaxation at the end of the day.  I ‘m transported to interesting places and times.  I’m encouraged by people who faced challenges and overcame them.

And finally, but most importantly, I read my Bible just before bed every night. This isn’t for Bible study rather I read just to let it absorb into my mind.  This guides me and builds my faith.  This encourages me and gives me direction as God speaks to me through his words.

So, I guess the question for each of us is, do we want to grow and truly experience success?  Or will we settle for the mediocre?

I believe God offers to each of us an extraordinary life we can grow into.  But it’s our choice whether we live in it or not.

What have you found that helps you grow?

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Important Disclosures:

Douglas Armey, the LPL Financial adviser associated with this website, practices in Fresno, California and may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the following states:  California, Idaho, Arizona and Oregon.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

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