A reminder and warning to myself.
Two weeks ago when we sat comfortably together with friends, I was asked: “Martin, what do you think are the basic principles in life to succeed?”
Success is a matter of definition and many people associate success with money and wealth. I see that different:
For me, success is to have enough time and freedom to do what I want and when I want it. Enough time to produce outstanding music, enough time to read books and develop myself.
To have enough time for writing, fitness and wellness, and of course to spend time with my loved ones and reflect.
Unfortunately I am not already there, to have enough time for everything mentioned above, because I have to earn money with a cool job somehow, but I am working on it and that is what counts.
In my opinion every person should be successful and be able to live the life he or she dreams of. But to be truly successful it needs basic simple ways, behaviors and habits that each person can easily implement in his daily life:
#1 Get enough sleep:
In order to achieve top performance and to sparkle with energy you need to be rested. Only someone who has a good night´s rest, can concentrate 100% and deliver excellent work. So simple that sounds, many people do not take this into account and sleep not enough. Meanwhile it is proven in many studies that adequate sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. While you sleep, your thoughts rearrange and your mind digests the thousand information dipping on us everyday. Old sayings like “You can sleep when you’re dead” or “Sleep is the cousin of death” no longer count and are considered fundamentally wrong from the health perspective.
Of course, everyone needs different amounts of sleep, but six hours should be it at least, 8 hours of sleep are better. So remember, sleep enough and refuel your energy. If you have to get up very early in the morning, then just go to bed earlier, so that you can sleep your 6-8 hours. Being rested is the groundwork to be receptive, to be fit and feel well and to be productive. This is the only way to get things done on a world class level.
#2 Positiv thinking:
“Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right!”
wrote the the revolutionary automobile manufacturer and successful entrepreneur Henry Ford more than 100 years ago.
You have to believe in yourself and your abilities. Every person has one or more gifts and abilities in which he is oustanding.
Banish the negative voices in your head. Eveyone, even super successful people, carry around these negative voices and self-doubt. But do not listen to that voice that says you’re not good enough, you’re too old for that, you can not do it, etc. Successful people know how to deal with this voice.
Whenever this negative voice comes up, tell the voice:
“Hello negative thought, there you are again. But you are wrong, you are rubbish so please fuck off now, there is no place for you in my life!”
Focus your thoughts on the positive things in your life, on what nice things you have already achieved and what amazing things will come in the future. Visualize your goals and fucking write your goals down on a piece of paper. Only when they are written down on a paper, they can become reality.
Live in the here and now. Surround yourself with positive people and say no to grumblers and all pessimist who are trying to drag you down or think you can not make it.
#3 Drink enough water:
Also this point is so super and basic but hardly anyone keeps up to it. Our body consists of 80% water. We should flood our bodies with water. In order to achieve excellence you should drink 4 liters of water a day. Two liters of water at least, but if you really want to perform world-class over many days, weeks and months, drink 4 liters of water a day.
I guarantee you, your ability to concentrate and your performance will increase considerably if you drink four liters of water a day
#4 Rational nutrition:
“You are what you eat!” This saying applies it in a nutshell.
If you eat just burgers, pizza and chips every day, then you get a relatively little nutritional value. In the long run your body is missing these nutritional values. Furthermore you are 20% less productive and after 30-50 years, your body will get sick. Just because your body lacks the necessary vitamins, nutrients, minerals, omega fatty acids and so on of not getting it over decades. Therefore, at least eat an apple a day, because “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Everybody know this saying but not enough people stick to it. It is so simple, c´mon you can do that, easily!
I know you can.
#5 Sufficient movement:
Even if your days are full with work, meetings and appointments and you do not have time to make sports or you are too lazy to do some sports, you should at least go for a 30 minutes walk daily. This is the most minimal what you can do for your body. Even Beethoven embarked daily on a long vigorous walk after lunch for some hours and always carried a pen and paper with him to write down ideas and melodies that came into his mind while walking. Going for a stroll is always good for concentration and creativity.
Doing proper sports two times a week is even better. Because physical activity increases your performance enormously:
Certain enzymes get activated which are responsibile for burning fat and the production of all hormons, especially the feel-good-hormons in your body are increased. Furthermore, adrenaline and endophrine are released, that ensure the well-being, too.
#6 Be grateful:
As simple as it sounds, most people are not grateful enough. By capitalism in our society, many people are not satisfied with their lives. You always look only for the things that you do not have, rather than pay attention what great things you already have and what you already have achieved in life. Through advertising and social media, we are unfortunately grown into a society of envy. Rather than granting everybody what he or she has achieved, a lot of people are just jealous.
But never compare yourself to another person.
You are an individual and have skills, going a path that no one has trodden in life before. Make the best of it and be grateful for the little things in life. Only those who appreciate the little things will be ready for the big things in life to come. If you do not know for what you can be thankful, here is a small list of 60 things for which you should be grateful. Probably these things are so normal for you that you no longer think about them.
So remember to be grateful for everything. Whoever is grateful is automatically more happy.
Of course there are many more things that you can do to be more productive, more successful and happier. But this post only contains the basic steps, principles or practices which may take everyone into account and are fairly easy to implement.
I hope you like this article and maybe you’ve got some advice for me. Please let me know in the comments and share this article with your friends if you liked it. As once Charles Munger said in a very nice way:
“The best thing a human being can do is help another human being know more.”
This post is also available in: German