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success by design

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We all know about some of the obvious ways people pursue goals and stay motivated. Reading memoirs of icons. Reciting mantras. Getting up early. Always learning. Seeking a mentor. Things like that. When you watch someone successful, you probably spot those moments when she’s consciously doing one of the things that help her succeed. But there are a lot of hidden moments and habits for ambitious and successful individuals. If it seems like there is always some element of mystery around how someone does what she does, that’s probably not an accident.



It’s not that successful individuals don’t want anyone else to succeed. That’s not why they keep some of their behaviors to themselves. There are a lot of reasons some of these habits are more concealed. In some cases, it’s just because they’re quirky. For example, my highly-organized, ambitious, dedicated partner who impresses me every day has the conversations he’s going to have with a colleague, out loud with himself first, just to hear how they sound. He doesn’t know I know this, but I’ve overheard it (and it’s so cute). I can see how it would help him. I can also see how he wouldn’t necessarily want everyone to know he does that (whoops? Sorry babe!)


In other cases, the habits of successful individuals remain private because they simply don’t really realize they do them. If you ask them how they reach their goals, they’ll tell you, and totally neglect to mention certain habits because they don’t consciously recognize those as goal-reaching habits. Those are just a part of their DNA now. But some of my favorite success paragons in my life have been smart enough to realize some of these more discreet habits and shared them with me. Here are the hidden habits of those who reach their goals.


They don’t tell everyone about them

There’s no need to tell everybody about your goals. You don’t necessarily want everyone else’s input. You don’t need everyone to chime in and tell you what they think you need to do to succeed. Nor do you need them telling you how unlikely it is you will succeed, or how many other people are trying to do just what you’re doing. It’s okay to keep your goals private—sacred.

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