Habits You Need to Develop For a Better Life.


  1. Brush your teeth (in more ways than one). Think about the mundane habit of brushing your teeth, not only for health purposes, but also the discipline that it requires. This discipline is the foundation of any other habit that you implement. If you are able to carryover this discipline, you can essentially get where you want to go.
  2. Meditate. I’ve found some benefit in meditating for just 5 mins. per day. On days when I do meditate, I find that I experience much more emotional calm/stability.
  3. Hand-write thank you notes. This simple gesture of gratitude not only generates positive internal feelings, but it also allows you to separate yourself from others in a very significant way. Think about how many handwritten thank you notes you receive. Probably none! Jesse Itzler, founder of NetJets, was able to use this to extreme effect.
  4. Smile. Smile at seeing a new face who could turn into an incredibly rewarding relationship. Smile at the elderly person who has lived 3x the life that you have, smile at your parents who have raised you, smile at your best friend who has seen the best and worst of you. Smile at the woman you’re too nervous to say a word to.
  5. Record. Find your preferred medium, whether it be video, or audio, or writing, and record your thoughts. Write about what it is that you’re thinking. Write about what you know, or what you’re curious about. You would be surprised how much of an impact that you can have.
  6. Get some Zzz’s. I’ve been a 4am warrior, and every day it was a battle of just getting one foot on the ground. Instead of being a 4am warrior who crashes by 2pm, be the person who gets enough sleep, and chooses to maximize that the time that you’re awake. More than likely, you have enough time in the day, you just don’t use it.
  7. Make 1 new connection per day. For those who are socially anxious, this is going to be especially trying. If you are reluctant to approach someone in person, connect with someone new on social media and message him/her.
  8. Challenge yourself physically. Whatever it is that you like to do, whether it is run, lift weights, do yoga, etc., find some way to challenge yourself physically. Step just outside of where you’re comfortable physically, and continue to do so on a daily, or near-daily basis.
  9. Develop the ability to focus. Take a timer out, and set it for 1 hr. Do something productive for 1 hr. If you are able to focus, you will set yourself apart from virtually everyone in this day and age. Focus and discipline are the cornerstones of success.
  10. Eat with others. Find a way to connect with people over food. Doing this will strengthen your relationships, and allow you to meet new people as well.
  11. Give. Get in the habit of simply giving to other people. How can you provide value to another person? How can you leave that person better than you found him/her? Can you offer your empathy? Your words of advice in an area that you know a lot about? Can you offer a thoughtful gift?
  12. Make decisions quickly. When you make decisions quickly, you become known as a good decision-maker. That really is the secret to making good decisions, be quick. The next time that you are choosing between different places to eat, make the decision swiftly!
  13. Develop empathy. Understand that very little of how people feel about you has to do with your actions. It is mainly determined by who the other person is and his/her past experiences.
  14. Give thoughtful gifts. I haven’t historically been great at this, but people who offer thoughtful gifts always leave an indelible mark. If you want to get a great gift for someone, gather as much intel as you can, and then go for frequent usage.
  15. Dress to differentiate. Your style doesn’t have to be the best, but it should be a reflection of you. What about your style is uniquely you? What does your fashion currently say about you? Is it congruent with who you actually are?
  16. Say what you mean and mean what you say. People have a tendency to say things and not do them, or say things in passing without having the ability to back up what they say. If you say something, or if you say that you are going to do something, back it up. This is one of the ways that relationships become damaged.
  17. Give a firm handshake. I still remember some of the people who I met only once, but gave a handshake that wasn’t necessarily symmetrical with their physical presence. You have the opportunity to leave an indelible mark through your handshake.
  18. Read good books. Read books that are relevant to your vision. Read books that you would give to someone else, read books that you can take action on.
  19. Become genuinely interested in others. People are undeniably fascinating when you get to know them. Continue to ask questions about things that you are genuinely interested in, and you may quickly find yourself going down a far different path than you originally anticipated.
  20. Drink enough water. Think about how much water you drink on a daily basis. Chances are, you need to double it. Drinking more water has positive effects on everything from skin clarity to gym performance.
  21. Act on your courageous thoughts. You know that person that you are sitting 50 feet away from that looks pretty cute? Go up and start a conversation with that person. “Hey, you look pretty familiar, do I know you?” That person might end up becoming your wife.
  22. Set ridiculous goals. Chances are, if you are a goal-oriented person, you’ve written your goals down somewhere. Chances also are that they aren’t big enough. If you aren’t where you want to be, you either haven’t 1) developed clarity of vision or 2) haven’t taken the requisite action to get where you want to be.
  23. Buy/build cash-flow producing assets. Whether it’s real estate or business, you should be thinking about how to get in the owner/investor quadrants if you want to be successful financially.
  24. Learn about things related to your vision. If you know where you want to go, then spend some time each day learning about things related to your vision, to your goals. If you want to become a successful personal trainer, spend some time learning about being a better personal trainer.
  25. Find the novelty. Using the previous example, you might think that after a certain period, you know quite a bit about helping people get the body they want. However, how much do you know about the underlying psychology? This is a perfect opportunity to find out something new.
  26. Surround yourself with people who reciprocate. People who reciprocate are much easier to form long-lasting relationships with.
  27. Be a deal-finder, not a deal-maker. If you want to have more success than you can imagine, you need to shift your mentality from being a deal-maker to a deal-finder. Whether you’re looking for someone to start a relationship with, or wholesaling houses, don’t try to force it, but rather meet enough people, and see enough homes.
  28. Do more. If you want to be successful in your career, figure out a way to ‘do more’ than the person next to you. Figure out a way to make more phone calls, take more meetings, be at more events, etc.
  29. Learn the ins and outs. When you truly learn something, you become that much more valuable. Learn how to see what is really going on with something, and you will be much better positioned.
  30. Get access. Many of the people whom I’ve talked to have said that the most important thing you can do with money is to get access. Get access to resources, to people, to networks.
  31. Introspect. Look inside yourself continually. Figure out your psychology to the best of your ability. Most people are incredibly unaware of how they operate and what their true tendencies are. The more introspective you are, the more self-aware and powerful you become.
  32. Explore. Get out in the world. It might be uncomfortable, I know that for me it oftentimes is, but to get out in the world is something that you will rarely regret. Traveling to new places and meeting new people can be transformative.
  33. Reciprocate. If someone offers to pay for gas during some point of a road trip, pay for gas at the next stop. Reciprocation forms the basis of lasting relationships. When one person feels like they are being treated unfairly, you can pretty much guarantee that the relationship will not last for very long.
  34. See people for who they really are. Doing this can help you prevent a lot of pain. Notice who people are in specific moments. Notice how they treat people who are of lower status than them. Notice how generous the person is when he/she has nothing to gain.
  35. Have something to look forward to during the day. For me, it’s a cup of coffee in the morning. It is a way to start off the day in an enjoyable way.
  36. Do the thing that you least like to do first thing in the morning. I’ve had periods where I’ve done this, and I can say unequivocally that they have been my most productive periods. When you get the thing that you least like to do out of the way first thing in the morning, the rest of the day feels like icing on the cake.
  37. Walk. Yes, the simple act of walking. It’s definitely my preferred form of cardio. Whether you choose to do it in a gym on a treadmill, or (preferably) outside in nature, carve out some time in your schedule to walk more.
  38. Realize that independence is a myth. This is perhaps the most contentious habit of the list, but it’s something that I have to continually remind myself of. No matter how self-sufficient you think you are, you will always be dependent on other people in some capacity, perhaps just less than the next person.
  39. Stop staying later at work. One of the smartest guys that I know told me an interesting story about someone he knew. He said that this person would always stay late at work, hours past the time that he needed to. Then, when life circumstances dictated that he wouldn’t be able to stay late, he got fired. Offer more during your time there instead of working later.
  40. Be lazy (sort of). Being lazy isn’t all bad. The reason for this is that you figure out more efficient ways of doing things. You should strive to be productive and actually do work, as opposed to generating the appearance or facade of being busy.
  41. Consider the circumstance, not just the person. We give way too much credit to people, and not enough to the circumstance that he/she is in. If you want to look at human nature more accurately, you need to consider the entirety of the circumstance, not just ‘who you think that person is’.
  42. Free yourself from the expectations of others. Dropping expectations of others allows you to live a much happier, care-free life. Strive to not be so caught up in what you think others ought to do, and instead focus on what it is that you expect of yourself.
  43. Appreciate the little things. There are moments of beauty that you can find in pretty mundane activities, but if you never recognize these, they will disappear quickly. Have you ever truly smelled your morning coffee? Have you ever appreciated the petals of a flower?
  44. Don’t take things personally. Instead of assuming that someone’s negative reaction to you is about something you did, assume that it is much more about the collective of that person’s experiences, and the negative reaction is more-so about projection. While this might not always be true, much of the time it is closer to the truth than the former.
  45. Try new restaurants. Instead of always going to the same place, try the quaint new establishment down the street. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised, and even strike up a conversation with the owner.
  46. Journal. I love to journal. I do it every night before I go to bed in order to plan the day ahead. I feel it helps keep me more organized, and I can check things off when I complete them. Even if you use a journal simply to reflect, it can be enormously helpful.
  47. Stop self-deprecation. I had a Professor in school who was possibly the most self-deprecating dude I’ve ever met. The funny thing is, he was a really smart, affable guy. His self-esteem was reflected in his self-deprecation, and it created a sort of desire for me to give him validation. Instead of being self-deprecating, strive to be neutral.
  48. Question your methods. I think that Peter Thiel said something to the effect of, “Take your 10-year life plan, and ask, “Why can’t I do this in 6 months?” I love this question because it necessitates a continuous re-evaluation of your current methods. Sometimes, the reality is that you just need to be patient. But other times, the reality is that there is another route that will get you where you want to go, just faster.
  49. Look back after you get up from your seat. Make sure that you didn’t leave anything behind, i.e. your phone, keys, etc.
  50. “Bring the light”. I had a good friend when I was living down in Florida, whose mantra has stuck with me. We were having an hour-long conversation in a bookstore, and he said, “I just try to bring the light.” I said, “What do you mean?”, and he said, “Everywhere I go, I try to make people’s day better. I’m not always able to do it, but that’s what I try to do”. I thought that was awesome, and ever since then, I’ve found it to be a pretty valuable insight. Wherever you go, try to “bring the light”.



By @ Michael Kinsella

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *