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A common denominator between Jack Ma and Mark Zuckerberg – Good routines and self-discipline

There are approximately 7.6 billion people on earth but only a small fraction of them are billionaires. The common household names of such billionaires are none other than Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Jack Ma, and more. These are the people who have managed to change the world in a significant manner and have created phenomenally successful businesses in the world. The average Joe would regard them as role models, entrepreneurs that they look up to, mesmerized by their ability to inspire the world with their vision, passion, and work ethics.

One might ask, what is their secret to achieving such monumental and awe-inspiring accomplishments? What could be their belief and value systems? Do they ever have bad days and how do they overcome them? How are they able to have perpetual motivation and determination on a daily basis to achieve their ambitious goals? What did they do differently from an average person? Can we actually embark on this aspiring journey as them and achieve greater heights in life as well?

Rafael Badziag, an entrepreneur and expert in the psychology of entrepreneurship, stated in his book “The Billion Dollar Secret: 20 Principles of Billionaire’s Wealth and Success” wrote that “In the long term, your habits will determine your future”. In other words, “What you eat is what you become”. Furthermore, it would not be a surprise if all billionaires attest to this quote “You cannot build wealth without a strong foundation”.

Badziag interviewed 21 billionaires and found these common traits in them which created the foundation for their financial success.

  • Billionaires wake up early in the morning

On average, most billionaires go to bed and wake up early. This is a big component for their success. They follow a set routine every day, even on the weekends. There is a saying that when the sun rises it exudes a primal energy. There is more time for solitude where you can cultivate good thoughts and mentally start your day positively, followed by a healthy breakfast and a quick exercise. Many things can be accomplished when you get out of bed early as others are still sound asleep, that is where you can get a head start on your tasks.

  • Billionaires get sufficient sleep each night

Getting less sleep does not make a person productive nor successful. Though it is true that a few billionaires can function perfectly well with only 3-4 hours of sleep but the majority of them require 7-8 hours of sleep and rest in order to function at their optimum levels. Studies have shown that having insufficient amount of sleep can lead to serious repercussions such as chronic health issues, reduced cognition and delayed reactions.

  • Billionaires exercise and keep themselves healthy

“Health is wealth” is a line that people tend to throw around, but does everyone actually prioritize their health? Based on a survey, the level of physical activity was significantly reduced during the COVID19 pandemic period, the percentage has dropped from 83% to 50% for males and 46% to 31% for females. Without good health, no amount of success or money can make life better. Most billionaires maintain their good health by exercising regularly, practicing meditation and incorporating healthy eating habits into their diet.

  • Billionaires are avid readers

From Warren Buffett to Mark Zuckerberg, both voracious readers whom shared that reading is the most valuable source of knowledge. Zuckerberg would encourage his followers on Facebook to read by postings pictures of his current favorites that he read and thoroughly enjoyed, from self-help books to autobiographies to classic, they do read quite an array of different genres. Though it is not just books that billionaires read, many of them enjoy business and economic articles from The Economist, Bloomberg and Financial Times.

  • Billionaires practice immense self-discipline

Billionaires set extremely high standards of discipline for themselves and the people around them. Whether you are in sports, music, culinary – in order to master your skill, you need to practice and train regularly. As they say, nothing comes easy in life, in order to succeed, you need to work hard. Another tip is to limit the distractions and temptations that hinder your progress, always be eager to enhance your skills.

Many individuals yearn to live the lives of billionaires but the ultimate setback would be the lack of self-discipline. Here are 3 helpful insights to help cultivate self-discipline.

  1. Know your weaknesses

Acknowledging your shortcomings. For instance, it could be a technological addiction to social applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Netflix or it could be an unhealthy food addiction, such as having too much of a sweet tooth. Once you address the root cause, the next step is to take action. Too often people try to pretend that their vulnerabilities do not exist and constantly find excuses to cover up their pitfalls, but in reality, we have to own up and overcome our weaknesses.

  1. Resist unnecessary temptations

The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” may seem foolish to an ordinary person but these words do carry weight. If you are a shopaholic and would kill for sale items, take a step back and re-evaluate your situation, ask yourself, “Is this a need or a want?”, “Am I going to use this item more than once?”, “Does the price justify its value?”, once you are able to convince yourself to remove the biggest temptations in your life, it will greatly improve your sense of self-discipline.

  1. Change your perception about willpower

Based on a study by Stanford University, a person’s willpower is determined by their belief and value system. If you trust that you have a limited amount of strength and willpower, your mind will tell you that you are not able to surpass those set limits. It is our internal conceptions about willpower and self-control which determines the amount of power that we have, if we remove these subconscious barriers from our minds, we can definitely achieve our goals and make it a reality.

Individuals that spend less time debating whether to indulge in behaviors that are detrimental to their health have a higher degree of self-awareness and control. They have the ability to make better decisions on a daily basis. Impulses or emotions do not dictate their choices as they make level-headed, rational and logical decisions instead.

Also, does luck play a factor in a billionaire’s success? While luck certainly is a factor but it is not the sole justification for the monetary success of billionaires, but rather, success is a product of a billionaire’s mindset, practices and principles.