Whenever someone asks a phenomenally successful person what their secret to success is, they usually say: “I’m just like everyone else, I put my pants one leg at a time”. But is this true? Are the extremely successful just your run of the mill? Joe or Jane Shmoes that got lucky? I didn’t think so either, so let’s get some insight into what these successful people do when their pants are down…
The connection between physical and cognitive activity has been often proven, a good cardio routine sharpens mental faculties and increases overall mood. From yoga to cycling to jogging and to general aerobic exercise, most of the world’s most influential people dedicate almost an hour a day to getting their heart pumping. The benefits are numerous; from elevated energy levels to oxygenated blood that in turn helps their minds stay sharp. Richard Branson (the man behind the Virgin conglomerate) does yoga, weightlifts and rock climbs amongst other heart healthy activities.
Yeah I know, reading is either people’s most hated activity, or their second most hated activity, however extremely successful people are veracious readers. Jeff Bezos actually recommends a list of books for his executives to read which includes: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro which follows the main character who is full of regret and unfulfilled potential, ruminating about this towards the end of his life. Seems counterproductive right? But Bezos believes that the book is more of a cautionary tale about doing as much as you can so the day doesn’t come were you feel regrets about the opportunities you did not seize. Bill Gates’ reading list is a bit more geeky (and I kinda dig it because of that), his favorite books include the The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert which talks about the sixth extinction that is taking place during our era due to industrialization and over population. It’s obvious from all of his philanthropic work that Gates has been definitely influenced by the message of the book: humans have instigated the beginning of the sixth extinction in natural history.
They Have Hobbies
Hobbies (even video games) have been proven to have a positive effect on cognition and creative hobbies have actually been shown to slow down brain degeneration.
I don’t know why I keep coming back to Bezos, but honestly he probably has the coolest hobby of most CEOs: he is building a 10,000 year clock. U.S. President Obama enjoys to read, listen to music, play basketball and cook. So the leader of the free world is the most celebrity amateur chef in the world.
Note to Readers
The reality of these tips are not lost on me, if you are a working class hero (as the song says) both your time and your resources are extremely limited, the work most people do is soul-crushing and repetitive and the last thing you want to do when you get off work is swing a leg over a bike or run for an hour. But next time you sit on your couch with your libation of choice instead of flipping on the boob tube and watching “Say Yes to the Dress”, grab a book or watch an online seminar…it will be infinitely more enriching than watching a mother and daughter argue about deep cut gowns.
Do you know of any other habits the rich and famous have? Let me know in the comment section below.