17 unconventional habits of highly successful people 

Posted 15 Jul 2023, by

Brendan Brown

Success comes in a variety of forms and often, the most successful individuals stand out due to their unique, unconventional habits. 

An unconventional habit is one that goes against the norm, a practice or ritual that, on the surface, may seem odd or out of place, but in reality, is a key ingredient in the recipe for remarkable achievements. 

These quirky habits aren’t necessarily about breaking rules but more about embracing a distinctive path that aligns with individual values, passions, and goals.

In this article, we pull back the curtain and explore the world of the successful by studying their unconventional habits—some of which they attribute their triumphs to. 

As we understand their eccentricities, we’ll find wisdom, guidance, and inspiration for our own paths to success. So, let’s all get weird… 

1) Embracing silence

Successful people understand the value of silence. This doesn’t mean the successful person is unsociable or introverted. That couldn’t be further from the truth 

What this depicts is the successful person’s appreciation of quiet moments for reflection and deep thought. 

By taking time each day for silence, they allow their minds to rest, rejuvenate, and come up with fresh ideas. Consider it, a decluttering of the brain in order to be your best self.

Practicing silence, be it through meditation or just sitting quietly, will give you a powerful tool to combat the noise and chaos of the world. 

I see this habit as mindfulness with a goal. 

2) Rising early

Ben Franklin’s saying, “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” is the mantra for many successful individuals. 

I pride myself in being an early riser. I always tell people, I want to use every hour of the day I am awake. 

While I’m not on the caliber of success of the Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezoses of the world, I have achieved some things in my life, such as becoming the head of content for a prominent shopping site and winning awards for my work. 

Waking up early is about productivity for me. I’m putting valuable hours into my pursuits. 

The most successful people aren’t afraid to greet the sun, you know?  We use the morning hours for personal growth activities, exercise, or planning our day. 

This habit goes against the grain of late-night hustling but allows us to start the day with clarity and intention.

3) Thriving on rejection

When I first started writing this article, I thought, will I embody the things on my list? This one stuck out to me because I am someone who is driven by adversity.

Successful people view rejection as a stepping stone, not a roadblock. When people told me I couldn’t do something, I’d say to myself, “I’ll show them.” Then, I put my all into that thing they said I couldn’t do to prove them wrong. 

I understand that rejection is part of the process. It’s a learning experience that leads me closer to my goals. 

Instead of letting a “no” demoralize me, I use it as fuel to keep pushing forward, proving that resilience in the face of adversity is a sign of success.

4) Ditching multitasking

In a world that praises the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once, successful people often go against the flow by practicing monotasking. 

They understand the power of focused, undivided attention in achieving high-quality work and reducing stress. 

By giving their full attention to one task at a time, they enhance their productivity and efficiency.

5) Setting micro-goals

Successful people know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

Setting micro-goals helps us visualize the end game. Smaller wins means our big dreams are broken up into manageable daily tasks, making them more attainable. 

This practice, while seemingly counterintuitive, ensures that they make consistent progress without feeling overwhelmed.

6) Practicing gratitude

Success isn’t just about financial wealth or status. Successful people understand the importance of maintaining a grateful mindset. 

Grateful, successful people take time to appreciate what they have, recognizing that success is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.

7) Maintaining a growth mindset

This is my favorite one on the list. 

I love that successful people embrace challenges as opportunities for learning.

When you’re not afraid of failure or making mistakes, you’ll view your experiences as crucial stepping stones for personal and professional growth.

It’s that growth mindset that will keep you going amidst challenges.

8) Prioritizing health

While it might seem ordinary, it’s surprisingly unconventional how seriously successful people take their health

Regular exercise, balanced diets, and sufficient sleep are integral to their lifestyle. They understand that good health is the foundation of success.

9) Cultivating alone time

Successful people value alone time.

If you’re in the game to win the game, you’ll also be comfortable in your own company.

It is when you’re solo that you give yourself time for self-reflection, planning, and recharging your batteries.

10) Constant learning

Over-achievers live by the philosophy that learning never stops. 

Whether it’s reading books, attending seminars, or learning a new skill, successful people continuously seek knowledge and self-improvement.

11) Embracing change

Rolling with the punches is another key habit for successful people. 

These unique folks see change not as a threat, but as an opportunity for growth and new experiences. 

They’re flexible and adaptable, understanding that change is a constant in life and business.

12) Saying “no”

Do you understand the power of saying “no”? If so, you’re on the wavelength of successful people.

By turning down opportunities that don’t align with their goals, they can focus on what truly matters.

13) Risk-taking

Those who succeed know to take risks with a little bit of caution. They assess the chances they take beforehand though. Plus, they analyze as they go to improve their outcome.

They step out of their comfort zone, push boundaries, and are not afraid to venture into the unknown while using their knowledge and strategy. 

I like to take calculated risks myself while staying away from “fully risky” moves. (Those scare me.) But, what is risk without reward? Those who achieve big eventually made a smart gamble that paid off. 

14) Valuing time over money

High achievers are careful about how they spend their time and who they spend it with.

They understand that time, not money, is their most valuable resource. 

So, they’re choosy about how they use their time. It’s that discernment that gives them the focus they need to ultimately succeed. 

15) Keeping a journal

Many successful people swear by the habit of journaling. They write about their experiences, ideas, and plans.

It’s a space for them to reflect, organize, ideate, and declutter their minds, thereby gaining clarity and focus.

16) Remaining curious

Naturally curious, successful people maintain a childlike curiosity about the world.

It’s this open-mindedness that fuels their creativity and innovation.

When they think outside the box and learn new things, the best, most unique ideas form.

17) Staying grounded

Despite their success, these individuals stay humble. 

They remember their roots and treat everyone with respect and kindness.

While this isn’t true of all successful people (yes, I’ve met plenty who were not as compassionate), this one can help most. For instance, a CEO who has a team who respects him will be able to motivate better than one who doesn’t. 

The journey of successful people may seem dotted with unconventional habits, yet, these habits contribute significantly to their achievements. 

By understanding these practices, we can learn valuable lessons in determination, resilience, and innovation. 

How to identify a successful person

Looking beyond the conventional markers of success such as wealth, status, or power, we find traits such as resilience, constant learning, gratitude, and a growth mindset to be common among successful people.

They value their time, prioritize health, embrace change, and aren’t afraid to venture out of their comfort zones. 

Remember, successful people come in all shapes and sizes, and their journeys are as unique as their fingerprints.

Final word on being successful

Becoming successful is a journey, not a destination.

Embracing your own unconventional habits, just like the highly successful individuals do, can pave the way to your unique version of success. 

Here’s to embracing our quirks, being confident in our journey, and carving out our own unique paths to success. 

As we learn and grow, let’s strive to be the best version of ourselves, for success is not about being better than others, but about being better than we used to be. 

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