It is a popular misconception that there is a secret to becoming wealthy and successful. In truth, anyone can be wealthy and successful, it mostly just requires a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance. Having said that, however, there are certainly some habits that are shared by almost every successful person on the planet. One of those keys is balance. For instance, you will never become truly wealthy by socking away and saving every excess dime you have, but you will also never become wealthy by spending – or even investing – every excess dime you have either. To successfully build wealth means finding the balance between knowing when to save and when to spend. Here are 5 other secrets of successful people to living a balanced life.
1. Never stop learning
Some of the most successful and powerful people on the planet are what is sometimes referred to as lifelong learners. In addition to appearing in more than 32 movies and short films, actor James Franco enrolled at UCLA in 2006 and got special permission to take enough credits to graduate with a BA in just two years. Following that he simultaneously attended three different grad schools in New York, getting an MFA in writing from Columbia, and is currently working on a Ph.D in English at Yale University. Needless to say, Franco probably doesn’t go to school simply because he believes it will help him further his career.
2. Know when to say no – and when to say yes
Hollywood powerhouse Shonda Rhimes has created some of the biggest blockbuster TV shows on the planet, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. As a successful producer and mother of three, Rhimes had to learn to say “no” to a lot of things. But one year she decided to say “yes” and that year changed her life. After a year of saying yes, it’s unlikely that Rhimes still says yes to every invitation that comes her way, but by saying yes for a year she achieved more balance in her life.
3. Know when to work – and when to not work
It is a common misconception that some of the most successful people must all be workaholics. In fact, the most successful people understand the vital role that downtime plays in achieving and maintaining success. So much so, in fact, that most successful people actually schedule their downtime, sometimes even before everything else. Success isn’t really success without meaningful relationships and meaningful relationship aren’t something you can just schedule. What you can schedule, however, is the time you need to build and maintain those healthy relationships.
4. Don’t get caught in a rut
When you want to be the best at something, it is easy to spend all your time learning, building and growing in that arena. Conversely, however, spending too much time working in a single arena can actually lead to burnout and fatigue. Many famous athletes spend their offseason participating in a wide variety of sports ranging from surfing to golf, in addition to activities like painting, cooking or designing clothing. While you may not be a pro athlete, don’t be afraid to try a new activity like tennis, golf or weightlifting.
5. Know where you are going, have a plan for getting there and don’t freak out when things don’t go according to plan
When you want to go on vacation, one of the first things you generally do is choose a destination. From there, you need to make a plan for getting there and what to take with you and what to do when you arrive. Remember – this is a vacation – a fun thing to do and yet some people have a far more detailed plan for their vacation than they do for their regular life. But what would you do if you went to the airport and your plane was delayed or your flight canceled? Would you just throw up your hands and go home or would you wait for another plane or negotiate a new plan? The likelihood is, you would not be easily deterred from getting to your destination and enjoying your vacation. What is true of your vacation should be true of life. You should have a plan, a destination in mind and an idea of where you want to go, but you should not just quit and pack it in as soon as there is any obstacle to reaching your goal.