No. 270

Several years ago a successful insurance executive named Albert E. N. Gray conducted a study to determine the “common denominator” of success. It was finally determined that people who are successful all share the habit of doing things that failures do not like to do. For example, it is a fact that successful people form the habit of talking to others about things they do not want to talk about, even about things they regard as unpleasant, if discussing them would help them achieve their goals.
Habits are very personal for each of us. In your own case they must be based on what you personally want out of life. However, there are some general habits common to most successful people. I’m going to share some of these, but remember that the principles required for success are a two-edged sword. The same principle that will lead one person to success and happiness will also lead another person into the gutter. It is all in how the habit is used, for good or for bad.
As I share these with you, just remember that a habit is “caught more than it is taught.” You might want to clip these out and pass them along to a friend. CHARACTER HABITS..Attitude: Develop an attitude of service and love toward others. You will get back from others what you first give to them. Self-Respect: You must respect yourself before you can respect the rights and property of others. Respect must be earned. Good Speech: Your words reflect what is inside you. Profanity is often the sign of a weak mind and a poor vocabulary. People who matter can tell a lot about others from the words they use to express themselves.
WORK HABITS...Punctuality: Be on time or early for work, appointments, and other engagements. Hard Work: Be worth more than you are paid. Hard and valuable work provides the profit from which your salary and raises are paid. Persistence: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Study: Education is the foundation for your life. FINANCIAL HABITS...Save money: Building up a reserve of savings is a must if you are to achieve financial security. Pay yourself first by saving regularly and persistently. Invest Money: Look carefully for good opportunities. The money you invest should always yield a greater return than the annual rate of inflation.
SOCIAL HABITS...Responsibility: Be a constructive and contributing member of society. Lawfulness: Obey the laws of the land. Build: Do not destroy. Do your part to guarantee our nation’s future and the opportunities of future generations. Charity: Help those that are less fortunate than you in ways that promote their success.
PERSONAL HYGIENE HABITS...Cleanliness: At home and at work, cleanliness will improve your attitude and your self-image, as well as the impression others have of you. Good Appearance: Hair, nails, dress, shoes, and so on should always be in top condition. Like it or not, appearance is important for first impressions people will develop of you. Regular Checkups: It’s important to make sure you are in the best physical shape possible. Let your Doctor help you stay conditioned for success.
Good habits are formed by thinking, acting and repeating the desired activity over and over again. It is difficult in the beginning to get started, but is worth the effort. Remember, the “common denominator” of success is forming the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. This is especially true when it comes to talking with others about things they don’t want to talk about, if it will help you reach your goals. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)