Author Jonathan Franzen wrote parts of his award winning novel The Corrections wearing earplugs, earmuffs and blindfolded, so that he could concentrate better. British artist Francis Bacon liked to work on a hangover, because in his words “my mind is crackling with energy, and I can think very clearly.” Benjamin Franklin used to take ‘air baths’, which involved opening all the windows and doors and stripping down, to ‘refresh.’
A lot of highly successful people have habits that help them with their productivity, and while some are clearly more eccentric than others, a lot of these habits make sense.
For instance, there is a popular misconception that in order to be successful one has to work oneself silly, often at the cost of relationships, personal time and sleep. But speak to those who know, and they’ll tell you how important it is to get enough sleep, spend time with family and friends and get away from it all.
At Tranquini we believe in a healthy, balanced lifestyle that allows for hard work, play and rest, and we’ve found five highly successful people who tend to agree. Read on and be inspired.
Always Stay Optimistic - Elon Musk - Tesla
The CEO of Tesla, Space X and founder of PayPal has faced immense obstacles throughout his career, like being told that electric cars are impractical by the auto industry, banking over the internet is impossible and sending a man to Mars would never happen in his lifetime. Yet despite the naysayers, Musk continues to defy the odds and prove his critics wrong. The main reason – he is unshakably optimistic. He’s made a habit of finding a way to make things work that were previously regarded as impossible. In his words “If you wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.”
Take Risks – Beyonce Knowles – Musician
Beyonce has made a habit of taking every opportunity she’s been given, even if it presented a big risk or an opportunity for failure. “I can never be safe,” she says, “I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.” Successful people take risks where others might remain too cautious. Even if they don’t succeed the first time, it’s their ability to learn from their mistakes and bounce back that see them succeed in the long run.
Read, Read, Read –Mark Zuckerberg
In 2015, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg pledged to read a book every two weeks. Bill Gates reads a book a week while American business tycoon Warren Buffet devotes over 80 percent of his day to reading. Successful people across the board are known to read a lot and are highly selective about what they read, preferring non-fiction, educational books, as well as biographies about other successful people.
Stay Active – Barack Obama
Barack Obama has a strict, 6 days a week, 45-minute workout regime that he maintained throughout his Presidency. It involves a combination of cardio and strength. He was also known to frequent the basketball courts of various federal buildings throughout Washington. Editor in Chief Anna Wintour plays an hour of tennis every day before work. Richard Branson kite surfs regularly while Jennifer Aniston does a spin-yoga combo every morning. Successful people understand that in order to have an active mind it’s important to get exercise on a regular basis.
Practice Stillness – Oprah Winfrey – Talk Show Host
Oprah Winfrey practices stillness for 20 minutes every day. In her words, “The one thing I want to do is center myself every day and make that a practice for myself. Because I'm 1000 percent better when I do that." Science has proven that meditation reduces stress, and improves productivity, and is practiced by a number of highly successful people including Jeff Weiner (CEO of Linkedin), Russell Simmons (CEO of Def Jam Records) and Lady Gaga.
So there you have it, from the minds of some of the most successful people living today - very manageable everyday habits that promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Be sure to include a can of Tranquini in your daily habits.