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What do Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison and other great minds had in common? Here are 8 habits that these great minds followed, and that you can follow too.
A few years ago, in search of inspiration and out of great curiosity and fascination, I started looking into the lives of some of the most admired individuals in history. I was trying to identify their traits and characteristics, but more importantly, I wanted to find out what they had in common.
As I moved through the life of each of these geniuses some similarities began to appear, and by the time I had researched several of them, the patterns were clear and consistent.
Here they are:
1.They were not easily discouraged. None of their lives were easy. They all failed at times, faced challenges and criticism, they had fears, doubts and insecurities like all of us, but they did not let that stop them from going after their goals.
2.They constantly tried to improve themselves. Learning and self improvement played an important part in their lives. They were avid students of their field, and constantly tried to improve their work and themselves.
3.They measured their progress against their own standards While they admired other thinkers, artist, etc. and some had rivals and strong competitors, they seemed to measure their progress and success against their own potential. Their motivation came from being better themselves and not from being better than someone else.
4.They treated priorities as priorities. They dedicated time and energy to their passion without letting distractions to get in the way. There is a great lesson here because we all know what our priorities are, but we don’t treat them as priorities, more often than not, we dedicate them the time and energy that’s left from everything else we do.
5. They were risk takers. They weren’t afraid of going against standards (or even if they were afraid, they still went out and did it). They challenged established ideas and looked for new ways of doing things even if it meat being criticized or even isolated.
6.They were extremely curious. They studied and learned different subjects; this allowed them to transfer what they knew in one area to improve another. Great inventors of the past were great because they had a vast range of knowledge in many areas and they combined them to come up with novel ideas. The more things we learn, the more we can connect in unique forms.
7. They had unshakable passion and dedication to their “work”. They spent most of their time and energy on their passion, which for many of them was also their work. The fascination they had for their field not only allowed them to work long hours, but also motivated them to do so.
8.They wrote down their thoughts and ideas, and they thoroughly documented their work. This should not be taken lightly; writing is a very important creative and reflective process. It’s not enough to talk about your ideas and about what you learn. You need to write it down.
I would like to include a paragraph from the great book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute by Professor Richard Wiseman. “From a psychological perspective, talking and writing are very different. Talking can often be somewhat unstructured, disorganized, and even chaotic. In contrast, writing encourages the creation of a story line and structure that help people make sense of what has happened and work towards a solution. In short, talking can add to a sense of confusion while writing provides a more systematic, and solution-based, approach.”
While we would like to think that these geniuses were born great, the reality is that their attitudes and the habits they followed is what allowed their minds to flourish.
There is nothing preventing us from following these simple habits ourselves; we can be curious, we can question ideas and ourselves, we can learn new things and try to combine them in new ways with what we already know, we can treat our priorities as priorities, we can be passionate about our goals. We can all develop these simple habits and attitudes, we can all be great.
“Even people who aren’t geniuses can outthink the rest of mankind if they develop certain thinking habits” – Charles Darwin
In the upcoming posts we’ll be discussing more about goal setting. Don’t miss a post, sign up Here to get my newest articles in your inbox