How do you become the Oprah or Bill Gates of your time?

What’s interesting is that some of the traits that make great people great are very obvious, while other leadership traits are actually really subtle. In fact, the best leaders make leadership look so easy that you don’t even notice what they do.

Success requires more than luck. Here’s a list of four unspoken habits of highly successful people that you can adopt yourself to create the success you want in your own life.

They Know When To Put Their Phone Away

Social connection is a healthy and necessary part of the human experience. A number of studies have examined the benefits of social ties, finding that people with strong social connection have lower levels of anxiety and depression, a stronger immune system, faster recovery times from illness and even an increased chance of longevity. And on the flip-side, studies have also shown that a lack of social connection is correlated with lower self-esteem, a lower sense of empathy for others, vulnerability to disease, higher blood pressure and an increased risk of depression.

However, there have been a number of studies examining the consequences of social comparison – something most of us have experience with. One moment you’re scrolling innocently through a friend’s feed, then next thing you know you’re 4 months deep looking at their tropical vacation photos, wondering why you haven’t gone anywhere in years and why it’s taking so long to get your life on track so that you can actually take that trip you’ve been talking about for nearly a decade now.

Social comparison can also rear its ugly head when we start to compare our bodies and appearance to others, tearing ourselves down in the process. A study out of the UK surveyed 1500 Facebook and Twitter users, finding that 62% of the group reported feeling inadequate and 60% reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other users.

While it may seem like living on your phone would be a requirement for modern day success, it turns out the opposite is true. Successful people do it differently. They don’t look at their phone for the first and last hour of the day. That is their “me time” – a time to unwind, meditate, spend time with family, take in the day, feel at peace and work on goals for the future. The more you do this in your own life, the more successful you will be.

They Get – and Stay! – Inspired

Self-confidence comes from the habit of mastering yourself, your skills and talents. It’s a process that slowly but surely builds unshakeable trust in yourself–which is a vital element of success.

Successful people have an inspiration to get better and to do better. When they set a goal, instead of letting their inspiration disappear after a few days or weeks, they get convicted in their resolutions. Their strong convictions mean they’ll structure everything else in their life around their most important goal, doing whatever it takes to make it happen. They have the strength to see things through without griping or procrastinating. When you want it, you make it happen. The world’s greatest achievers are those who have had the willpower to stay focused on their goals and consistent in their efforts.

(actual double rainbow I actually saw – and captured! – on a recent early morning)

They Wake Up Earlier

No kids yelling, no babies crying, no soccer balls, no cars, no television noise. That’s the benefit of getting up before everyone else. The early morning hours are so peaceful, so quiet. It’s my favorite time of day. I truly enjoy that time of peace, that time to myself, when I can think, when I can read, when I can breathe. There is less psychic chatter too, so you are not competing with other people’s thoughts and energies like you must throughout the rest of the day.

One very significant benefit of waking up early is reduced stress level. Successful people know that when you rise early, it eliminates the need to rush in the morning. You can then start your day on an optimistic note and such positivity often stays with you throughout the day. Early risers often go to bed early, too, meaning that they’re conscientious of their time.

Try going to bed and waking up an hour earlier tonight! There’s another added bonus to this practice too; early riser’s have time for breakfast –the most important meal to get your brain optimized for the day!

They think better thoughts

Successful people don’t allow any room for negativity or doubt. They may even visualize how success will look and feel. They intuitively understand that once you can think of a goal, you can achieve it.

In the end, successful people know the importance of having effective, healthy winning habits, and they work hard on creating, building and cultivating winning habits to make their success a reality.

You can do this by reading inspiring books or listening to motivational podcasts, lectures or getting pumped up on some inspiring youtube videos.

Tom Corley, an accountant and financial planner, surveyed 233 wealthy individuals, mostly self-made millionaires, and found interesting patterns among them. A huge majority of these rich people, 88 percent, say they devote 30 minutes or more each day to reading, according to CNBC . Most of those prefer nonfiction works like biographies, history, and self-help books. Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett reportedly once said that reading is the most important habit he’s picked up. “I just sit in my office and read all day,” he told The Week.

That is literally my life story. I’m always reading. It’s been my comfort since I was a child. And it always always ALWAYS gets me out of a funk.

When you think better, more optimistic thoughts, you’re more inspired to act on those thoughts. Successful people take action. They don’t talk about what they’re going to do or think about their intentions. They get up and get it done.


Check out How to Stop Caring What Other People Think and 3 Proven Ways To Calm Your Mind.

Landscape and sunset photos taken by me. Photos of me taken by Arielle Levy