Twenty-Four Best Practices of Successful People

This guest post is by Barry Demp, of Demp Coaching.

Is excellence within your reach?

I believe it is. You can achieve personal excellence in every area of your life: your work, your family, your health and your relationships. The opportunity is there—you just need to seize it.

When you’re on an intentional journey through life towards a better future, you’re living in a purposeful, engaged way. You’ll feel more satisfied and more fulfilled—not just when you reach that future, but with each step along the way as well.

As you look from where you are to where you want to be, you’ll see a gap between reality and your intention for the future. This gap is powerful—it causes creative tension (an idea put forward by Robert Fritz in the book The Path of Least Resistance).  Creative tension encourages you to take action and make progress.

There are a wide variety of behaviors that help people succeed on this journey. Some of my favorites are listed below. These are success habits of the high achievers—people who pursue personal excellence. They can become some new or expanded best practices in your life.

  1. Know your core values and design your professional and personal life around them.
  2. Master the art of relationship building.
  3. Identify your “successful” and “limiting” habits (both part of your current reality) and learn to Pivot—to constantly adjust your direction as necessary, by looking towards your destination and continuing to take rigorous action.
  4. Develop your leadership, management and coaching skills – these are keys to professional and personal success.
  5. Always do and be your personal best!
  6. Life balance is bunk. What matters is that you are happy. That might mean working 12 hour days – so long as you’re spending your time doing something you love, with people you want to be with.
  7. Give a little extra in all you do. The extra mile doesn’t have a lot of traffic on. By adding value, you give yourself an edge over others.
  8. Use the power of consistent persistence.
  9. Let others contribute to you. No man or woman is an island.
  10. Take “massive action.”
  11. Learn from your mistakes and be prepared to learn a lot.
  12. Become a masterful networker and build your social capital.
  13. Surround yourself with positive supportive people.
  14. Eliminate or reduce the tolerations in your life—the little things which diminish life and sap your vitality. They might be tiny (the shirt that’s too tight around the collar) or huge, involving key relationships (such as an aggressive boss or an abusive spouse).
  15. Un-yuck your life by creating a plan for optimal healthy living
  16. Be self-ish. In order to be your best, you need to take care of yourself first. Take care of your own wellbeing and your needs, and recharge your batteries so that you can allocate your resources and energy to other people.
  17. Be a work-in-progress—always be learning.
  18. Be a giver, a contributor, a person that makes a difference—a coach for others
  19. Take risks and live each day with no regrets.
  20. Learn to manage your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy and not just your time.
  21. Know your strengths and use them as much as possible.
  22. Stop working on your weaknesses or find a way to work around them.
  23. Build the creative side of your brain. Daniel Pink does a great job of discussing strategies to do so in the book A Whole New Mind.
  24. Use the 4 magic words- more, less, start, stop.

What do you want to do more of (things consistent with your strengths)? What do you want to do less of (the things you’re tolerating)? Start? (New initiative, area, something exciting.) Stop? (Take things off your plate, rather than adding more and more.)

You already have great habits and behaviors in many areas of your life. We can all learn from one another’s best practices and best ideas—so what tips could you share with other readers, in the comments below?

Barry Demp is a highly-skilled Michigan Business and Personal coach. He specializes in helping small business owners, executives, consultants and other professionals to boost their productivity, profitability, and life balance.

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  1. I LOVE stop working on your weaknesses – yay! Why kill ourselves with the square peg? You’re absolutely right – know them – but work around them. Thank you!

    • Georgina says:

      I’m with you, Kris. This is a hard pill to swallow for many people, but it’s worth getting your head around.

  2. Excellent list, Barry. I love #18; To me I value what goes out of me and what I contribute to the rest of the world. That’s what counts towards my personality 🙂


  3. Excellent post and you wonder why more people are not successfull but its not as easy to do all that mentioned its still a tremendous effort and not many people have the staying power to stay with it. the other thing that is not mentioned is surround yourself with successful people which you will naturally mirror over time.

  4. I guess somewhere along the way recently, a doorway opened above my head and a whole lot of N0 14’s have been raining down.
    Ok so now I am completely drenched in No 14’s, but drying off with plenty of No 18’s in the meantime when I realised it was No 9 thats has been my undoing all along. I forget that by helping others, others can help in return; there some wonderful people out there.
    Love this post, thank you

  5. I can’t find passion in the list.

    Passion always comes first. It drives the whole process.

  6. Hi Barry,
    Life Balance is Bunk. I have read this elsewhere but I must make a note here.

    It is true you can work endlessly and be passionate about the people you are with but if you leave out eating well, resting, moving your body, taking quiet time and you just work passionately behind the computer in your office with people you love over time your lack of balance (your exclusion of other actions) just might come back to haunt you.

    I know a number of people with serious illnesses who loved their work and felt happy but neglected their health. They have sadly experienced strokes, cancer and more.

    May be I misreading what you are saying.

    Do you wish to expand here on what you meant?

    I wish you and every reader of this all the best,

  7. I agree with ‘Life Balance is Bunk’ – I’ve been saying it for years, there is no such thing as balance! There are only daily choices. Some days I’ll choose to work from morning to night, another day I’ll choose to blow it all off to spend time with family. What I love best is the freedom to make that daily choice 🙂

  8. really informative….. maybe its possible if you will explain much more details into it,,,,,
    its not that i dont understand,,, its just that i want to know more…
    thanks and have a Blessed Day!

  9. All stuff is fantastic and appealing as well. We all must find our lives somewhere in those thoughts and act wisely.


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