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These lessons learned are the accumulation of 10 years of entrepreneurship and 17 years as a track and field athlete. These lessons have been acquired through significant failures and success, like making the 2012 Olympic team.

These lessons are the non-negotiables for success. You have to lock these things down. If you don't, you leave yourself open to a massive failure. Everyone wants to succeed, but very few people want to cover all their basis and make sure that they are ready for success.

“You just can't let life happen to you, you have to make life happen.”

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How These Lessons Learned Will Serve You 

The following 10 lessons give you a simple blueprint for success. A lot of these lessons are learned from my failures and from paying attention to commonalities between people who succeed.

On Habit Stacker, I have released hundreds of articles talking about the essential habits that contribute to the world's biggest stars' success. Through writing these articles, I have noticed some key trends.


These trends are simple to understand, but simply does not always mean easy. They show you the path you need to take, and these lessons can be applied to any field or type for success.

10 Lessons Learned  

1. Know Where You're Going

You have to define success for yourself. This is step 1 because you can't move forward with confidence if you have no idea where you're going.

Be as detailed as possible with your vision. It's not enough to say I want a great family and a million dollars. Specifically, say what a great family is and what your life will look like with that money.

If you don't know where you are going, how would you know if you drove right passed it? Once you know what you want, you can look for the things that will help you get there.

2. Separate Time and Money

Even if your goal is focused on health and relationships, this is still important. Work is a killer because it steals so much time. You have bills to pay, and that creates a need to work. The problem is workplaces want as much as your time as they can suck up.

When you can make money when you sleep, it gives you the freedom to focus on other things. YOu always want to have the ability to make money 24/7. If you don't, you will work your whole life to retire when you're old to then focus on relationships and other areas.

3. You Need to Be Great

Don't be good. There is too much good and not enough great, and there is a huge difference. When you need a lawyer or a doctor or an accountant, no one wants good. Everyone looks great! When you're great at something, people take notice.

Not only is the path to mastery fulfilling, but it will also reward you financially. You will be able to demand more money and work with a high level of people. Many will even seek you for your services.

4. Focus On What's Important

Don't lose track of the things that matter the most. Use this for everything you do. You need to know what the priority is at all times.

What things mater in life? Decide where you put family, health, and love. When it comes to working what are the things that make a difference.

It's easy to get caught up in busywork. You make yourself feel important, but you're getting nothing done.

Successful people are relentless in this area. They only care about what is essential. They don't care about what seems urgent or who wants their attention. They turn everything down to keep their eye locked on the thing that matters.

5. Take 100% Ownership

Out of all the lessons of success, this is the hardest to grasp. The book that does the best job of explaining this concept is Extrem Ownership by Jocko Willink.

Successful people are always taking responsibility for their life. It does not matter what happens to them. They find a way to own the situation. The reason is that it keeps them in control.

When you blame other people, you lose all control. You put the responsibility for change in the hands of another person. It feels good to blame because then you get to pass the buck.

Extreme ownership means you ideally operate in a world where everyone owns their responsibilities. When things go wrong, you look in the mirror and make sure that you get better. Imagine everyone lived like this? The world would be better.

Instead, people blame and then wonder why they feel so powerless.

More Lessons Learned  

6. Forget What If and Focus On What Is

Most people focus on what-ifs in life. They think about possible scenarios and get excited about what could happen. They live in this world at all times, and then they are shocked when things don't work out.

Successful people focus on what is. They look at the reality of their situation, and they work on getting better from that position.

Think of having a map, but it's not starting from your current destination. I would not help you as much as directions that start from where you are.

The same is true when you want to be successful in any area. You have to work from where you are and push forward from that spot. Even if its a bad spot.

When you look at reality, you prepare for worst care scenarios. You get the proper insurances that you need. You prepare for things to go bad, but you work your ass off and expect them to go well.

7. Break Down Everything 

Unsuccessful people get scared when they see big dreams and goals. They see hard things as being so daunting and not worth trying for.

Successful people see things in a very different light. They look at something big and wonder how they can break it down into a small task.

They see that elephant that needs to be eaten, and they understand that you have to eat it one bite at a time.

8. Understand People

You need to read books about people and spend as much time trying to understand how others work. This will help you to be able to sell better. When it comes down to it, everything is a sale. You are always trying to sell something to other people.

The best place to start learning about people is to understand yourself. If you want to change the world, you first have to improve yourself and your own family. The better you understand your history and what makes you tick, the more prepared you will be for others.

9. Be The Hungriest Learner

You have to humble yourself and realize how little you know. Even if you are an expert, you know a lot about one topic. You could know everything about cars, but you still don't know about boats and planes.

There is so much information out there, and you need to be hungry to learn. The most ravenous learners are never satisfied. They don't read one book on a topic and think they got it. They remain curious and are always question if they can learn something else.

10.  Be Impatient and Patient at The Same Time

Successful people find a way to be both patient and impatient. When they wake up each day, they are extremely patient in the short run. They want to get right to work because they are so eager. But when it comes to long term progress, they are very patient. They understand that they need some delayed gratification to succeed.
 
Failures get this wrong. Most people tend to be very impatient in the long run. They quit businesses and jobs all of the time because success is not coming fast enough. At the same time, they are way too patient with their days. They wake up like their 24 hours will last forever.

Taking Action 

The best thing you can do with this information is to begin to take action on it right away. Don't just sit in it and expect it to work itself out. Success goes to those with definite plans.

Write down the three lessons learned that you are struggling with the most. Those will be the three that you focus onto get started.


The other key here is that you will only work on one at a time until you feel you have locked in new habits in that area. These are all significant changes in your thinking. It will be too hard to learn about people and take ownership of your life simultaneously.


If you focus on one at a time, it will allow you to move on to the next item much quicker.

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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