Throughout history the most innovative and successful people have used exceptional thinking to overcome obstacles. Instead of going along with the status quo, these people have daily habits that go against the grain of traditional thinking, along with a different mindset. These thinkers use "the thinking model" in both their personal and professional lives. Here are nine of those daily habits.
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1. They keep a tight schedule.
CS Lewis kept a daily schedule that was down to the hour and included working, walking, and socializing. Stephen King works every morning from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in the same chair to tell his mind, and prepare his mind, saying to himself, "we are here to work." President Barack Obama starts his morning every day at 6:45 with a workout before having breakfast with his family. Benjamin Franklin woke up every day at 4:00 and would wake, wash, eat breakfast, and think about what he would accomplish for the day. Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami also wakes at 4:00 and writes for six hours.
Whether if it’s waking up early to start working before there are any distractions, reading, or spending time with their family, exceptional thinkers create a daily schedule that keeps them productive and on-track.
2. They look on the bright side of life.
Being positive reduces anxiety and stress - which keeps you both healthy and productive. What’s interesting with exceptional thinkers is that they don’t ignore the negative. Instead, they chose to focus on the positive and when they do feel low they do something proactive about it, such as writing, meditating, or spending time with people who lift their spirits.
3. They inspire others.
Exceptional thinkers realize that they can’t do everything on their own. That’s why they build a support system around them that can help them reach their goals. But, when things get tough, they’re able to inspire others.
When engineers and product teams at Apple said that something couldn’t be done Steve Jobs pushed and motivated them. Jobs would stare at them and say, “Don’t be afraid. You can do it.”
4. They don’t jump to conclusions.
When making an important decision, they take their time and gather as much information as possible. Why? Because exceptional thinkers are aware that this decision has consequences and they want to make sure that they reach the best conclusion.
5. They go for walks.
Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Beethoven, and William Churchill all enjoyed taking walks throughout the day. In fact, it was an integral part of their daily schedules.
Besides the physical benefits, walking reduces stress, improves your memory, gives you time to think, and can be used as a type of meditation.
6. They spend time alone.
Being around a lot of people can lead to distractions. That’s why exceptional thinkers find a quiet space to be alone so that they can think, reflect, and work.
Maybe that’s why novelist, poet, and playwright Gertrude Stein would sit in her parked car and she wrote on scraps of paper.
7. They’re persistent.
Henry Ford’s first two automobile companies went bankrupt. Walt Disney’s first animation studio went bankrupt. Before Microsoft Bill Gates started the failed company Traf-O-Data. Oprah Winfrey was told that she was “unfit for television.” Twelve different publishers rejected J.K. Rowling's script for Harry Potter.
Even though these successful individuals experienced failure, they didn’t give-up. They learned from their mistakes and found ways to move forward.
8. They stay well-informed and continually learn.
Exceptional thinkers are inquisitive and want to stay-informed on what’s going on the world, as well as learn new information or skills. Whether it’s to make stronger business decisions or make them a more well-rounded person, they realize the importance of learning and make it a point to read or learn something new each and everyday.
9. They show gratitude.
Being thankful for the people and things in your life just makes you feel better when you’re having one of those days. Research has also found that people who show gratitude are more physically active, alert, and helpful. They also have fewer physical ailments and are more upbeat.
Whether it’s sending a colleague a thank you note or writing down the things that you’re most thankful for, exceptional thinkers are grateful on a daily basis.