Excerpt for Habits of Power: 101 Habits and Lessons Every Great Leader and Icon Used to Achieve Success in their Life by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Habits of Power

101 Habits and Lessons Every Great Leader and Icon Used to Achieve Success in their life

By Smart Reads



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Chapter 1: Life Habits

Chapter 2: Success Habits

Chapter 3: Motivational Habits

Chapter 4: Rich Habits

Chapter 5: Productive Habits

Chapter 6: Creative Habits

Chapter 7: Health and Fitness Habits

Chapter 8: Social Habits

Chapter 9: Minimalist Habits

Smart Reads Vision


Aristotle once said that excellence is a habit that is borne of repetition, not an event. In order to achieve success and self-improvement, we must take small steps every day. Small habits, whether good or bad, repeated over time, will determine what our future will look like.

This book shines a light into positive habits that have the power to transform your life. Each chapter talks about a different power habit practiced by some of the most influential and inspiring leaders and icons of our time. Through their diligence in cultivating small positive habits over time, they managed to achieve their goals and dreams. You have a choice to consider this book a source of entertainment or to examine the lives of these extraordinary people and gain motivation and inspiration. It is my hope that you will be able to do both.


HABIT 1: Reflect

Aristotle, the philosopher of ancient Greece, a student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great, practiced the power habit of reflection. His thirst for knowledge and daily practice of reflecting on what he had learned is the reason he had such a great influence on religion, philosophy, and science. He believed that wisdom comes from knowing oneself.

There is a difference between reflecting and casual thinking. To reflect requires serious effort in an attempt to gain insight into events and actions. Knowing yourself means understanding your origins, destination, likes, dislikes, weaknesses, and strengths. You can reflect by conversing with and asking questions to mentors and other people. It involves an awareness of your immediate environment. This power habit is the first habit you will need to cultivate as you march toward self-improvement.

HABIT 2: Have Vision

When talking about visionary leadership, the name Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes to mind. This African-American civil rights and religious leader is known for having a vision of racial equality at a time when it seemed like an impossible dream. His speech in Washington on March 1963 was one of the best speeches in US history and helped pave the way for the adoption of civil rights one year later.

Having a vision takes you beyond the status quo and allows you to dream big and create conditions that are yet to exist. This will push you to do things now that will result in future achievement of your goal. Napoleon Hill, a famous and well-respected visionary thinker, conducted decades of research and concluded that success begins in the mind. Whatever you believe is what you will manifest. Make sure to read and study, Think and Grow Rich, a truly powerful book that he wrote many years ago.

HABIT 3: Have Purpose

South African-born, Elon Musk, is a man with a powerful degree of purpose. As a businessman, Engineer, investor, and inventor, Musk founded SpaceX, Tesla Motors, PayPal, and Zip2. His perspective was always of trying to solve problems that will affect humanity in the future rather than do things just to make money. Consequently, Musk made all Tesla Motors electrical car patents available to the world so that anyone could use them to invent emission-free cars.

Having a vision is a powerful motivator that can make your goals and dreams come true. A vision isn’t just about achieving something. It is also about the reason behind the motivation. Vision isn’t just for businesspeople, as psychologists have discovered it gives you a desire to live and thus extends your life.

HABIT 4: Find Your Passion

Richard Branson began Virgin in 1970, and right now his organization is made up of over 400 companies. No other entrepreneur has started eight billion-dollar companies in eight distinct industries, with no business degree! Branson’s secret is to simply find your passion and do it.

This may sound silly, but most people are simply running through life chasing money just to pay their bills. Finding what you love has immense benefits, and the obvious ones are inner motivation and great productivity. You will ultimately earn a lot of money over time. If you do what you love, people will notice and will gain motivation from you. This will make you a better leader.

HABIT 5: Live By Your Personal Rules

Benjamin Franklin wore many hats, and he managed to achieve so much because he created personal rules that he lived by from the age of 20. He spent some time each day tracking how well he had adhered to his rules, and these 13 virtues are recorded below:

  • Temperance – Don’t eat or drink too much.

  • Silence – Don’t talk nonsense but only beneficial conversations.

  • Order – Every item must be put in its proper place; every business item must be accorded its rightful time.

  • Resolution – Decide to do what is required; do what you said you would.

  • Frugality – Don’t waste anything unless it’s for your or another person's good.

  • Industry – Avoid unnecessary activities and always be engaged in useful work.

  • Sincerity – Don’t talk negatively about others.

  • Justice – Cause no harm to others in any way.

  • Moderation – Do nothing to extremes.

  • Cleanliness – Keep your body, house, and clothes clean.

  • Tranquility – Do not fret over things you don’t have any control over.

  • Chastity – Don’t indulge in sex unless it’s for health or getting children, and don’t let it lead to weakness or damage your personal or another’s reputation.

  • Humility – Be like Jesus and Socrates.

Most people set goals at the start of every year. The truth is that many never reach these goals, so the best approach is to establish your own rules. A goal has a limited time frame but a rule is part of your life, so it is easier to follow and achieve.

HABIT 6: Watch Your Beliefs

Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence from British rule by practicing non-violence through mass civil noncompliance. His belief of resisting tyranny through non-violence resulted in words and actions that helped India achieve her destiny of independence in 1947.

What you believe is the root of all your thoughts, words, actions, habits, values, and ultimately, your destiny. You must learn to create a set of beliefs that will guide you to wherever you want your life to go. It is important to then keep track of your thoughts and actions throughout the day to make sure they are aligned with your beliefs and life goals.

HABIT 7: Live a Passionate Life

Hugh Hefner, even at 90 years old, is a good example of someone who has lived life with passion. The Playboy magazine founder has lived a life filled with more beautiful women than probably any other man has ever had. There are many benefits from living a life filled with things you are passionate about. Hefner never wanted to end up like his parents, living with no passion.

A passionate life is something every person should all strive for, and as described in HABIT 32, dying is not the worst thing. The worst thing is living without a passion. Think of a life where you wake up daily full of motivation and energized by what is ahead of you. Does this in any way reflect your life right now?

HABIT 8: Hustle

Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, may have declared himself the greatest rap artist alive, but his consistency is definitely clear for all to see. His first album talked about his rough childhood growing up in the Marcy Projects of Brooklyn, New York. He started off as a hustler and drug dealer who showed keen business sense; even once proclaiming he would rather die in an enormous way than live his life dormant.

He is now worth about 500 million US dollars and has transcended rap to live a full life that is nowhere near dormant.

The lesson here is to develop a hustler’s attitude and approach to everything in life. Hustling is a lifestyle of chasing after those things you want to achieve, and not taking “No” for an answer.

HABIT 9: Keep It Real

Dennis Hopper thought he was an extremely great actor even as a teenager, but when he met James Dean, he realized Dean was simply on another level. While filming Rebel Without a Cause, Hopper decided to find out once and for all what made Dean so special as an actor. Hopper grabbed Dean and asked him whether he needed to go to study acting in New York or something else. However, Dean told him to avoid trying to act and instead just “Do It.”

There is no point in trying to fake or show off in life. Just do what you have to do. If it's exercising, avoid simply working out to please others or letting your thoughts wander as you lift weights. Focus on your actions and keep it real.

HABIT 10: Move On

With over 75 million in record sales, Tupac Shakur is both a legend and successful hip-hop artist. He was also very controversial in his lyrics, which were violent but sometimes sensitive. He was so real he always spoke his mind, which ultimately led to his shooting during the conflict between West and East Coast rappers. However, Tupac always believed there was no need to think about what could have been. He believed in moving on.

It is important to let things go and avoid thinking about mistakes made in the past or situations of the past. Failure to move on only leads to misery. Forgive yourself and others, and move on.

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