The quality of your habits defines the caliber of your performance.

The other day I promised you a valuable piece on the daily habits and best practices of some of the highest achieving people our world has ever known.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or reading my books, you’re now familiar with my brain tattoo: “To have the results only 5% have, you need to do the things that only 5% are willing to do.”

That insight–and the others I’ve been sharing with you recently in an effort to help you end this year STRONG–comes from my formula for extreme achievement that has helped millions of people do amazing things with their lives…

To make the ideas I’ve been sharing even more relevant to YOU personally, I set about searching for some of the powerful–and sometimes eccentric–moves that the best among us make.

Some come from research papers. Others come from biographies I’ve read. Yet more come from the superb book by Mason Curry called Daily Rituals

Read the habits below. Run them. Live them…

Ernest Hemingway: Up at 5:30 every morning to write even if he’d been drinking the night before. He wrote as a practice, not just when he felt inspired.

Benjamin Franklin: Sat naked every morning in fresh air for his “bath” which he swore fuelled his energy and creativity. He also listed 13 character traits he wanted to build and measured how he lived against each of them every night before he slept (in a journal).

Padmasree Warrior (Chief Technology Officer at Cisco Systems): Regular “digital detoxes” where she unplugs from technology to reboot her brain and replenish her creative reserves.

Leonardo da Vinci: Slept via small naps throughout the day versus sleeping 8 hours straight. The famed inventor Thomas Edison reportedly did the same thing (as does Hip-Hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs).

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Daily walks which shifted his mindset from the mundane to the original. The Great Nelson Mandela used to walk entire days for the exercise and mind-clearing effects the discipline would deliver. So many extreme achievers take a walk every day; ideally take your walk in nature. And bring a means to capture the outpouring of fresh insights that will flow.

Steve Jobs: Would fast for extended periods of time, recognizing that it created a sense of euphoria within him that motivated his dazzling output of ideas. He also loved carrots, eating so many during one period that his skin turned to a soft orange color.

Maya Angelou: Writes in a cheap and spartan hotel room she rents. She awakes at home around 5:30 each morning, has coffee with her husband and then shows up at the hotel room to do seriously productive work by 7 am. “It’s lonely and it’s marvellous” she says. Personally, I’ve done the most important work of my career in hotel rooms from Buenos Aires to Auckland. And on airplanes (the longer the flight the more I get done).

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Loved his coffee and measured out his beans with meticulous love and care: 60 beans per cup. Many elite performers use this drink as a productivity tool. But please do so in moderation: Balzac drank 50 cups a day. Sadly, he died from a heart attack at 51.

Mick Jagger: Exercises 6 days a week and includes ballet, pilates and yoga in his regimen. Sir Mick clearly gets that fitness rewires the brain to fight fear, reduces the stress response and multiplies stamina.

Stephen King: Writes every single day of the year and does not get up from the pursuit of his craft until his daily quota of two thousand words has been met.

Please also remember that: The quality of your habits defines the caliber of your performance.

Later this week I’ll send you a message with my 20 best quotes for extreme achievement so check your inbox for it.

Talk soon,

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