Most people claim to want success. But not everyone is willing to do the hard work and the smart work to get there. Often opportunities present themselves and because people are distracted, they miss them or give up on them before things fully develop.

Truly successful people don't leave much to chance. They are disciplined and focused.  They constantly seek new methods to achieve more, in bigger and faster ways. Listed below are eight different practices that will help you concentrate your efforts on rising above the tide.

1. Make Materialism Irrelevant

Fancy cars and houses are all well and good, but many foolishly focus on the byproducts of success, rather than concentrating on building sustainable success in the first place. Establish a bare minimum for your material needs, and then you can enjoy the benefits of success, debt and stress free.

2. Enhance Knowledge

Success comes faster to those who are open, active learners. The higher up the success ladder you climb, the more complex the systems and opportunities that are presented to you. Absorb all the information you can and if you sense a gap you can't fill, connect with people who have the knowledge you need.

3. Manage Relationship Expectations

People in your life require time. Successful individuals attract folk and so they have to carefully regulate the time they can spend with others. It's hard to limit the time you share and still make people feel important. Make choices about the people who matter to you and determine how you each can get value from your interactions. Then make sure they understand your limitations so they don't take it personally when you can't be present.

4. Practice Emotional Self-Awareness

Not all successful people are calm and nice. In fact, many can be volatile. But most are very aware of their tempers and idiosyncrasies. They know how to use their emotions to get what they want from life and work hard to make sure feelings don't become a detriment. Know yourself and learn how to let your emotions work for you in positive ways.

5. Commit to a Physical Ideal 

Everyone has a vision of their own perfect body. They don't have to be fashion models or athletes to be happy. But physical health is a consideration in their life and it's a big distraction when it gets out of whack. Determine the body you believe is worth working for and set a game plan to achieve and maintain it.

6. Gain Clarity About Spirituality

There are many highly successful people like Richard Branson and Warren Buffett who don't consider religion to be important or relevant. But they have a clear point of view as to the role spirituality plays in their life. Find your own way to be at one with the universe and be clear and deliberate in how you practice.

7. Adhere to a Code of Ethics  

Really successful people live by rules. They may not be the rules of others, but consistency is important for them to maintain power and stability. Their individual view of how the world works is the basis for how they believe people should be treated and they will defend it until their dying day. Determine your ethical lines and broadcast them loud and clear so people around you know where you stand.

8. Focus on Time Efficiency

Prioritization is a key component of success. You can't reach your pinnacle if you are wasting time on distractions. Integration of activities frees up time for greater achievement. Spend your time on activities that are fun, enlightening and productive and soon you'll have gained hours to reap the benefits of success.

Ultimately, really successful people live their lives by design instead of default, so if you want to be one of them, dedicate time and effort to determining the plan for your preferred future and execute that plan in a focused and consistent manner.

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