What effective habits can make people become a top-achiever? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mike Silagadze, Co-Founder and CEO at Top Hat, on Quora:

That's a great question. The way I like to think about this is with respect to the elements that define a person - in my estimation these elements are: intelligence, personality, and values.

The reason it's important to think about these things is that you need to know which elements you can control.

For the most part your intelligence and to a large extent your personality are set and don't change much through life. It's nice to imagine a world where everyone is a complete blank slate, but the reality is that certain things about you as a person are determined either at birth or very early on in life (much like your height or your eyesight).

So the one big element that you can control is your values, which is to say the things you think are important and the way you make decisions.

So what that means is that to be an effective and successful person you need to value the things that effective people value. These things range fairly broadly but there are common things that will generally lead to good results.

One example is that you need to value your career and your professional success more than your free time and your social life. You need to value winning a lot. You need to value being right more than being popular.

For the majority of people being a top achiever isn't the right choice for them, which is totally reasonable and in fact probably good for society as a whole. So the first thing to ask yourself is what do you value and are you willing to change your values in order to get ahead?

In building Top Hat over the last 8+ years there have been some pretty grueling times that have required a lot of sacrifice. From the countless investor pitches to late nights at the office coding, selling and scaling the business. It's been a wild ride, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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