8 habits to begin doing now to get ahead of everyone else in 5 years

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You might be surprised to learn that the difference between you and the most successful people isn’t always about talent or luck. Sometimes, it’s all about habits.

Hi, I’m Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit and a mindfulness enthusiast. I’ve spent countless hours studying the lives of successful people and I’ve found that they all have one thing in common: they’ve developed powerful habits that work for them.

The good news is, these habits can be learned. And what better time to start than now?

In this article, I’m going to share 8 habits you should start doing now to get ahead of everyone else in 5 years.

But remember, it’s not about comparing yourself with others. It’s about being the best version of yourself.

Let’s get started. 

1) Start meditating

We live in a world that’s always buzzing. Our minds are constantly filled with thoughts, worries, and to-do lists. It can be exhausting.

But what if I told you there’s a simple habit that can help you calm your mind and develop an incredible sense of focus? That habit is meditation.

Meditation has been a cornerstone of mindfulness and Buddhism for centuries. As a mindfulness enthusiast myself, I can tell you that it truly has the power to transform your life.

The science backs it up too. Studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress, improve concentration, and even increase happiness.

But the benefits don’t stop there. By training yourself to focus on the present moment, you’ll become better at handling everyday challenges and making decisions. This will give you an edge in both your personal and professional life.

Start with just 10 minutes a day. Find a quiet spot, sit comfortably, and simply focus on your breath. It’s not about clearing your mind completely; it’s about learning to observe your thoughts without judgement.

Over time, this small daily habit could lead to big changes. It could even be the key to getting ahead of everyone else in five years.

2) Cultivate gratitude

Gratitude has a powerful impact on our lives. It’s something I’ve personally experienced and I make it a point to practice gratitude daily.

Being grateful helps us see the positive in every situation, reducing stress and promoting happiness. It also helps us appreciate what we have, instead of constantly wanting more.

Noted mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn once said, “Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that.”

I believe that gratitude is an extension of this mindfulness. By appreciating what we have in the present moment, we cultivate a mindset that fosters success.

You could start by keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for.

They don’t have to be big things. Sometimes, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference.

This simple habit can not only boost your mood but also shift your perspective towards positivity and abundance.

And who knows? In five years, this habit might separate you from the crowd and help you get ahead in life.

3) Embrace impermanence

There’s a fundamental concept in Buddhism known as ‘Anicca’, or impermanence. It’s the idea that everything in life is transient and nothing is permanent.

This can be a tough pill to swallow. We all like the idea of stability and certainty. But life, as we all know, is unpredictable. Things change, people change, and circumstances change.

Rather than fighting against this tide of change, embracing it can make us more resilient and adaptable.

When we accept that nothing lasts forever, we can better appreciate the present moment for what it is. We can let go of our fear of the future and our attachment to the past.

By doing this, we free ourselves from unnecessary stress and anxiety, allowing us to focus on what truly matters.

This acceptance of impermanence isn’t about being passive or resigned. It’s about understanding the nature of life and using it to navigate challenges with grace and wisdom.

Embrace change as it comes, and see it as an opportunity for growth.

4) Practice mindful eating

In our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the simple act of eating. More often than not, we’re wolfing down our meals while scrolling through our phones or working at our desks.

This is where mindful eating comes in. It’s about paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body.

Mindful eating involves noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of food; chewing slowly; getting rid of distractions; and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.

This might seem trivial, but it’s surprising how much of a difference it can make. By eating mindfully, we not only enjoy our food more but also become more aware of our body’s hunger and satiety cues.

This can help us build a healthier relationship with food and prevent overeating, which can lead to better physical health in the long run.

Moreover, mindful eating trains us to be fully present and engaged in what we’re doing – a skill that can be transferred to other areas of life as well.

5) Live with maximum impact and minimum ego

This is a principle I hold close to my heart and something I talk about extensively in my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

The idea is simple but powerful. It’s about making a positive difference in the world while keeping your ego in check.

In our pursuit of success, it’s easy to let our egos take over. We start thinking that we’re better than others or that we deserve more.

This ego-driven mentality can lead to destructive behaviors and strained relationships.

But by focusing on making an impact – helping others, contributing to a cause, or simply being kind – we can lead a fulfilling life without letting our egos get in the way.

At the same time, it’s important to understand that having an ego isn’t inherently bad. It’s only when our ego starts controlling us that it becomes a problem.

Start cultivating this habit now. Strive to make a difference while keeping your ego in check.

Success isn’t just about getting ahead of others. It’s about contributing positively to the world and growing as a person. And adopting this mindset could be your key to getting ahead in the next five years.

You can learn more about this and other Buddhist principles in my book, which is available here.

6) Practice self-compassion

In our quest for success, we often become our own harshest critics. We push ourselves hard and beat ourselves up over every mistake or setback.

But here’s the truth: nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and face challenges. And that’s okay.

Both mindfulness and Buddhism teach us the importance of self-compassion. It’s about treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend.

Self-compassion involves acknowledging your own suffering, failures, and inadequacies, without judgment or self-pity.

By practicing self-compassion, you can create a safe space for personal growth and self-improvement. It gives you the courage to face your shortcomings head-on and work on them without fear of judgment.

When you stumble, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, it’s all part of the journey.

Practicing self-compassion could be one of the most important habits you can cultivate to get ahead in life in the next five years. After all, success starts with a healthy relationship with yourself.

7) Learn to let go

Life is full of ups and downs. We all experience success and failure, joy and sorrow, love and loss. But often, we hold onto our negative experiences, allowing them to define us and dictate our future.

This is where the wisdom of Buddhism comes in. One of the central teachings of Buddhism is the idea of letting go. It’s about releasing our attachment to past hurts and disappointments, as well as our fears and anxieties about the future.

Mindfulness expert Thích Nhất Hạnh once said, “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”

In other words, by letting go, we free ourselves from the burden of the past and the anxiety of the future. We allow ourselves to live fully in the present moment. And that’s where true happiness lies.

Make it a habit to let go. It won’t be easy, but with practice, you’ll find that it becomes easier.

You can’t change the past or control the future. All you can do is make the most of the present. And who knows? This habit might just be what sets you apart from the rest in the next five years.

8) Embrace boredom

In today’s fast-paced world, we’re constantly seeking stimulation. We’re always on our phones, always plugged in, always busy. But have you ever considered the value of being bored?

It might sound counterintuitive, but boredom can actually be a powerful tool for mindfulness.

When we’re bored, our minds start to wander. And this mind-wandering can lead to some of our most creative and insightful thoughts.

Boredom also forces us to be alone with our thoughts and feelings, which is a crucial part of mindfulness. By sitting with our boredom, we learn to observe our thoughts without judgment or distraction.

When you find yourself reaching for your phone or looking for something to do, try embracing the boredom instead. Let your mind wander. Observe your thoughts. Be present.

This might not be easy at first, but with practice, you’ll find that there’s a lot to gain from these moments of stillness.

In five years’ time, this simple habit could make a big difference in your ability to think creatively and be present in the moment. And that could give you a real edge over everyone else.


To wrap up, I want to remind you that success is a journey, not a destination. The habits you cultivate today can shape your life in the next five years and beyond.

It’s not about getting ahead of everyone else. It’s about being the best version of yourself. And these habits – from meditating and practicing gratitude to embracing boredom – can help you do just that.

They’re based on principles of mindfulness and Buddhism, which have been guiding people towards fulfilling lives for centuries. I’ve personally found them to be transformative and I hope they can make a difference in your life too.

If you want to dive deeper into these principles, I invite you to check out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It explores these concepts in more detail and offers practical advice on how to incorporate them into your daily life.

Thank you for joining me on this journey towards a mindful and successful life. Here’s to getting ahead in the next five years!

You can find my book here.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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