8 habits to start doing now to be light years ahead of everyone else in 5 years

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It’s Lachlan Brown here, founder of Hack Spirit and a devoted follower of mindfulness and Buddhism.

Let’s be honest, we all want to get ahead in life. But what separates those who do from those who don’t?

In my experience, it all comes down to habits. The small, seemingly insignificant actions we take each day that eventually lead to big results.

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This isn’t about quick fixes or overnight success.

But if you’re willing to start implementing these habits today, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be light years ahead of everyone else in 5 years.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

1) Embrace mindfulness

When it comes to habits that can put you light years ahead of everyone else, there’s one that tops my list: mindfulness.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

How can something as simple as being present and aware really make such a big difference?

Well, let me explain.

Mindfulness is about more than just sitting quietly and focusing on your breath—it’s about cultivating a deep sense of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. It’s about learning to live in the present moment, rather than constantly worrying about the past or the future.

Studies have shown that people who practice mindfulness are less stressed, more focused, and better able to handle difficult situations. They’re also more likely to be creative and innovative—two traits that are essential for getting ahead in this fast-paced world.

So how do you start practicing mindfulness?

It’s simpler than you might think. Start by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them or trying to change them.

It might not seem like much, but this simple habit could be the key to catapulting you ahead of the pack in the next five years. 

And remember, it’s not about doing it perfectly—it’s about showing up and trying, day after day.

That’s how real progress is made.

So why not give it a shot? You might be surprised at just how far it can take you.

2) Practice compassion

The next habit that I believe can truly set you apart is practicing compassion. Now, this might not seem like an obvious choice for a success habit. 

But let me assure you, it’s a game-changer.

Compassion is a fundamental teaching in Buddhism and mindfulness practices. It’s about understanding the suffering of others and having a desire to alleviate it.

 But it’s not just about others—it’s also about showing compassion to yourself.

You see, we all have bad days, make mistakes, and face setbacks. But how we respond to these moments can make all the difference. Do we beat ourselves up, or do we treat ourselves with kindness and understanding?

Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Buddhist monk and mindfulness teacher, once said: “Compassion is a verb.” It’s not just a feeling, but an action. It’s about actively choosing to be kind, both to others and to ourselves.

I’ve found that practicing compassion has not only made me a happier and more fulfilled person, but it’s also improved my relationships and made me more effective in my work. 

People respond positively to kindness and understanding—traits that are often overlooked in our competitive world.

3) Understand impermanence

This next habit might be a bit tough to swallow, but it’s a cornerstone of Buddhist wisdom: the understanding of impermanence.

Life is change. Everything, from the tiniest particle to the largest galaxy, is in a state of flux. Our bodies change, our minds change, our relationships change. Even our planet and the universe around us is constantly evolving.

While this fact can be unsettling, it can also be liberating. It can free us from clinging to things that are destined to change or disappear. It can help us appreciate the present moment and all the beauty it holds.

But here’s the part that many people struggle with: this understanding also applies to success.

Yes, you want to be light years ahead in five years. But what happens after that? Success isn’t a permanent state. It comes and goes, just like everything else.

Understanding this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for success. But it does mean you should keep a healthy perspective.

So embrace impermanence. Understand that everything, including your own journey towards success, is subject to change. This can liberate you from fear and anxiety, fuel your courage and resilience, and ultimately lead you to a more balanced and fulfilling life.

And isn’t that what getting ahead is really all about?

4) Cultivate mindful communication

Let’s be brutally honest here. Communication is hard. It’s one of the greatest challenges we face in our personal and professional lives.

So, what’s the solution? You guessed it: mindfulness.

Mindful communication is all about being present and attentive in our interactions with others. It’s about listening deeply, expressing ourselves clearly, and responding with empathy and understanding.

Think about the last time you had a conversation where you felt truly heard and understood. How did that feel? Now, imagine being able to create that kind of connection in every conversation you have. Sounds pretty powerful, right?

But this isn’t just about making others feel good. Mindful communication can also help us avoid misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, and build stronger relationships. And let’s face it, no one gets ahead by going it alone.

So start cultivating mindful communication today. Listen more than you speak. Pay attention to non-verbal cues. Express yourself with honesty and kindness.

Remember, every conversation is an opportunity to connect, learn, and grow. And those who seize these opportunities are the ones who will be light years ahead in the long run.

5) Live with maximum impact and minimum ego

As the author of “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how one can truly make a difference in this world. And it all boils down to living with maximum impact and minimum ego.

We often equate success with personal gain or recognition. But what if we flipped that narrative? What if success was about the positive impact we make on the world and the people around us?

Living with maximum impact means making conscious choices that align with our values, passions, and the greater good. It’s about using our skills and resources to create meaningful change, whether that’s in our personal lives, our communities, or the world at large.

On the other hand, living with minimum ego is about letting go of the need for recognition or validation. It’s about understanding that our worth isn’t defined by our achievements or possessions, but by who we are and how we treat others.

By focusing on impact over ego, we can create a fulfilling and purpose-driven life that leaves a lasting legacy. 

6) Embrace the power of now

Mindfulness and Buddhism wisdom both emphasize one key principle: the importance of living in the present moment.

But let’s face it, truly living in the “now” is easier said than done.

We often get caught up in the whirlwind of our past regrets or future anxieties, neglecting the only moment we actually have control over—the present. This constant distraction not only robs us of our peace, but it also hinders our ability to focus, innovate and make thoughtful decisions.

However, it’s important to recognize that the present moment is all we really have. The past is gone, the future is uncertain, but now—now is real.

By learning to harness the power of now, we can improve our concentration, make better decisions, and ultimately drive our lives in the direction we desire.

Remember, every great achievement begins with a single moment of focused action. So start embracing the power of now today and see where it takes you in five years.

I guarantee you’ll be amazed at how far you can go when you’re fully present in your journey.

7) Let go of attachment

Buddhist teachings often speak about the dangers of attachment. When we’re overly attached to outcomes, possessions, or even people, we set ourselves up for suffering. Because remember, everything in life is impermanent.

The more we cling to things, the more we create unnecessary stress and anxiety in our lives.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Letting go doesn’t mean not caring or not striving. It simply means accepting that we can’t control everything. It means doing our best and then releasing the outcome. It means finding peace amidst the unpredictability of life.

Letting go of attachment allows us to be more adaptable, resilient and open to new opportunities—qualities that are key to getting ahead in an ever-changing world.

So why not start practicing this habit today?

Let go a little and see how much peace it brings into your life. You might just find that it propels you light years ahead in the long run.

8) Do less, achieve more

Mindfulness isn’t just about slowing down and paying attention—it’s also about recognizing where our energy is best spent. It’s about focusing on what really matters and letting go of the rest.

You see, when we’re constantly busy, we often spread ourselves too thin. We try to do everything, only to end up achieving very little. Or worse, we burn ourselves out.

But when we choose to do less—when we focus our time and energy on fewer, more important tasks—we can achieve so much more. We can produce higher quality work, make more meaningful progress, and also have more time for rest and rejuvenation.

So why not try it?

Start by identifying what’s truly important in your life.

What are your biggest goals? What activities bring you the most joy or fulfillment? Then, start saying no to anything that doesn’t align with these priorities.

Remember, doing less isn’t about being lazy—it’s about being intentional. And I believe that intentional living is the secret to being light years ahead of everyone else in five years’ time.

There you have it. Eight habits that, if practiced consistently, could put you light years ahead of everyone else in five years. But remember, these aren’t quick fixes or magic solutions. They’re practices that require commitment, patience, and dedication.

Would you like to dive deeper into these concepts? In my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“, I explore these ideas further and provide practical tips on how to incorporate them into your everyday life.

In the end, getting ahead isn’t just about achievements or accolades—it’s about living a life that is aligned with your values, filled with purpose and meaning. 

So start cultivating these habits today and see where they take you. Who knows? You might just find yourself light years ahead of where you ever imagined you could be.

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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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