12 things high achievers always do to maximize their potential

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Success rarely comes by accident.

It comes as a result of dedicated habits that pay off in the long run. 

High achievers have a set of things they do that set them apart and bring them out on top when others sit back and end up falling short. 

We all have potential:

Tapping into that potential is another matter. 

Here are the rules that high achievers live by. 

1) They live a healthy life 

There’s no replacement for living a healthy life. 

Those who maximize their potential do their best to live well. 

This means:

  • Eating well (I recommend the “eat right for your type” diet).
  • Releasing stress and caring for mental health.
  • Getting plenty of restful sleep.
  • Exercising and working out.

2) They wake up early 

On a related note, those who maximize their potential get up early

The exact time of day varies by person, of course. 

But it should be generally earlier than you are used to, and maybe even earlier than you think is necessary. 

This extra slice of time comes in very useful and also gives you a big boost for the day to come, sending your body and mind a clear message: it’s go time! 

As Tomas Laurinavicius puts it in his article about tapping into his potential:  

“Waking up early has been giving me the most significant results since I decided to make a shift from a night owl into an early bird.”

3) They know how to say no 

Being a high achiever means having focus and being able to pursue your goals with dedication. 

Many distractions will come your way. 

But in order to truly tap into your potential and succeed in your own development and success in every area of life is sometimes being able to say no.

When demands, opportunities, offers and “fun” comes your way, sometimes you just need to prioritize and say “no thanks.”

As billionaire Warren Buffet notes: 

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”

4) They consume empowering content

High achievers consume empowering content. 

Whether that be podcasts, films, music, books or art, they prefer to take in things that will make them feel more capable and inspired. 

This doesn’t mean there are no sad songs on their ipod, of course. 

Feeling sad is part of life and sometimes relaxing into that feeling can give you more of an idea where you want to head and what your priorities are. 

The key thing is that on balance looking at the media and materials consumed by a high achiever you’ll notice positive signal amplification. 

This means what they are consuming lines up with what they want to achieve and the self-image they want to have. 

5) They are curious and explore new ideas

As much as they know how to say no (and aren’t afraid to), those who achieve their potential are curious. 

When they decide to explore new ideas or find new opportunities, they do so with their whole heart. 

They like exploring new concepts, business opportunities and finding out more information and wisdom on subjects where they may have knowledge gaps. 

Whatever they put their mind to, they will do their level best to achieve their goal. 

This relates to dedication as well. 

They aren’t interested in doing anything half-way. 

If they’re in, they’re in. 

6) They schedule and organize their life 

High achievers schedule and organize their life. 

There’s a time for spontaneity, but for the most part they don’t wing it. 

They have priorities and goals, and they write them down and do their best to stick to them. 

A great way to do this is to reverse engineer, having a goal for the year and then working backward to a monthly goal, weekly goal and daily steps necessary to hit that goal. 

High achievers practice this and have high self-discipline in achieving their aims. 

7) They derive income from multiple sources 

High achievers are very focused, but when it comes to income they try to have multiple streams. 

This usually means they have one primary job or source of income but several other investments or opportunities they are also involved in. 

In such a way, they are never too fully exposed to the market in a risky way and they have passive income coming in, in addition to their salary or actual earnings. 

Money can’t buy happiness, but not having to worry about it quite as much can sure buy a little bit of peace of mind. 

“Most of the time, successful people have a diversified income, meaning they rely on more than one method of income,” writes Jamie Birt

“For example, an individual may have their job but also be invested in real estate or other industries.”

8) They collaborate with other high-functioning individuals

Being a high achiever is seldom a solitary endeavor. 

High achievers like to find other high achievers. 

Even the most introverted usually will find a network of like-minded and similarly committed folks who are on the same page as them and whose company they enjoy. 

Whether it’s business, personal or both, other high achievers are a power boost to the empowered individual. 

He or she prefers to be around others who are also maximizing their potential so that there is a mutual upbuilding taking place. 

9) They bring out the best in others around them 

High achievers know how to bring out the best in others around them. 

They can also be demanding especially when in positions of authority. 

They have certain standards, and that’s just the way it is, but they are also understanding of people’s unique needs and skills. 

Not everybody can be a brilliant numbers guy, but somebody else may be amazing at creative projects or at marketing. 

The high achiever is able to quickly discern what people are best at and help them discover that and make use of their skills. 

10) Have the hunger of new money and the wisdom of old money

High achievers know how to hustle, as in work hard. 

They are not trying to get any handouts or take shortcuts and “hack” the system to sit back in luxury without trying. 

They want to work smart, absolutely, but they don’t expect to be handed anything for free. 

As YouTube commentator and multimillionaire Iman Gadzhi says, you want to have the hunger of new money combined with the style and wisdom of old money.

11) Take radical responsibility for everything

You have to take responsibility and accept whatever happened as a result of your choices. 

You also have to own whatever happens in your life that isn’t your fault at all. 

Even if it’s not, it still happened, and there isn’t anybody else who will make it un-happen. 

Even if you feel quite sure something wasn’t your fault, it doesn’t help to focus on who else’s fault it is. 

Bringing everything possible within your own sphere of control is a way to empower yourself and get much stronger. 

No matter what happened or why, it’s now up to you to face it. 

12) They learn key lessons from frustration and hardship 

Those who maximize their potential don’t see failure as the final word. 

They learn from it and try their best to move on. 

Some failures do close a chapter: illness, death, bankruptcy. 

But if at all possible, the high achiever learns something even from what they can’t change. 

If nothing else, they learn to have grit and to be flexible and adapt when the storms of life hit. 

Making potential count 

As I said at the beginning, we all have potential.

Making it count requires more. 

You have to recognize your strengths and then give them room to grow. 

That means healthy habits. That means stepping out of your comfort zone. That means following the routines I’ve laid out above. 

Here’s my promise: 

You will become a high achiever if you stop cutting corners and start taking ownership of every square inch of your life. 

People who enjoy deep conversations over small talk won’t be heard saying these 7 things

If you’re feeling these 13 emotions, you’re living your life in autopilot