Ambitious People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?


It's the self-starters and go-getters among us who always seem to stay neck-and-neck with their dreams rather than chasing them from behind. What gives them a leg-up is their ambition. And while ambition can't be bought, there are material tools available to help us develop our initiative and drive. (See also: Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals)

Here's our list of 10 things ambitious people have at the ready to keep them on task and focused.

1. Motivational Literature

For instant motivation, get your hands on a reputable lifestyle design guide. There's wonderful literature out there dedicated to architecting the kind of life that will help you meet your goals, be they related to career, family, faith, fun, or personal finance. Check out The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau or Getting Things Done by David Allen.

2. A Goal List

Successful people know that dreams remain dreams until they set them as goals. One way to forge the transition is to create a big, bold, unfiltered list of your goals. Once you've identified all the things you want to accomplish, you'll be better poised to script a roadmap that details what you need to do to get there. Then all you've got to do it stick with it.

Reflect on your goal list often — and don't be afraid to give it a rewrite. Our goals are fluid, so don't waste time chasing yesterday's dream.

3. An Alarm Clock That Can Really Scream

To achieve your goals, you're going to have to hustle. That means maximizing the amount of time you have available to chip away at the roadblocks diverting you from your passions. Early starts are key. Do not succumb to the snooze button. (See also: 9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person)

Square CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly rises each day at 5:30 a.m. for a six-mile jog before he dives into his work. Virgin America CEO David Cush starts the day at 4:15 a.m. with a round of email blasts and business calls. Apple CEO Tim Cook is up at 4:30 a.m. The takeaway is this: Rise before the sun and you'll be in good company.

4. Healthy Meal Options

You need fuel to perform your best. And it makes a big difference whether that fuel consists of soda and sugary cereals or fruit, greens, and lean meats. Vitamin B (found in soybeans and eggs), protein (found in nuts and dried fruit), and hydrating beverages (water is king) are all great sources of natural energy.

And don't skimp on breakfast. People who eat a balanced meal in the morning tend to be more energized than those who don't.

5. A Busy Social Calendar

Ambitious people structure their time so as to create opportunity for fortuitous encounters. Every meal, every happy hour, and every pick-up soccer game at the neighborhood park is an opportunity to network, thereby boosting your chances of meeting that perfect stranger who can help you secure seed money or introduce you to your next big client.

You truly never know who might be able to help you on your mission to meet your goals. And you never know where you'll meet them. So maximize your chances. Reach out to people whose social media profiles interest you online and ask them to meet for a cup of coffee. Ask for introductions. Get yourself on the list for exclusive events. And always follow up. (See also: Your 31 Hidden Networks)

6. Mobile Devices

Email is one the biggest time sucks of our generation. And since time is money, it's important to be able to send and answer those emails on-the-go in real time. Successful, ambitious people keep a smartphone or tablet at the ready so they can send off emails while they're waiting in line for coffee at Starbucks.

But there's an important caveat here: Silence and pocket your phone or tablet during important meetings and networking events. Studies show that gadget use during business affairs causes others to believe you lack power.

7. Newspapers, Magazines, Books, and Bookmarked Blogs

Reading, no matter the format or genre, stimulates the mind, reduces stress, enhances memory, strengthens vocabulary, and improves focus and concentration. So it should be no surprise that high-achieving people make time to read poetry or absorb the latest news about the ever-changing world around them — be it before bed, over lunch, or first thing in the morning.

8. A Notebook

Eminem, Peyton Manning, and Oprah all keep a journal. And if you want to join the ranks of these high achievers, so should you. When we pen our thoughts and feelings we help the brain process and expunge negativity, opening up more room for positivity and creative energy that helps us push through setbacks and upsets so we can conquer our goals.

9. A Budget

Every day we make small financial decisions that determine our current and future quality of life. Yet many of us make these judgement calls without much forward-thinking. But ambitious people are conscious that whether they buy or bring their lunch to work over the course of the next month influences things like how many years they'll be saddled with student debt. So they create a budget for their personal expenses — and they stick to it.

Sites like Mint and Budget Simple can help you craft a budget from scratch. Plus they're free and easy to use.

10. A Yoga Mat

When you've got a high-intensity daily schedule, the mind is going to need a break or you'll run the risk of burnout. One way of giving the mind a breather is to meditate. Rupert Murdoch, Arianna Huffington, and billionaire hedge fund owner Ray Dalio all practice daily meditation to relax, develop patience, restore focus, and improve work performance. If you're brand new to the ancient practice, try taking a yoga class to begin learning how to calm the mind.

Are you missing any of these accoutrements of the ambitious? Any more we should add to this list? Please share in comments!

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