The majority of people tend to follow and copy each other’s behavioral pattern, in many ways. We normally wake up around the same time and sleep around the same time. We often exchange the same type of conversations among each other, and visit the same destinations almost every day, we think about problems and give them more significance than they deserve. The size and importance of our problems may be massive and urgent, but simply refraining from giving our problems “more attention” than they deserve can help limit their counterproductive and, sometimes, destructive effects on our mentality.

Some of the most dangerous habits in the world, are the habits we tend to unconsciously repeat. By demonstrating the same behaviors and ways of thinking as the majority, one is bound to produce average results. There are three basic positions which one can occupy:

  1. Being ahead of the crowd  
  2. Being alongside the crowd
  3. Being behind the crowd

Ahead of the crowd:

To be ahead of the majority of people one must understand, and do, what others do not comprehend and demonstrate. Wake up earlier than the majority of people, in order to “cause and produce” what others do not cause and produce. Finding the necessary time to think and build, all in the effort to accomplish a “greater number of things” than others accomplish. Be more active and involved in what you do “more than” others are being active and involved in what they do. The “doing more” factor sets the difference between ordinary and extraordinary people.

By the physical act of waking up 1 (or 2) hours earlier than your usual wake time, you are “purposely providing” yourself with additional time, which can be utilized to set yourself “ahead of the crowd.” This fact cannot be disputed, because it is a simple & absolute mathematical fact. Those who rise at 5 am are simply ahead of those who rise at 6 or 7 am. Waking up earlier than usual, and expecting to be ahead of the crowd without working according to a pre-planned course of action, is pointless and fruitless. Unquestionably, a plan of action is required.

Surely the demands of life can have an impact on our physical body because we are only capable of exhausting a certain amount of physical energy. However, the price we pay to be ahead of the crowd is not negotiable and is a requirement.

Sufficient physical rest is necessary. However, in some cases, we must find the strength to get by with fewer hours of sleep to get things done.

To stay awake an additional hour or two beyond your normal sleeping time, may seem like an unpleasant thought, and prove to be uncomfortable. Nevertheless, this would also be part of the price you must pay during the initial stages of setting yourself ahead of the crowd. The few who are the last to sleep at night, and the first to rise in the morning, are the few who have the advantage on their side “if they are working productively” towards a “definite end.”

Successful individuals that have achieved a high level of prosperity, do not involve themselves in meaningless matters and pointless conversations. Even if this means they must remain silent for extended periods of time, and be viewed as awkward or strange. Their mind is often preoccupied with substantial challenges, or energetically busy resolving a problem they’re faced with. Often thinking of methods and strategies to serve as remedies. They have the complete ability to hold meaningful conversations for extended periods of time, about the constructive discussion. They realize the pointlessness and indefiniteness of speaking about irrelevant subjects and give no attention to small talks. Allowing nothing to interfere with their thoughts, progress, and wise use of time. Their time is as valuable as their words.

They were not born with these characteristics, no one is born with any sort of a particular personality. As children, we are unaware of what the term “personality” represents. Children are incapable of deliberately controlling any particular characteristics or traits. As we grow older, we begin to adopt certain beliefs that shape our personality and character. The term “personality” beings to take root, and become a major part of our consciousness. In time, impacting the course of our perspective and physical actions.

Alongside the crowd:

The second position in consideration is for you to move alongside the crowd. Concisely, this means that; “if you are achieving the same ordinary results others are achieving, by comparison, and would like to continue achieving the same ordinary results, then you are traveling alongside the crowd at the same pace.” It simply means that you may continue to rise to attend your business at the same time during the morning (instead of rising 1 or 2 hours earlier, to set yourself ahead of the crowd), and fall asleep during the night around the same time you normally sleep (instead of staying up an hour or two, working on your passion, to set yourself ahead of the crowd). Being alongside the crowd means to maintain the same behavioral pattern, which conforms with the majority of the crowd, consequently producing similar or the same results the majority of people are producing.

You must take into account that by moving alongside the crowd, you will not get, or ever be, ahead of the crowd. If your thoughts and actions, correspond with the thoughts and actions of the crowd, then the results you generate will also correspond with results generated by the majority of people.

Behind the crowd:

The third possible position is to fall behind the crowd. This position is the opposite of being ahead and being alongside the crowd. It means being behind on almost everything you do. It is a failure to utilize your time wisely, and failure to cross-examine your thoughts. It is ignoring the importance of adjusting your behavioral pattern, to match the behavioral pattern of successful people.

Plainly to be ahead, alongside, or behind the crowd is an entirely personal decision. You are in complete control of your own thoughts and behavioral pattern. Most people overlook the benefits of being the first to rise in the morning and fall asleep a little later than usual because they do not have a specific goal that is coordinated with a time schedule and a systematic plan to reach it.

Success is not limited and is abundantly available to all those who truly desire it. There is “more than enough” abundance and prosperity for every individual on earth. However, prosperity is not attracted to people who do not demonstrate the discipline, and continuous efforts to embrace it and comply with its rules. Prosperity is; “to have more of something.” Logically, in order to have more of something, one must give more of something in return. Our time, dedication, creations, and hard work is the “something” we must give “more of” in return for prosperity.

Keep in mind that one cannot demonstrate the disciplines of success for a few short weeks or months, and expect to see immediate results. Success is a process of growth, and growth requires time. To plant a seed in fertile soil, grab a seat and sit next to it to observe its growth, is impractical. But to plant a seed in fertile soil, and work to water it regularly, while faithfully and fully knowing that it will grow and deliver its fruits, is practical.

Make your choice today, at this moment, decide whether you will move ahead of the crowd, alongside the crowd, or behind the crowd. Choose to make the most out of your life by choosing to move ahead of the crowd, doing what a truly wise and prosperous individual would do. In all three situations, things will most likely be “equally difficult.” Therefore, it would be wise to choose to move “ahead of the crowd” in any case.

Working cleverly to adopt and enforce better habits, is not an easy task. But entertaining bad habits, and suffering their inevitable destructive effects is even more difficult to live and deal with. Physical exercise, eating healthy, finding the time to read and grow your mind can be difficult. Being sick, unhealthy, and ignorant is even more difficult to live and deal with.

What separates the successful from the unsuccessful, is not the size of their bank accounts, but the size of their: “values, beliefs, and actions.” Move ahead of the crowd, it may be a tough decision, but will definitely pay off generously over the short and long term period of time.