The Incredible Effects of Doing a Few Positive Things Every Day

Habits make the man.

Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.

-Jim Rohn

Make no mistake about it. The things you do on a daily basis are what effectively molds you long-term.

So ask yourself; what kind of activities does a regular day consist of for you?

In my opinion this is the most important lesson of the book “The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons” by Napoleon Hill, which is the archetype of what 95% of all self-development books are based on content-wise.

There’s been a lot of scientific advancement and new theories since that book came out roughly 90 years ago though.

I’ll now describe my approach to this subject.

Positive Thoughts

The more you think similar thoughts the more you increase the possibility and likeliness of it happening again through reinforcing that thought as a mental pattern or habit.

This is because you’re rewiring your brain. Some say that you’re rebuilding your neurological pathways in the brain. Others (Like Napoleon Hill etc.) use an analogy of the brain being a radio station and when you think positive thoughts you’re tuning into a higher frequency which attracts similar vibrations. Like attracts like, and as far as I know this is the basis of what later became the “Law of Attraction”. But it doesn’t really matter which explanation is correct, the only thing that matters is that it works!

You get what you focus on.

This is why it’s important that you actively think positive thoughts and train yourself in positivity!

Most people never do this. They only think the same thoughts over and over again through most of their lives, often being bogged down with negativity. Note that this is a habit as well, just not a good one that’ll help you in any way.

Don’t let your brain control you. You control your brain, not the other way around.


Hill refers to what we nowadays call affirmations or repeated positive mental statements/suggestions as autosuggestion.  Hill writes that the reason as to why autosuggestion works is because it programs the subconscious mind to pluck out and focus on certain things.

This should clarify why it’s important that you‘re conscious and selective of what kind of thoughts you allow your mind to be subjected to.

If you’re a negative person who keeps repeating negative statements like; “I suck at everything” or “no one likes me”, you’re programming your subconscious mind to actually search for cues that verify your statements, the orders you gave it. In other words, you’re creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re continuously stating in your mind “I suck at everything” you’ll inevitably find evidence and reasons as to how much you suck! You’ll start interpreting everything you experience through an” I-suck-at-everything-lens” and keep reinforcing this until it becomes a belief. You’ve turned your mind into your own worst enemy!

You’ve definitely experienced this, consciously or not.

What’s important to take note of, regarding this concept, is that the subconscious mind registers and obeys any command you give it, whether you command it consciously or not. This is why you should aim to start having positive thoughts all the time.

When I say that the subconscious mind “obeys any command you give it” I mean to the extent that it’s possible and also in regards to your mastery/skill level in using it. So if you told yourself “Find me a way to make one million dollars TODAY, subconscious mind!” and it didn’t work by the end of the day, then maybe you were going a little bit too hard for being a beginner. Make sense?

Another thing to take note of here is that if you give your subconscious mind a command while you’re experiencing powerful emotions, you’ll increase the effect. If you can pump yourself up, feel great and motivated about something and then start giving commands / positive statements / affirmations, you’ll get more out of it. Optimally you’ll want to combine the commands with either a feeling of happiness or “dark motivation”, meaning that you want it so bad that you’ll let NOTHING stop you, like feeling angry and motivated at the same time. (Haha, that’s a pretty lame expression I just coined.)

The subconscious mind is like a mindless slave without free will, or a computer that only uses the inputs you give it, so make sure you do a good job of consistently programming yourself with quality software.

There are plenty of books on this. I recommend the book “Finding Your Hidden Self” by Serge Kahili King.

Furthermore, Hill writes that the subconscious mind is connected to what he calls “infinite intelligence”, (also called pure creative power, vibrational energy, source energy etc.). This is the basis of the Law of Attraction.  This may sound like bogus, but it’s based on Hills’ research, interviews and having been socializing for roughly 20 years with the most successful people in the World at that time!

Now whether you believe in this or not, whether you think this is rational/logical or not, know that some of the most powerful, successful and accomplished people to ever have lived gave praise to this phenomenon as a major reason as to their accomplishments.

(Always be open-minded and have the ability to suspend your beliefs while reading something to take in as much information as possible)

What I’m saying is that this might be worthwhile checking out and studying more deeply, if people like Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, just to name a few people, practiced this skill.

On an interesting side note, this is how most commercial works; by affecting the subconscious mind.  First you watch/hear the commercials, and then when the product is presented to you or is present in your environment you’re more likely to notice it.

This is also the reason why stuff like hypnosis or NLP, Neuro-linguistic programming can work. Check out Derren Brown or Keith Barry on youtube for more on this.

Get in the habit of monitoring your mind to see what you’re currently programming it with and proceed to incrementally start thinking motivating thoughts

Use Your Brain & Mind Consciously to Your Advantage

To me, every activity I undertake is considered necessary training. Training that I’ll need to become the person I’m meant to be.

I accept whatever needs to be done fully and trust that the universe knows what’s best for me, not questioning why this is happening to me, but instead knowing that there’s a reason why this happened to me and try to figure out why, and learn as much as I can from it.

(You don’t need to be religious to have faith.)

I also do what is known as a positive reframe (see Tony Robbins), meaning that no matter what happens to me I frame it as positive, this goes hand in hand with the above concept of accepting all circumstances, instead of trying to fight them which wastes your precious mental energy on bullshit.

The reason I mention these two examples is because they’re great mental habits/mindsets.

So, no matter what I’m doing I consider it training and do my best to associate it with good emotions, also known as anchoring. When I’m reading, even if it’s a boring book, I think to myself, this is practicing my focus, my “mental muscles” and is great for me! Or if I need to lift a bunch of heavy objects I think “this will make me lose lots of calories and build my muscles”. Or if I am out at a club or in a social environment I think “this is making me more socially attuned and relaxed, I love people!”

Notice the positive reframe? I could’ve chosen to focus on the book being boring and that I’d rather do a more “entertaining” activity, or that lifting the objects would make me sweaty and ruin my clothes or that the club is boring and the people I’m around aren’t giving me enough attention or whatever..

Everything that you consciously focus on builds your character! This is what you should live for.

Become a Hard Worker

In “The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons”, there’s a law called “The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For”

This law is all about finding out what you enjoy doing and making it your occupation, because if you love what you’re doing it’ll no longer be thought of as bothersome “work” to you. Your motivation for working will no longer just be a paycheck.

Stephen king writes a minimum of 2000 words every day. No exceptions. Do you think it’s a coincidence that he’s one of the world’s most accomplished writers of books, screenplays and novels?

A different example is Lil Wayne. He’s a terrible rapper, but his work-ethic is so hardcore that he just keeps going and going. Even if 99% of all the songs he produces completely suck, that 1% is still going to be a hit. In the long run, consistency and perseverance prevails.

Every truly successful person knows that.

Read and write four to six hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can’t expect to become a good writer.” – Stephen King

I like his philosophy.

Here’s an excerpt from Stephen King’s Wikipedia-page:

When asked why he writes, King responds: “The answer to that is fairly simple—there was nothing else I was made to do. I was made to write stories and I love to write stories. That’s why I do it. I really can’t imagine doing anything else and I can’t imagine not doing what I do.” He is also often asked why he writes such terrifying stories and he answers with another question: “Why do you assume I have a choice?”

This is a prime example of a man who’s “on purpose” (doing what he wants most).

Notice how he implies that he has no choice. This is something interesting I’ve been picking up the last few months. I’ve got a theory that some people are more receptive to “the pure source of creativity”. This rare sort of people truly love what they do and have an increased ability to get into flow while undertaking their chosen activity. These select few rarely claim any honor, attention or appreciation for the incredible work they do. Some of them go so far as to say that it’s God who’s to thank for the things they do, or that a force greater than them acted through them and they just observed. A lot of truly great persons share this commonality.

Regardless of whether you find something you like to do or not, in order to succeed you should always do more than you’re paid for. There’s always something extra you can do if you look hard enough. In the long run you’ll become invaluable to your business and you’ll inevitably earn more money as a result of contributing more value than you’re expected to! This is so extremely important. Always be offering more value than you need to, not just in work-situations.

You shouldn’t need any ulterior motive to do this, because it inherently makes you feel good. It’s just like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the book ”Flow” says, happiness is autotelic, meaning it’s a goal in itself.

And if you can’t understand how it’ll make you happier, think of like this: all the hard work, value you’re contributing and extra effort you’re putting in will make you a better and more competent person. Think of it like practice for a cooler life. If you can just find a few positive things to do every day and consciously turn them into habits, think of the effects you’ll get in the long run!

You only get what you give.

You become what you think of and do on a daily basis.

Come Up with a Few Positive Habits Right Away

Here are a few good habits to start with, but these are just examples. You probably know intuitively what you need to do; most likely it’s the things you’ve been putting off.

Exercising: If you exercise a few times a week (optimally every day in some form) not only will you become more fit, stronger and healthier, but you’ll also live longer and have a better quality of life.

Eating healthy: This goes hand in hand with exercising. But to be honest, if you hate exercising and you don’t have any particular fitness goals you’d like to accomplish, you can still be very healthy and lean by making sure you’ve got a proper diet. Most people would benefit from lowering their daily amount of carbohydrates by 50%, increasing the amount of healthy fats (omega 3, different types of seeds) and eating more vegetables (especially broccoli, spinach and kale) and fruits. Dieting is A LOT more important than cardio if you want to be lean and healthy. People don’t understand what a waste of time cardio is. Wouldn’t it be easier to eat less instead of having to jog 30 minutes if you’re doing it just to lose fat? A small bag of potato chips is the equivalent to 20-40 minutes on a treadmill. Think about it, it’s not rocket-science so to speak.

Reading: If you read for an hour a day you’d finish a medium-sized book every week or so. In the long run you’d not only become more focused and better at taking in information, but also become extremely well-educated and knowledgeable. You’d be able to converse with people about essentially any topic. Think about what this could do for your quality of living in the long-term.

Pursuing projects: If you want to become a writer, musician, artist or virtually anything else; do you think it might help your chances of succeeding if you spent a few hours every day perfecting your craft? I think so.

Meditating: Sitting for 10+ minutes per day (one sitting should be at least 10 minutes) will make you more grounded in your own energy, meaning that you’ll be more centered and less likely to give away focus/attention to things that shouldn’t matter to you. It makes it easier to be motivated and stay on your goals because of the increase in mental clarity. It’s a really hard habit to implement if you’ve never done it before though. Taking time out of your “busy schedule” to sit and do nothing but focus, preferably in silence, can be very bothersome to the mind at first. You’ll probably have a hard time quieting it and be surprised of how many thoughts it’s possible to have in just 10 minutes. Do it for at least 30 days without quitting and you should see results.

Changing Your Perspective

When most people think of successful people they only see the good things; the fame, the fortune, the hot babes and the glamour.

They usually don’t think of the hard work that the successful people put in every day; they think they just got lucky and got famous overnight.

It doesn’t occur to most normal people that more successful people are more adept than them at “playing the game of life”, meaning that they have a better understanding of the underlying rules that apply and the kind of mindsets you should have.

Our society has a weird perception of celebrities and truly successful people. The mainstream media is partly responsible for this, but then again it only caters to the mentality of the average Joe. Some celebrities act like they’re “just like average Joe” and down to earth.

“Look at me, I go to McDonalds and eat crappy food just like you, my abs are just a fluke. I play video-games and watch sitcoms all day too, I just got lucky somehow. I’m just like you!”

I’m not saying celebrities aren’t humble, I’m just saying they’ve usually got a public persona so that normal people can identify with them.  Most average people fail to recognize the extreme amount of effort and time that successful people put into becoming successful.

Most successful people have a completely different mindset than average Joe, and probably wouldn’t be able to identify with them at all if they had an honest conversation. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever become successful by being average.

No one becomes successful over night or by coincidence and that’s the harsh truth. You’ll probably have to put in many years of hustling every day if you want to be truly successful or have any lasting impact on the World.

(I’m not talking about the typical reality-TV celebrity, socialites or people who voluntarily and freely appear in tabloids to get attention. They’re not the sort you want to model yourself after, obviously)

(You want to model yourself after guys like Will Smith. He has inarguably had one of the coolest lives ever, has a phenomenal work-ethic and his life-philosphy is awesome)

For example, take Eminem, who’s the most successful rap-artist in the World, he made music for years and released four albums (if you’re a fan you should listen to the 3rd and 4th albums; Infinite and The Slim Shady EP) and loads of songs before he got “discovered” by Dr Dre and made it big. In this time period he lived on next to nothing and got so depressed with his life situation that he tried to commit suicide, but survived. How hard do you think his road to success was?

One of the best songs ever made by Eminem, off his relatively unknown album Infinite. Take note of the lyrics and the message he’s trying to convey through the song.

It’s inspiring to read about, but most “normal” people would never want to or even be able to endure such hardships. Most successful people have hit rock bottom at some point, but learned from it and moved on. Most normal people would never even attempt doing something when there’s a risk of failure.

See the gap between the mindsets?

Instead of being jealous or putting down famous and successful people, appreciate the hard work they do and see what you can learn from them instead. Being a so-called “hater” is low status behavior that’s unproductive and a waste of creative energy.

Start Gaining Momentum!

Here are more examples of some mindsets that’ll help you long-term:

I will become the change I want to see in others

Since I know that “you only get what you give” I focus on giving.

I challenge and push myself to the limit in some way every day

I’m the sort of person who identifies the positive and focus diligently on it

I do my best to be open-minded and learn from other people

Again, these are just examples, if none of these so-called affirmations resonate with you, then you’ll have to create your own, which you should do in any case. You need to feel strongly about them and have an honest desire to live by these creeds, otherwise it won’t work!

You can never come up with too many of them. After all, there’s no use in being cheap when it comes to coming up with an accurate description of what your mind and life should look like.

Repeat them every day and they’ll go from being statements to being thoughts, from being thoughts to being lasting beliefs that change your identity. Be patient and give it time and it’ll have tremendous effects.

If it feels stupid, in most cases it means that you’ve come up with the wrong kinds of things and need to change either how you convey the message or the message itself.

It should feel cool. Practicing the art of consciously becoming the person you want to be, how could that not be cool?

Do You Want To Peak At 30?

This is when most people are at their best, both mentally and physically. From that time onwards they get less mentally focused and physically fit by tiny increments every day, statistically. This is the norm. But will you be part of the norm just because it applies to most other people? Is that a valid reason?

Is it OK to do something stupid just because the guy next to you does?

What if all your friends engage in unproductive and stupid behavior?

– Well, when you put it like that.. In that case it’s OK not to consciously think for yourself and release responsibility of your decisions.

Or not.

Don’t let other people’s excuses be your excuse for not doing your best.

So, will you peak when you’re 30 years old?

Or will you do something right now to change that and move away from the herd-mentality that runs rampant in society?

Personally I never want to stagnate. I want to keep growing mentally, physically and spiritually.

Why do you think this happens, why are most people at their best when they’re 30?

–          It’s because the majority of people don’t challenge themselves on a daily basis and/or don’t have the right kinds of habits to spend their time on daily.

Spend your time, don’t waste it!

Instead they eat fast-food, watch too much TV, waste too much time on social networks, don’t exercise enough and rarely ever read a book. All this eventually leads to poor health, weak willpower as well as ability to concentrate/focus and thus lowering their ability to think for themselves and make decisions.

They haven’t developed the long-term thinking that’s necessary. They don’t have the discipline to commit to something for a set period of time.

I see this all around me, people trying new diets or other things like that but can’t manage to keep it up for even a whole week! Then when they fail they make up excuses. They basically suck at developing new habits.

Most people have really weak willpower.

But that’s not strange if you think about it. Willpower is just like anything else, it requires practice and exercise!

It’s like they say; use it or lose it.

Most people never train their willpower, so how could it possibly be strong?

This ties in with:

The Cumulative Effect of Momentum and Actions

This is extremely important.

Your actions today determine your actions tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that. This means that you affect your entire life starting RIGHT NOW. That’s rather profound.

If you do the same thing today that you usually do, how probable do you think it’ll be that you’ll do it again tomorrow?

Form the right kinds of habits, that way you’ll benefit even if you’re on unconscious autopilot, although it’s a lot better not to ever fall back into autopilot in the first place.

This is why you need to build positive momentum right now by doing something constructive like undertaking a new activity today and feeling good about it. That’ll make it much easier to repeat it tomorrow and increase the chances of it eventually becoming a habit!

Have you ever had a period where you felt like everything that you’d usually consider boring and arduous was taken care of with ease and without much thought? Everything you did this (let’s say week) went well and it was like you were on a roll!

But then it went away for what seemed to be no reason, and you went back to your “normal” self.

That’s positive momentum. Imagine that feeling all the time every single day for a year. Think of how much you’d be able to do with your time!

Most people either have neutral/no momentum or negative momentum.

Negative momentum is when it’s easier to take wrong action, to do something that you know is bad for you but you still do it because your brain has grown accustomed to it or it wants the easy stimulation. Most people are addicted to short-term stimulation such as eating fast-food, taking drugs, watching TV or surfing the Internet with no definite objective in mind. They need to break away from this right this second if they want to change.

Think of momentum like this:

Positive momentum<————————-No momentum————————–Negative momentum

Bill Gates for example might be somewhere far to the left, whereas a random alcoholic or drug addict is likely to be far to the right.

Positive or negative momentum comes automatically with the actions you take. If you’re far along either spectrum, it’s going to take a while for you to break out of the positive or negative momentum. You’ll have to accept that and patiently move forward, because those are the facts and you’re not going to be able to change or control them.

A person who spent his whole life doing cool and challenging things will have to do a lot of negative, unconstructive things and bad actions until he eventually loses all of his positive momentum and finds it mentally bothersome to do the challenging things again.

Vice versa, a person who’s never put in any effort and never challenged himself is going to have a hard time breaking out of that vicious cycle. He probably wouldn’t even be able to have enough willpower to focus on reading more than a few pages in a book before quitting, even if he really tried! He’s never had any first-hand experience to refer back to when he actually used his brain. It’s been his brain using him all his life.

So, to conclude:

If you could turn your life around in 1-6 months by implementing different positive habits every day, think of what you’d accomplish during a longer period of time!

What can you do with 3 years?

10 years?

50 years?

–          There’s no limit to what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it and desire it badly enough.

Extremely few people consistently commit to this kind of lifestyle for longer than a few days or weeks.

Do you think that maybe this could be connected to why most people don’t feel like they are entitled to the best things in life?

When you live a crappy life and have a crappy mind that controls you, you’ll feel like you deserve crap. It’s only logical.

After you’ve been spending your time doing all these cool things for a while and put in that extra effort that your brain originally doesn’t want you to (because it wants to remain in homeostasis and not use excess energy), your perceived self-worth increases. You hold yourself to a higher standard and think yourself more highly esteemed.

Remember to use the cumulative power of positive thoughts and building momentum. It’s just like compound interest.

Take care of business.


  1. Hi Ludvig, my fellow brazilians are loving your work. Even though I read your whole site its easy to forget about the earlier gems. This one i will read again, and seems an excellent candidate for a translation too.

    Cheers, Daniel Castro.

  2. Very cool post Ludvig. Funny enough it was posted at the time I started turning arounf my life from negative to positive moementum.
    After almost 3 years at that I feel finally being on the right track.

  3. anonymous says:

    Stephen king is an inspiration

  4. Siick post bro

  5. Heh this is true. I recently turned 30 and thought the same thing. However I am in a downward spiral pretty much. New years resolution = turn this stuff around…!

  6. This has got to be one of the most comprehensive articles about self development i have ever read on wordpress. Good job!

    Where should someone like me who just got into stuff like this start..¨!

    As long as I start doing productive things daily I KNOW it will add up in the long run, it just feels so hard to start.

    • You should start by putting some quality into everything you do and try to give it all you got… Hard work over time equals success…

  7. Thanks guys.

    Zach: I felt it was an important subject and wanted to write a large post about it, I try writing in a way that I feel would’ve helped a younger version of myself, and I enjoy reading one large and meaningful post as opposed to several small, less potent posts. Also, it requires a little more investment from the reader, making a small commitment to learn.

    You should definitely read Napoleon Hill – The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and it’s had a profound effect on my life. Read the old, long version.

  8. Great post. I will definitely read The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill when I get the time!

    I`ll probably have to reread this post several times before i can understand all of it though :P its a little bit much information in one reading session for me…


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