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Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  751 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Decades of research on achievement suggests people at the top of their game tend to reach their goals because of what they do-not because of who they are. In this short, provocative, and useful HBR Single, motivational psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson translates the psychological secrets of these winning human beings for your use. Halvorson expands on her immensely popul ...more
ebook, 40 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published October 1st 2011)
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Carolina Esteves de Andrade
I just read this book, and it is totally relevant if you are setting your goals and want to create good habits,leave the bad ones and get motivated. The book was written by Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD. The book it’s straight to the point, a fast read (106 pages) but with great quality and content. It gave me some really good insights.

On top of that, it comes in a great pocket book format so you can have it nearby when you need some help or to boost your motivation and get back on track.

On 9 Thing
Leo Polovets
Jul 06, 2012 Leo Polovets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books fail to reach their potential to be great because they are too long. Their content is good, but it is either spread out or repeated in order to make the book longer. This is especially true for most personal development books. Nine Things Successful People Do is great because it’s so short. The ideas are concise and important (like #4, “Be a Realistic Optimist” and #6, “Have Grit”), and the book doesn’t waste a lot of time trying to pad its own length. Each section contains a short su ...more
Dec 24, 2011 AilsaMaire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We end up with lots of pots on the stove, but nothing is ever ready to eat." (p. 17) Wow, does this sentence describe modern life! Enjoyed this very short, direct, and practical book.
Dec 31, 2011 Ricardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of self improvement books. The difference Of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently is that this one is based in research. I got the impression that it was more like an esay that a simple pocket book on sale. Good Book.
Nov 23, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those needing motivation and self-help
This little book is enough to help someone get started on improving their habits. The habits that a book like this cover are tough ones so it is best to read a book like this after reading some heavier material about how to change habits. This is just a refresher for those near the end of their success strengthening program.

If you are looking for a book that will put into a rock solid plan what this book talks about then you will want to sit down and study The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Simón E.
Jul 18, 2015 Simón E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good points: Short. No cruft. Straight to the point. The nine strategies are common sense, but I find it convenient to have them expressed clearly in writing.

Bad points: the strategies are common sense.
Aug 03, 2016 Renato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding, so much I regularly refer to it when reviewing my performance at work and life in general.
Mark Love

The thing these days is to spend a fair amount of time listing your credentials and referring to them often—except now, you write a really short book, with very short chapters, etc. I suppose if most of your reading happens on blogs and Twitter, this is nice, but, for me, it fails to persuade.

If the information in here is actually new to you, I suppose the tight format will help you remember and use it. I find it unlikely much of anything will be new to anyone who has read even one business/se
Sep 20, 2016 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing
Amazing! This book provided sensible habits that work.
Lisa Biskup
This book offers a short summary of some of the things that successful people do without too many references to research or in-depth stories. I was okay with that, since I have already read so many books that go into these ideas in much more detail.

The main ideas are pretty simple and appear for work for many people.
1. Get specific about your goal.
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go.
4. Be a realistic optimist.
5. Focus on getting better, rather
Vaishali Joglekar
A compilation of Dr. Halvorson's research on super-achievers.

The list:
1. Get specific
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go
4. Be a realistic optimist
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
6. Have grit
7. Build your willpower muscle
8. Don’t tempt fate
9. Focus on what you will do, not on what you won’t do

Other pointers:
* What will success look like? How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?

* Believing what you do is interesting and inh
Jun 11, 2015 Kitchener rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise, useful summation of the most significant findings in the "Science of Success" literature. It relies on simple practical strategies backed up by actual studies, not hundreds of pages of fluffy feel-good anecdotes. Packs the most bang for your Self-Help buck.

Its notions of "Successful People" stray from most books/articles that focus on success. This is not just about how to make more money, get a promotion, become for famous, etc. It can be for help formulating strategies to achieve an
Jul 26, 2015 Istvan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a very good summary for Halvorson's other book "Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals"; almost everything is here from there, destilled into a short essence of the topic. I would recommend reading Succeed first.
Jan 09, 2015 Majeeda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a longer book by the same author that I think would be great for those interested in the research behind getting things done but this shorter book I can recommend if you want to improve, set goals and so on.
Chris Mccarty
Feb 15, 2013 Chris Mccarty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the chapter about grit, and also the tactic to set get better goals vs be good goals.
Mihai Pintilie
1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, fast read. Kindle quotes:

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for thirty minutes before work”). Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300 percent. - Read more at location 74

It’s called if-then planning, and it is a
Elina Ishchenko
Mar 15, 2014 Elina Ishchenko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Being successful is not about winning the DNA lottery; it’s about reaching goals. It’s about making smart choices, using the right strategies, and taking action.»

Here you'll find nine useful tactics successful people do to reach their goals. There is no revolutionary ideas in here, but productivity tips and useful habits, which are straightforward and easy to use. Quite short book, takes a couple of hours to read, but very clear and to the point. I like it!
Adriano Ariganello
The ninth tip almost feels counter to the previous eight. For each of the nine steps, there seems to be more ideas of what not to do than what you can put into action.

That's not to say there isn't actionable steps. There are the nine you are promised by the title and there are multiple actionable steps for each. Nothing ground-breaking, but well thought-out and actionable ideas.
Chung Chin
In this simple book by Heidi Grant Halvorson, the author explores nine things that successful people do,"that according to decades of research, have the biggest impact on performance."

I gave it three stars because it's not a groundbreaking book. You can find a brief version of this book here -

This book basically delves slightly more deeper into each of the nine things listed in the article. If you have read books by Anthony Robbins, you will find some of
Frank Calberg
Mar 31, 2013 Frank Calberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book, I learned, for example, that if you want to change something you do, a useful technique can be to ask what you will do instead. In this regard, it can be helpful to use the words "if" and "then". As an example, try asking yourself this: “If I feel _______, then I will _______." The key to change is your focus on what you will do.

Another part of the book that I bookmarked as I was reading the book was the part about being a realistic optimist. Reading this part, I learned, for
Jul 13, 2015 Shalina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was simple and quick - and makes goal setting seem that way, as compared to thicker self-help books. I eagerly took notes while reading it, and found myself making better habits and becoming more aware of my negative ones. I totally recommend it to any busy person out there who wants to enjoy the happiness resulting from success!
Aaron Records
Jun 05, 2014 Aaron Records rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked how short and succinct this motivational book was. Some of the other books like this I've read are much longer but seem to say the same thing. It is nice to have it concentrated into a short book that is easy to refer to in the future. I'll be keeping this little red book around like a Chinese communist keeps Mao's Little Red Book.
Small book that quickly outlines 9 things that successful people do...quick read with simple tasks/ideas that you can incorporate into your day. There are notes of the research used to write this and I found the data I wanted to clarify the points given. But the book as a whole, leaves me wanting more...
Mar 07, 2014 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really this book, because it's compact and explains how you can replace your bad behaviour with good behaviour. Totally recommend this book to people who want to reach goals, but need some little help.
Mahmoud Ghoz
The book is mainly talking about how to plan your goals and how to reach these goals. The title is deceiving some how as I thought it will talk about real examples from a well known successful personal. The book still worth listening to.
Sep 06, 2015 Hanan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple steps that can change our way of planning and pursuing our goals. Excellent book that has the digest of researchs in less than 100 pages, you can simply read it in one day
Kyle Kernan
Jan 07, 2016 Kyle Kernan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A concise, profound and instantly comprehendible tool anyone could use to strengthen one's perception of goal-setting and managing actions towards meeting goals.
Mohamed Yahia
The idea behind the book is pretty awesome, but the way which the writer choose to work with is very bad.

Sometimes you will feel that he wanna write more lines.
Nov 16, 2014 Annasnova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick yet powerful read. I think I'll keep this one close at hand so I can browse through the suggestions and strategies outlined every time I want to set a goal or am struggling with one.
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Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson is a social psychologist who researches, writes, and speaks about the science of motivation. She is the Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School, and author of the best-selling books:

Succeed: How We Can All Reach Our Goals, Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing The World for Success and
More about Heidi Grant Halvorson...

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