7 things ‘Happy Successful People Do Differently’

Popular bloggers behind Marc and Angel Hack Life (and now life coaches) have published a book of tips and tricks about success, productivity, and happiness.

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Today, Marc and Angel Chernoff are professional life coaches and run a popular website, Marc and Angel Hack Life, about positive thinking, productivity, and finding happiness and success.

Today, their book “1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently” will be published by Tarcher Perigree. It’s chockful of, yes, over a thousand tips and tricks about how to deal with anger, frustration in addition to how to find joy, increase productivity, and generally become the best version of yourself. It’s an update of a self-published book they did six or so years ago, with over a third new content, Marc Chernoff told Ladders.

“All of the tips and advice came from personal experience,” he said. “We started our blog 12 years ago, out of personal necessity.” In their late 20s, they both experienced devastating loss within a few weeks of each other – Angel lost her older brother to suicide, and one of their mutual best friends passed away. Then Angel, the breadwinner among them, lost her job, and they were thrown into financial insecurity.


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“We had never dealt with grief or overcoming loss, or dealing with true struggle,” said Marc. “We hadn’t really invested in personal development at all because things were going reasonably well. So we ended up starting the blog as an outlet, sort of a personal accountability journal for us. They saw therapists, they read up on self-help gurus, “trying to figure out, What were the tools, tips – basically, the affirmations it was going to take to get us through this, keep the right thoughts and ideas at the top of our minds so [during] those hardest moments we could figure out how to push through.”

Marc stressed that they wanted to cope in healthy ways, rather than through alcohol or binge-watching TV. All the ideas they came up with made it into the blog, which became a hit, and eventually, the book. Today, the Chernoffs have transitioned into life-coaching.

The book isn’t meant to be read straight through, but piecemeal.

“I think the [it’s] for you to be able to dive in and out of it as needed,” Angel told Ladders. “You can get whatever you’re looking for if you have five, ten minutes to check in… and let it give you that boost of inspiration.”

Below is an excerpt from “1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently”:

1. Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.

Every day is a new day to learn, grow, develop your strengths, heal yourself from past regrets, and move forward. It is never too late to switch gears and change things that are not working in your life. Using today wisely will always help you create a more positive tomorrow.

2. Figure out what you really want.

You’ll be running on a hamster wheel forever if you never decide where you want to go. Some of us were born to be musicians, or poets, or entrepreneurs. Don’t just quit because you didn’t get it right on your first shot. And don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires. Follow your intuition and make a decision to never give up on who you are capable of becoming.

3. Find gratitude around difficult people.

We expect people to treat us kindly, fairly, and respectfully. But the reality is some people won’t. They will lose their tempers or act foolishly, regardless of how we treat them. This must be accepted.

Don’t lower your standards, but do remind yourself that removing your expectations of others – especially those who are being difficult – is the best way to avoid being disappointed by them.

When you’re forced to deal with a difficult person, you can be grateful for having other people in your life who are far less difficult. You can be grateful for having a way to practice being better at patience, communication, and tempering your expectations. You can think of this person as a teacher who is inadvertently helping you to grow stronger as a person. And, at the very least, you can be grateful for them because they serve as a great reminder of how not to be.

4. One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing to walk away.

If you catch yourself in a cycle of trying to change someone, or defending yourself against someone who is trying to change you, walk away. But if you are pursuing a dream, take another step. And don’t forget that sometimes this step will involve modifying your dream or planning a new one – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.

5. Break down goals into realistic, high-impact tasks

Take your primary goal and divide it into smaller and smaller chunks until you have a list of realistic tasks, each of which can be accomplished in a few hours or less. Then work on the next unfinished, available task that will have the greatest impact at the current time. And each of these smaller goals is supported by even more granular sub-goals and daily tasks. It is these small daily tasks that, over time, drive larger achievement.

6. Create and observe a “to-don’t” list

A “to-don’t” list is a list of things not to do. It might seem amusing, but it’s an incredibly useful tool for keeping track of unproductive habits, like checking Facebook and Twitter, randomly browsing news websites, and so on. Create one and post it in your workspace where you can see it.

7. Start noticing and living in the present

Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the “here and now” and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.