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Effective men do daily what average men do occasionally.

I enjoy reading biographies of great men. Doing so gives me insight into some of the brightest, most creative and successful men who have lived. Some of these men lived long ago, yet their life stories become lessons applicable for today. Other men are still living and willingly giving us the secrets to their achievements.

Not only do we see their genius on display, but we often learn how the traumas of their youth motivated them. These men often share their failures in business and finance, even marriage and family, and provide key insights into overcoming setbacks.

You can gain wisdom through a mentor or through pain.

I suggest you choose mentors. Through the mentorship these biographies of great men have afforded me, I have discovered seven habits of effective men:

1. Effective men steward their time. Most effective men start their work at the same time each day. Most have a reflexive system of managing their routine. For example, Nick Saban, the very effective football coach, has mastered the proficient use of his time. Read this article to see what I mean.

2. Effective men are constant learners. The greatest habit I ever developed in my life is reading one chapter of Proverbs each day. I learned this from the very effective Zig Ziglar. He valued it so much that he created an audio version for us. (Available here.)

3. Effective men speak positively. The science of positive attitudes and speech confirms it has incredible results on our health, wealth and longevity. Yet some men haven’t mastered this simple trait. I struggled with a speech impediment as a child, so speaking is very important to me. Words matter, and for me to be effective I must give careful consideration to what I am saying and how I say it. Interestingly, Jesus actually is a great example of this when He said, “These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

4. Effective men focus on details. Small things matter, and small things overlooked are often the destroyer of greater things. Focusing on the details makes all the difference. I have known very gifted men who were sloppy in the details. Their success was constantly undermined by their lack of attention to detail. You cannot expect an excellent life with 80 percent effort.

5. Effective men pray. The greatest habit of a man is to embrace the isolation of prayer. God relates to men in the daily commute. As you’re going to work, pray about the challenges that you are facing—the finances, the sales, your productivity. As you leave work, pray about your home, for your wife and over your children. I am going to quote an unlikely source for this point: “I’m a busy guy, but I set aside quiet time every morning and every evening to keep my equilibrium centered on my own path” (Donald Trump).

6. Effective men exercise. The physical body is a machine—a remarkable machine—that houses who we are. We must invest in it. We must care for it. It won’t last forever, but it is vital for now. I continue to resist the effects that travel and a busy schedule have on my body. I want to be in the best physical health I can be in my 50s. Yes, it is hard, but if I am going to accomplish my purpose in life, I need to be strong for another 30 years.

7. Effective men rest. God established it, even commanded it. It is as vital for your effectiveness as breathing—it is called rest. Fatigue is the greatest threat to your future. When you are tired, you let your guard down in decision-making. When you are tired, you are not focused on details, you do not control your words and may say things you will regret. When you are tired, you are not creative. When you are tired, you are vulnerable to a spiritual attack. Never make a permanent decision when you are tired.

So how about it, men? What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned? What effective habits have you noticed in other successful men? What effective habits do you need to work on?

Share a statement with us—you will encourage other men.

For the original article, visit FivestarMan was founded in 2008 by Neil KennedyKennedy has passionately promoted God’s Word for 25-plus years of ministry. He is known for practically applying biblical principles that elevate people to a new level of living. As a business, church, ministry and life consultant, Kennedy has helped others strategize the necessary steps to reach their full potential.

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