Everyone has their own definition of success. Some people find when they have reached a certain number in their bank account they are successful. Others find when they have made an impact on a certain community. Others find success in personal freedom- whether that be through speech, financial, or romance.
While the success can look different for each individual and different measurement tools can be used to calculate the level of success; when carefully examined, all successful people share a similar DNA. They operate and behave in certain ways. You can look into their eyes and see both the roar of a lion and the humility of a monk.
Entertain your curiosity and match the characteristics to that of your own life. I’d bet you share a handful (if not all or most) of the characteristics below.
They are optimistic in themselves and the world.
If you don’t believe in yourself first, who will?
All the successful people have dreams.
Perhaps it’s to get a personal computer into everyone’s home. Maybe it’s to build and manufacture an economical and emission-less automobile for the masses (and send one into outer space). Maybe it’s to one day win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The successful person believes they can do it before all else.
They don’t just stop at the dream.
Dreaming is fun.
Dreaming is contagious.
Dreaming is stifling.
We all have dreams.
The successful person doesn’t just stop at the dream. Maybe they bring a few people into their vision and test the idea out in the real world. Before too long, however, the successful person rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.
They take responsibility.
The successful person understands that they live and die by the sword.
They may have built a successful endeavor and brought others into the fold. That endeavor may have crumbled.
They don’t blame others or ridicule. They accept the reality of what unfolds. They lead the charge forward.
They optimize their time.
The idea of spontaneous artistic creation is just a myth. The successful person organizes their day well.
Think about the hundreds of paintings of Picasso. The thousands of prototypes of Edison.
They understood that greatness isn’t born overnight. They understood that the time of the day, and how they regulate that time, can be a direct contingency on their success.
They are competitive.
Whether within the market or simply with themselves. The successful person isn’t okay being mediocre.
They need to compete.
They may see an ideal, future self that they compete with. They may have people within the marketplace they want to be better than. Either way, they aren’t satisfied with losing or the loser’s mentality.
They strive for authenticity.
The successful person looks to retain authenticity in many aspects of their life. Whether it be her product or service or the way she works with her network.
We all know the story of the deceitful person who may build a card-stacked empire only to have it crumble around them.
They seek and accept feedback.
The ego likes to play tricks on people. The ego tends to take control of the behaviors of the unsuccessful person.
Perhaps the product isn’t selling because it isn’t what your customer wants. The successful person accepts that feedback and pivots when necessary.
They understand that what got them “here” won’t get them “there.”
The successful person is always is always moving forward. Maybe there were some big waves made by their impact in the beginning.
Perhaps that won’t take them down the path of their next venture. The successful person is always pivoting when necessary.
They discount the praise of others.
The successful person isn’t taken by the whim of others’ praise- especially when in an elevated position.
They always let their North Star (their guiding principles and values) guide them, not the crowd.
They reward themselves.
The successful person is a hustler.
They will get the work done, especially when it’s needed. They understand there are moments when they need to take a step back and relax. Whether through a quick meditation, a workout or a nice meal they will seek a moment of tranquility and share it with themselves.
They are meticulous with details.
This goes along with the earlier point of putting in the work over dreaming.
A dream is broad and overarching.
When the work needed for the endeavor starts, proper details are needed in order to fulfill the various aspects of the dream.
They aren’t defined by their past failures.
Whether the person dropped out of school, they were fired over and over, they were left by a lover or their business failed, the successful person understands that there is never a “perfect success.”
It’s like happiness; happiness isn’t an end goal.
You don’t reach happiness and then everything is copasetic. You work towards happiness just like you work towards success.
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