“Warren Buffett is successful for investing and building long-term businesses. Bill Gates is successful for creating a software empire that has changed the way we use computers. Gandhi was successful for leading India into independence from the British.
Success comes in many ways and forms but what’s interesting is that most successful people have very similar qualities.
When I read lists such as this one, I usually want to see how I stack up against it. I have to admit that it feels good to see qualities of successful people that I recognize in myself and for the qualities that I don’t have, lists like these tell me what I need to work on.
I have enjoyed and benefited much from these types of lists and that’s why I decided to organize all my research, observations and experience and compile this comprehensive list.
If you want to achieve your life’s dream and be wildly successful, you need to model yourself after people who are living their dream. The more qualities you have in common, the higher your chances for being wildly successful.
We all start out in life as being quite ordinary and many remain that way. The few who have become extraordinary have these qualities (no specific order):
1. Definite Aim, Vision and Purpose – Successful people constantly seek clarity in their lives. They know what they want and they follow their own dream. Vague desires and beliefs lead to vague outcomes. It is this sense of direction that gives them the staying power to stick to their goals and achieve their dreams.
2. Expertise and Excellence – No matter what they pursue, they become the best in their field. There is no job too small and successful people strive for excellence. They pursue mastery and understand that money is a by-product of the value they offer.
3. Focused – People who experience success know how to concentrate. They realize that they cannot do everything and they focus on the activities that will give them the highest return on the goals they want to achieve. They don’t believe in the hype of multi-tasking and they know that the fastest way to finish your to-do’s is doing them one at a time.
4. Positive Attitude and Perseverance – Extraordinary people have realistic optimism. Realistic because they take action and optimistic because no matter what the result may be, they believe their success is inevitable. They believe that like a child learning to walk, they need to take action first and then modify the action according to the feedback that they get. This positive attitude allows them to persevere and be resilient when things don’t go their way.
5. Flexible – One misconception that ordinary people have about persevering is staying the course no matter what. This is true only if the reason for pursuing your goal is still valid. Most successful people became successful doing something different from what they initially intended to do (i.e. Steve Jobs started with computers, went into the animation and really made his comeback with the iPod). This is normal because the world is always changing and they know a lot more now than did when they started. Successful people know that if their reasons for doing what they are doing changes, there is no point to continue.
6. Masters of Time – Successful people are successful because they get a lot done. The only way to do that is by making the most out of the allotted 24 hours we all get. Extraordinary people value their time and see the direct connection between how they spend their time and their well-being. They are usually always on time and “train” those that deal with them to respect their schedule by implementing strict start and end times for meetings.
7. Strong Communicators – People who can communicate effectively excel in life. Strong communicators understand that just because people speak English (or the dominant language in your country), it does not mean they understand each other. What makes them effective is that they are clear about and sensitive to the outcome they want to get from their communication and are flexible in their method of communication to achieve their outcome. They are experts at building rapport and separate what is being said from the meaning they put into what is being said.
8. Brave – We’ve all heard the phrase “No risk. No reward.” but how many of us really take the risk necessary to get the reward we want? Not many but for those who do, they are the ones who make it and become successful. Successful people have the courage to begin and the courage to continue. They are willing to not only bet but go “all in” on themselves. They are not afraid to burn bridges if it means moving forward.