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The 9 Traits of Successful People

Successful people are like birds in a flock. They often possess like qualities and attributes. Here are 9 traits I have observed in successful people. If you want to be a success, then start implementing some of these habits in your own life. Work at them until they become a habit. After all, the only difference between a successful individual and one who is not is that a successful person has made it a habit of doing things that lead towards success.

Decide, Really Decide, What You Want

First of all, decide—really decide—what it is that you want. Write it down. By writing it down, you force yourself to state in clear and specific terms your wants as well as start formulating the steps to get there. But what does it mean to really decide? You already know. There are the decisions you make that you relinquish after a few weeks. Then, there are the ones that truly matter to you. You feel in your gut and know that you will chase after them, no matter what the cost. It’s the same feeling you had when you decided—really decided—to embark on an exercise program to gain 10 pounds of muscle in 12 months and stick with it. A year and a half later, you are still hitting the gym at least 3 times a week.

When you really decide on something, you know you are now on the road to great things. You are committed. You will persist and persevere in your decision towards the attainment of your goals.

Practice Daily Gratitude

Successful people also practice gratitude daily and really mean it. It could be something as simple as hearing your favorite song on the radio, having good health, and saying “hi” to a friend. By reframing your thoughts to what you already have, you are changing your mindset so that you are more open to receiving. Oftentimes, in the pursuit of our goals we become blinded to the little steps that make up the bigger picture. By practicing gratitude, we learn to appreciate the little things and learn how to receive.

Start your day by listing 10 things for which you are grateful. Then, sit there quietly for 5 minutes and ask the Universe for guidance. The latter is a form of meditation in which you learn to quiet your mind and the noise of other people’s opinions, learning over time to listen to yourself and to what you really want.

Do Things That Are Unpleasant

Successful people do things that normal people do not like to do because they know that they have to do them as part of the plan. They know that it is a necessary part of being successful. This could run the gamut from having to take public speaking classes in order to be a more effective orator, learning to improve one’s sense of fashion through a make-over, and spending the time after work to learn something for the job rather than sit in front of the television. This could also be boring, tedious tasks, such as filling and filing paperwork, or performing some other mind-numbing and repetitive task.

Go After Big Rather Than Mediocre Goals

The majority of people set goals that they already know how to accomplish. There is no glory, joy, or sense of accomplishment in this. Successful people set goals that are much greater than themselves and that they may not necessarily know how to accomplish. It is in putting themselves outside their comfort zones that the fulfillment their goals lead to real growth. That growth prepares them for the next great challenge. They go on to dream even bigger dreams as a result of that experience.

They also realize that they may fail many, many, many times before achieving their goals. So, they reframe failures as just learning experiences. Think about it this way: When you are doing something that you are truly passionate about and enjoy wholeheartedly, do you think of every mistake and failure as a mistake and failure? Do you give up after a few times or keep hacking at it until you get it? If you are truly passionate, then you will just think of them as learning experiences. You will also plow through hundreds of mistakes, taking note of what does not work and learning from those mistakes, gleaning insight into the process, and eventually finding what does work.

Passion, coupled with limitless persistence and perseverance, pays dividends.

They Rarely Change Their Minds

Once a successful person makes a decision, he rarely changes his mind. He often sticks with it until the very end, when success is in their grasp. In line with this, they have already begun with the end in mind. They know what the finish line looks like. They visualize having already been there and done that as a means to motivate themselves. The emotional component of having finally made it, even though they have not yet, provides the impetus and the drive.

They may hit roadblocks or detours along the way, but they work progressively towards the attainment of their goals.

Freedom From the Victim Mentality

They know that they are where they are because of their past actions, or lack thereof. Instead of blaming other people for their current situation or station in life, they need only look in a mirror and realize the greatest offender is looking right back at them.

By blaming others, successful people know that they take power from the one person that can do something about the situation: themselves. Blaming others often leaves the poor victim powerless. People play the victim because they love to wallow in self-pity and elicit the sympathy of others. They can also avoid taking action, in doing so avoid the agony of likely defeat.

In taking accountability, successful people possess the initiative to work towards what they really want. Most people are afraid to take action because they might get what they don’t want. The sad part is oftentimes they do get what they don’t want.

Have Successful Friends

If you want to know where you will be going in life, you need only look at your five closest friends. We are that with which we choose to associate ourselves. When Oprah Winfrey decided to lose weight, she faced criticism from her friends who asked why she would waste her time on such a pointless endeavor when she was fine the way she was. In other words, her friends refused to change for the better. So, Winfrey found new friends commensurate with her goals.

When you have a picture of what you want to become, you will attract the right people into your life.

Constantly Read Self-Improvement Books

Successful people constantly have their noses in self-improvement books. They read voraciously and their quest for new information never ceases. They also know that they have to take action on what they read or it just becomes intellectual stimulation. They know that fundamentally, man becomes what he thinks about. Reading numerous books is just approaching this idea from numerous angles until something clicks with them.


Another frequent habit of successful people is that they have habituated ways of being. They already know what they want by deciding. They begin with the end in mind. They hold that picture in their minds and work ceaselessly towards it. In parallel, they constantly visualize their lives and live in their minds as if they already have what they are chasing after. Doing so frees your mind and opens it up to new ideas and viewpoints that could very well help you to achieve your goal. The emotional component of the visualization exercise also keeps you grounded so that you work tirelessly towards your goal.

Decide and Work Towards Success

So if you want to get going on your own road to success, start implementing these 9 traits of successful people. Start with one and work at it until it becomes a habit. Remember what Earl Nightingale said. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

Benson Wong lived in darkness for most of his life, until only just recently. Once he started viewing the world through a different set of lenses, the light was blinding. He enjoys sharing what he has learned with the rest of the world. We all have our own journeys, but in the end we are uniquely the same. Visit today for articles such as the one you just read. And while you are there, get your free eBook, 14 Ways to Boost Your Confidence!