10 Traits Of A Successful Human Being

There’s a lot of talk about what you should do to become successful, but I would argue that it’s more about who you are that makes the biggest impact.  It’s the decisions we make on a daily basis, the habits we naturally form in our lives that determine the level of success we can achieve.  Who we are determines how we react to life, even when we’re not consciously in the act of ‘being successful’.

So here are 10 traits that I’ve seen as essential for obtaining lasting success in any endeavor.

1. An Independent Nature

If we rely too much on those around us for assistance and/or support we will be setting ourselves up for disappointment in the future.  This is not to say that we shouldn’t look to others for help when the time is right, but crafting our pursuits in such a way that requires the intervention of another is like handing over the keys and getting in the back seat.  Our friends and colleagues may help open the doors of opportunity, but it is our own responsibility to take the wheel.

2. Self Confidence

Every decision we make in life will have some kind of effect on future outcomes.  If our choices our filtered through fear and doubt, we can be assured of the life we are trying to avoid.  Trust your instincts and listen to your heart.  When you make a mistake, don’t look at it as reason for doubt, but instead, realize the opportunity for wisdom as you continue to push ahead.

3. Persistence

It’s been 5 years since I started my consulting business.  5 years of long hours and hard work.  Many times did I consider throwing in the towel when things didn’t go my way.  But every year that’s gone by, every road block I’ve pushed through, my business has grown as my resolve to make it a success has strengthened.  Persistence is not an optional trait for those who desire success, but an essential attitude that must be embraced!

4. A Big Imagination

When I think of some of the greatest ‘achievers’ in American history I see great innovators and people of purpose.  Names like Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Bill Gates come to mind.  From cars to cartoons to computers, their personalities were as diverse as their pursuits.  But one thing they share is the wonderful ability to see what’s not yet visible to the naked eye.  It was the imagination of Henry Ford that first painted the picture of a car in every garage, and Bill Gates, a computer in every home.  And it was Walt Disney who continues to inspire millions with the idea that ‘anything is possible’.

Those with inevitable success can see the unseen.  They’ve become successful in their minds before they laid their first brick.

5. A Thick Skin

I’m a people pleaser at heart and can be devastated by disappointment.  But as a necessity in business, I’ve grown a thick skin that allows me to deflect defeat while maintaining my focus.  Whether in corporate conflict or the liabilities of life, it is those with a strong armor who will maintain their momentum.

6. Clarity Of Self Understanding

If you don’t know who you are, you will never truly know what you’re capable of.  It is in our daily pursuits that we need accurate information on our strengths and weaknesses to succeed.  Because being blind sided by your own inability or missing out on your true talents will bring nothing more than failure and frustration.

7. Clarity Of Intent

Continuing with the analogy of Ford, Disney and Gates, we can see three individuals with very clear intentions.  No one ever questioned Ford’s intentions of filling the roads with his Model T’s.  Disney was never far from his pursuits of capturing our imaginations.  And even when no one believed in his dream of populating every home with a PC, there was never a question of Gates greatest goal.

8. Focus

There’s a lot of talk about multi-tasking and single tasking when it comes to getting things done.  But however you go about accomplishing your goals, focus must be at the core of your character.  Successful people have the knack for deflecting distraction and keeping their nose to the grindstone.  It is our drive that pushes us forward and keeps our momentum, but without focus we will just be moving for the sake of motion.

9. Optimism

Many of the traits mentioned thus far would not be possible without this key ingredient.  Without being able to constantly see the cup as half full, we would never be able to stay focused.  Being blind to that silver lining would paralyze our persistence.  So it is absolutely crucial that our minds maintain a positive outlook on life and never give in to the destruction of defeat.  Optimism is at the heart of a successful human being!

10. Passion

Success can be obtained by many, but maintaining the drive to reach our goals requires a passion for pursuit and a lust for life.  We can create a to-do list and set our goals with the best of them, but without this necessary habitual hunger, we will most certainly fail to bring to the table the results we imagined.

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This guest post was written by Eric Hamm. Eric writes about personal growth at his blog Motivate Thyself. You can subscribe to his RSS feed here.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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