I dedicate this article to my mother. Sitting with you in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon inspired me to write this post. In my eyes, you embody all the qualities of this elite group of successful people, and I wish to be more like you as I get older!
I have read many articles about what separates the successful person from the unsuccessful. I even saw someone post this very interesting picture on Instagram…
Indeed, we all must go sometime… but back to the topic at hand!
I haven’t read an article yet that I can identify with about well-rounded qualities successful people have!
It’s usually very contrived or vague.
Everyone is different. There isn’t one single person who possesses all of these qualities, I mean it is quite rare.
What I am pointing out in this article are characteristics that stand out in those I consider successful.
So here is my list of qualities that I really admire in such individuals!
1. Are Immensely Solution Oriented
Give this kind of person a problem and they are going to look at it from a position of empowerment. They ask themselves questions like:
- How can I best go about solving this issue?
- Who do I know who knows more than me that I can seek advice from?
- What resources/knowledge do I currently have to deal with this challenge?
- What do I have to sacrifice/change/cut back on in order to ease the pressure of this current issue?
Successful people look for possibilities!
They do not spend excessive amounts of time dwelling negatively on their problem, or talking to practically anything with ears that will listen to their “woe is me” story.
This is not to say that they do not worry, complain or get frustrated when a problem comes their way.
They just know that spending too much time focusing on the negative will not get them to the destination they want to reach, so they quickly switch gears to focusing on what they can actually do to get to the bottom of their challenge!
2. They Are Intensely Courageous!
Successful people are brave enough to walk into the arena of their aspirations and go for exactly what they want.
If they ask and are denied, then they simply look for another way to get it.
They stand against the Goliaths in front of them and are not afraid to take them down, even when they are scared to death!
I figured out that successful people are especially brave when it comes to a cause that truly matters to them.
If it does not stir their soul,
if it is not something that is greater than they are,
if it does not excite them enough to wake up every morning to do it, then they will not pursue it with the tenacity and courage that it takes.
3. They Don’t Find Instant Gratification Appealing (At All)!
Unlike many of us, successful people understand that in order to fulfill their purpose, they will have to make certain sacrifices.
They understand that they will have
- to give up their time,
- engage in daily activities that are sometimes tedious, slow and unexciting
- spend significantly less energy on things that give them idle pleasure
- Tighten up their resources and redirect them to what is geared towards their vision
Successful people understand what it is going to take to achieve the goals they want to achieve, and they are willing to give up whatever keeps them from attaining that vision they have set for themselves.
They understand that sacrifice is simply part of the game, and if they want to win, they have to play by the rules they set for themselves.
4. They Are Profoundly Self-Aware
If you have conversations with several successful individuals you will find a common thread that runs through them, and that is, at a significantly young age, they already made deep-seated decisions about what they did and did not want.
Self-awareness, in my opinion, decides your destiny.
You can stumble through life reacting to every strong emotion, every stumbling block, every mistake or failure and allow those feelings and experiences to become your identity.
Individuals who are self-aware understand that they have weaknesses and flaws.
They know that the environment they start from is not ideal, and that the people who surround them at the beginning of their journey are not who they wish to move through their life with…
They understand that there is something within them that they must achieve, and they will do whatever is necessary to achieve it.
I still do not know where this acute sense of self-awareness comes from…
I do not understand why two brothers, for example, come from the same family that is controlled by a wildly abusive father who is an alcoholic.
One son decides as a boy, to never follow his father’s footsteps because he has seen the destructive results, throws himself firmly into his goals and vision and makes a great success of himself as an adult, while his brother, ends up following the exact path their father did, and replicates his father’s characteristics and deeds, almost verbatim.
Knowing not only who you are but building an unshakable belief that what you can do, you can achieve, to me, is the epitome of self-awareness, and it is guaranteed that every successful person has this esteemed quality.
5. They Have A High Threshold For Pain
Again, if you would like to, find out about any successful person who has achieved a high level of success and you will discover their stories have a lot of pain and struggle, detailing how long it took for them to get to the level they desired, and the insurmountable circumstances they had to face:
Some took 10, 15, even 20 years to reach the peak of the mountain they chose to climb.
They will tell you stories about
- being broke for years and years
- going through one significant failure after another
- being away from their families for painfully long stretches of time to work on their goals
- feeling completely alone because nobody believed in them but themselves
- days that they refused to wake up in the morning because they had lost hope, but somehow, finding the strength to keep going
- the amount of patience they had to cultivate, even when what they were working on did not look like it was going to become much of anything!
Their examples demonstrate why people want to be successful, but are not prepared to go through the pain of it.
Successful people understand that the pain is temporary, and it is worth the struggle now, to get to their destiny later.
NB: Most importantly, they are actually seeing that the pain and failure is building their character and resolve, and this is why they choose to stick through it because the pressure is turning them into masters of their craft!
Interestingly, when it comes to what successful people want to achieve, they throw away their ego!
Not one of them got to where they wanted without asking for help.
When this help is in the form of advice, namely from those they respect and admire, they are always open to constructive criticism.
They do not shy away from what they know they are doing wrong, because they understand that it is not an attack on their personality,
…and this is where many of us go wrong!
Most of us have a very fixed mindset.
Think about it: for every person in your family or social circle you know you can give honest and blunt advice, there are 10 others who simply refuse to accept correction! Or you may be this kind of person… I know there are times I am just like this!
We don’t want to get hurt,
We don’t want to look stupid or feel embarrassed,
We don’t want to sit with discomfort and pain for too long
On the other hand, successful people may feel these same feelings, but what matters more to them is the value of the information they are receiving and how it will improve their circumstances!
7. They Think From A Space Of Abundance
Successful individuals think, speak and act from a completely different perspective from the unsuccessful.
I was once invited to a high profile wedding with an understandably small guest list.
As the wedding ceremony moved to the afternoon reception, I sat at a table where two Kenyan billionaires happened to be. As the time passed, I became increasingly curious about what they were talking about… “How do billionaires talk?” I asked myself, as though they were extraterrestrial beings!
But I quietly listened to their conversation, and I discovered that billionaires talk BIG! I mean gigantic! They speak about huge ideas, their hopes for the future, the projects they are involved in and the absolute faith they have in their endeavours!
My eavesdropping didn’t last long, as the proceedings of the wedding (speeches, MC’ing and all) began, but I must admit, those few minutes left me in absolute awe!!
It reminded me of the great quote by Eleanor Roosevelt,
“Great minds discuss ideas,
Average minds discuss events,
Small minds discuss people.”
Now I am not insinuating that we must all aspire to be billionaires or to think like they do, but there is something to be said about what successful people choose to focus their energy on.
An abundance mindset is a mindset that focuses on the good. An abundance mindset focuses on growth
An abundance mindset does not place focus on what is lacking, but at what is possible.
An abundance mindset focuses on the opportunities, not on the roadblocks.
This is the kind of mindset that successful individuals have that many lack as we run our day to day activities in life.
(And no, you do not have to be a billionaire to have an abundance mindset!!)
8. They Hold Themselves In Very High Regard
Successful people believe completely in themselves and their ability to fulfil whatever they set their minds to.
– They stand behind the decisions they make, no matter how massive or daunting
– They trust themselves. They do not allow overwhelming doubt to get in the way of what they want to accomplish.
–They speak with unshakable confidence in themselves and their ideas. A lot of the time this is perceived as arrogance or being offensive, but in truth, they have very strong conviction and it will not easily be swayed.
– They only associate with others who hold themselves in high regard. Birds of a feather flock together and naturally, they liken themselves with those they feel are cut from the same cloth as they are.
9. They Possess Uncompromising Self Discipline and Focus
Successful people do not compromise on their daily schedule. They set time for what they need to do and get it done!
They are consistent with their routine, no matter how boring it may seem.
They dedicate themselves to a craft they want to perfect, a goal they want to reach, or a promise they have vowed they will fulfil.
I truly believe that this kind of discipline and focus comes from an idea that they believe is not only worth pursuing, but is worth trading their lives for, and this is why they “go so hard”!
10. They Are Guided Greatly By Their Intuition ( Gut Instinct)
Successful people follow their instincts religiously!
Every single one that I have talked to, read about, watched a video about or listened to in an interview have all said that they have made the most successful and most significant decisions by listening to their intuition and following exactly what it tells them.
Some say it comes from God,
others say it comes from the universe,
many say it is a voice inside them that directs them like an inner compass
others have no clue where this energy or voice originates!
I believe we all have this very same intuition and gut instinct, but there are many of us who allow it to be drowned out by self-doubt, limiting beliefs, the constant need to seek advice and be validated by others, so much so that our own mechanism of genius is simply dimmed out.
11. They Are Very Generous and Philanthropic
Whether successful people understand this or not, the law of giving and receiving is very real.
Truly successful people in my eyes are not hoarders.
They are happy to share their information
They are happy to share their resources
But they are also very particular about who they choose to give it to and why they are giving.
Whether they go as big as starting their own foundation to give to those they feel are deserving, or give to close friends, family members or anonymously, they feel compelled to help society in one way or another.