We all know someone who is successful in a particular field of life. We might not know them personally, but given that lots of successful people are relatively famous, we tend to hear from them a lot and we might think that we do.
Think about your favorite sports athlete, TV presenter, or movie star, or maybe even your preferred book author. Does he have a public persona? Most likely they do! This is the person that we see either on TV or gossip magazines, but that’s not necessarily the real person.
What often happens, is that people want to emulate them, put them high on pedestals and, obviously, want to be like them. The problem though, is that what most of the time gets copied, is their ‘external appearance‘, their public persona.
But, if you honestly want to be like your idols, you have to take a deeper look. You need to discover what is what drove them to become successful. In reality, you should forget the public persona and do your utmost to discover the real person behind the name.
There are several things that successful people have in common. It doesn’t matter if they are famous, as in movie star famous, or just like the millionaire next door that nobody knows. Their personalities, specially when they’re self made, have several traits in common.
Let’s take a look at 16 of them and see why they work and what’s worth imitating, if we want to be successful ourselves:
- Have a sense of Gratitude – To understand this better, let’s take a look at what unsuccessful people do. They, for instance, believe that everybody OWES them something and act from that standpoint. Wouldn’t that be a repealing quality you don’t want to emulate? Of course it is!On the other hand, feeling gratitude and showing it, makes you attractive. And success goes hand in had with attractiveness.
- Forgive – To forgive is to let go, to let go of a huge amount of stress that DEMANDS energy from the person. It sounds weird but, in most cases, the ‘forgiver‘ benefits more from forgiving than the person being forgiven. Stop for a second and think about it. If you keep a grudge, you’re the one turning around the ‘offense’ in your head. Seeing it from all different perspectives and wondering how was it possible that the other person did that to YOU.
It might be even, that the offender doesn’t even know he offended you. Under these circumstances, who is the only one suffering and keeping in a lot of stress? You! Just let it go and use the save energy for a better purpose. That’s what successful people understand and why the are prone to forgive. Something worth imitating!
- Give others credit for their victories – A successful person understands clearly, that he cannot do everything. It’s also clear in his mind that he needs, no, he requires the help of others, if he really wants to succeed.
How does he make himself attractive to others? One way is by giving others credit for their victories, and they are sincere about it. We all like to be acknowledged and when others do that consistently, we won’t be able to help it, we will like that person. We will be willing to help that person whenever we can. Results? That persons chances of success increase exponentially when others are willing to help in the process!
Successful people understand this!
- Accept responsibility for their failures – This is similar to the previous one, only seen from a different perspective.
If you fail at something, do you immediately look for somebody to blame? If you do that regularly, believe me, it goes against your chances of success.People hate the person who constantly blame others and will certainly not provide any help willingly. Not a good way to make it to the top.On the other hand, successful people take responsibility for their failures and find a way to make it right. Which, once again, results in earning the respect of their peers. An asset that’s very valuable in their quest for success. Keep that in mind the next time something doesn’t go your way and you feel the urge to blame somebody.
- Keep a Journal – Tony Robbins always says that “a life worth living, is a life worth recording”.
Why is a journal important? It’s a record of your past, how you thought, what your goals were, who you wanted to be and, what’s better, it permits you to go back and see, in a very tangible way, how much you’ve advanced in your life.
Successful people recognize the value in that. Not only it makes you feel good about what you’ve already achieved, but it gives you the security that you can go forward and achieve more, you’ve already done it in the past and you have a record of it. This mindset, which is reinforced by keeping a journal, will help you continue thriving. Another valuable effect of keeping a journal, is that you take time to be with yourself with an ‘evaluating’ state of mind. You obviously won’t record everything in your journal, because it’s not a teenager’s diary. However, spending time with yourself, trying to determine what’s worth recording for the future, will provide you with great insight about the present and what’s possible.Do you have a journal? Why don’t you start today? It’s NEVER too late!
- Read Everyday – Let’s take a look at what the statistics show:
– 28% of americans have not read a book in the last year
– Or seen from the perspective of Americans that HAVE read a book, notice the image below and how, in the HOUSEHOLD INCOME section, the lowest percentage is for the people who earn less than $30,000 a year.
What does that tell you? Reading everyday has some kind of influence in your personality, which results in being more successful.In contrast, what do not successful people do much more? Watch TV everyday! Hmmm! Think about it! (Take a look at this article.) Obviously this doesn’t mean that successful people don’t watch TV or that less successful people don’t read books. What I’m trying to show is that there is a difference, a very defined difference between both groups. After all, we’re talking about traits and, since everybody is different, they will also differ. However, the ‘trend’ is undeniable.Enough said!
- Talk about IDEAS – There is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that goes: “Great minds discuss ideas, average discuss events and small minds people“. Or even another version of it that I’ve heard and like a lot: “Great minds talk about scientific/philosophical theories and ideas, average minds talk about news and current events, and small minds talk about each other“.
According to the Bible, Jesus once said, that from the “abundance of the heart a man’s mouth speaks“. In other words, we tend to talk about those things, which take up most of our time or in which we focus mostly.Based on this, it’s easy to see how successful people would talk mostly about ‘ideas and scientific or philosophical theories’ and this would help them get ahead faster than those, who focus on people and talk about them.Napoleon Hill wrote a book that’s STILL being read by loads of people who want to succeed, titled “THINK and grow rich“. Notice again the emphasis on IDEAS and THINKING.This is the MAIN reason why gossip doesn’t put you on the path of success. Think about it the next time you feel tempted to indulge in gossip!
- Want others to succeed – This one shows a very intimate part of the successful person. And in my opinion, shows what a person is ‘truly’ made of.Jealousy of the kind that eats a person from the inside, just because someone close to them is lucky or successful in something, will not assist anybody in their quest for success.One of the main reasons for this, is because success is very tightly related to being enticing and attractive to others. Not necessarily in a physical way, but more in what has to do with personality. So, how can someone who hates it when others around him succeed, have an attractive personality?It wouldn’t be easy and, even if they’re successful for a while, it won’t take long before they start repealing people and with it, success.
- Share information – This one is related to the previous one and also comes from the heart. A really successful person is generous.Let’s say somebody becomes financially successful and rich. Have you noticed how lots of them say that, it’s not about the money but more about helping others. Don’t get me wrong, they STILL want a business and work it everyday. However, they come from a perspective of abundance where sharing is part of the game. They offer value to society and, in this manner, make it richer.This is a key point, because in the modern world, information is potential wealth. We live in the ‘information era’ and having more information is actually beneficial to ALL of us.
- Keep a “To-Be” list – Do you have a “To-Be” list? What is a “To-Be” list in the first place?A ‘to-be’ list, is similar to a ‘to-do’ list. Everybody knows the latter. However, the ‘to-be’ list focuses on the ‘kind of person‘ that you want to be every single day. In other words, do you want to be a better father, mother, boyfriend, girlfriend, son or daughter? Put that on your list. What about a better listener, friend, employee or entrepreneur?Having ‘clarity‘ in relation to what you really want to become, will guide you to the right path to achieve that.All of us have dreams, aspirations and goals. Ask yourself, who do you have TO BE, to turn those dreams, aspirations and goals into reality? Focusing in the BEING, which is INTERNAL, will certainly drive the DOING, which is EXTERNAL. And that’s the main reason of making a ‘TO-BE‘ list. Successful people understand the importance of this principle and clarity is one of their most precious possessions.
I’ve always like the example of Jim Carrey. He wanted TO BE a comedian/actor so much, that it became a ‘virtual reality‘ to him. So much so, that he wrote himself a 10 million dollar check for “Acting Services Rendered” and gave himself a date to cash it. Notice the “Acting” part of the check. He knew WHO he had to be to earn his 10 million dollars, and he did!My point? Having clarity about who you want to be, has an incredible effect on the results you will obtain in life, and successful people know this.
- Exude Joy – This means that successful people tend to be ‘positive people’ with an optimistic point of view. They see possibilities when others only see negativity and disastrous results. The result of this? Being around them can be an exhilarating experience that would inspire others to succeed as well. It’s like they have an aura of joy and positivity around them that affects everything and everybody around them.But how could that not be, they have clarity about what they want, they’re willing to share, help and are happy about other people’s successes. It’s no surprise that they would have that positive aura, it’s just the logical progression.
- Set goals and develop life plans – In order to ‘systematically‘ achieve anything, you MUST have goals and plans. That’s simply how it works!Successful people tend to go a bit further. They have a vision about what their life’s mission. Because they have clarity about who they are or want to be, they know in what direction their life is taking them. They know when to steer, if the path they’re on deviates.Notice that it’s not “they set goals and plans”. It’s “they set goals and LIFE plans“. In other words, even though they don’t live constantly in the future, they do think ‘long term‘ and have taken the time to become clear about their future and what they want to achieve.Because they’re consistent in this aspect, they do more. Because they know what the next step is, they do more.Because they do more, they are more successful than the rest of the people. Something worth copying!
- Embrace change – Change is an integral part of life. Even in death we change!
So, there is NOTHING you can do to avoid change. However, there is LOTS that can be done in respect of how we face change.Successful people KNOW that change will come, sooner or later. And they embrace it. They welcome it and because they expect it and are not afraid of it, they’re mentally PREPARED for it. When it comes, they just adapt because they’re flexible and know that, even if change causes a detour in their life’s path, they can do their best to steer their life onto their chosen path. Just like we do every day when we drive.
- Continuously learn – Socrates once said “the more I learn, the more I discover how little I know“.
Successful people understand this and it fuels them to learn continuously. That’s actually one of the reasons why they read every day. Another reason is because they’re fundamentally curious. They have a thirst for knowledge that needs to be quenched.They don’t learn like we learn in school. They learn from life. They stop and think (keeping a Journal helps in doing this) about the lessons life has taught them regularly. And they do their best to take those lessons learned into account in most of the things they do. As a result, they’re constantly improving, which in turn, keeps them successful!
- Keep a “To-do/Project” list – This trait is a very well known one. Having a “to-do or project” list.They keep these lists, not because it’s fun to write lists everyday, no, it has to do more with ‘clarity’ and knowing ‘what the next step is’. Having a to do list helps you be more organized and prevents waste of time. Obviously, only if it’s used appropriately.Once again, the results of doing more is achieving more.
- Operate from a transformational perspective – And last, but not least, they operate from a transformational, as opposed to a transactional, perspective. Successful people tend to be leaders, and this trait has to do with what kind of leaders they are.Leaders that approach things from a transactional perspective, love the status quo. Love the traditions and keeping things as they are. You know, the idea that if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing. Their leading style is more akin with the carrot and stick type of management.On the other hand, managers using the ‘transformational perspective’ try to INSPIRE their employees to work towards a common objective. He does his best to promote an environment of thinking, teamwork and mutual admiration.Once again, the results of this, is that this type of leader will manifest a very attractive personality and people will be proud of doing their best for their company, with even more success as the end result.
Imitate Successful People to be successful yourself
The purpose of this article is to make you aware of these traits with the idea of imitating them.
You don’t need to imitate moves, hairstyles or dressing styles. Even living in certain neighborhoods or driving certain cars has nothing to do with it.
The traits worth imitating come from the inside and will motivate you to act in different, more effective, ways which will increase your chances of being successful yourself.