Success is really a profound individual perception. Not only is there the commercialized notion of success, bred by whatever culture you live in, but individually, success is different for everyone, and changes as you grow older.
It has been my observation that nearly all of us set our expectations too low. I have studied personal development literature for over 30 years now, and one of the more common themes is the agonizing thought of winding up on your deathbed not having at least tried for your dreams and goals.
The first step, of course, is to set your goals. I ran an article by Brain Tracy several years ago on goal-setting that is loaded with helpful tips on how to write your goals down to increase your chances of success.
But there are also certain habits and characteristics that more successful people display than others.
This is a great list created by LifeHack, of qualities that successful people have, which have been noted in many books on the subject:
1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.
2. They find lessons while others only see problems.
3. They are solution focused.
4. They consciously and methodically create their own success.
5. They may be fearful, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.
6. They ask the right questions -- the ones which put them in a positive mindset and emotional state.
7. They rarely complain.
8. They don’t blame, and take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes.
9. They always find a way to maximize their potential, and use what they have effectively.
10. They are busy, productive and proactive.
11. They align themselves with like-minded people.
12. They are ambitious.
13. They have clarity and certainty about what they want.
14. They innovate instead of imitate.
15. They don’t procrastinate.
16. They are life-long learners.
17. They are glass half full people, while still being practical and down-to-earth.
18. They consistently do what they need to do, regardless of how they are feeling on a given day.
19. They take calculated risks.
20. They deal with problems quickly and effectively.
21. They don’t believe in, or wait for, fate, destiny, chance or luck.
22. They take action before they have to.
23. They are more effective than most at managing their emotions.
24. They are good communicators.
25. They have a plan for their life and they work methodically to turn that plan into a reality.
26. They become exceptional by choice.
27. They work through the tough stuff that most would avoid.
28. They have identified what is important to them and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of those values.
29. They have balance. They know that money is a tool and ultimately, it’s just another resource.
30. They understand the importance of discipline and self-control.
31. They are secure in their sense of self-worth.
32. They are generous and kind.
33. They are happy to admit mistakes and apologize.
34. They are adaptable and embrace change.
35. They keep themselves in shape physically.
36. They work hard and are not lazy.
37. They are resilient.
38. They are open to, and more likely to act upon, feedback.
39. They don’t hang out with toxic people.
40. They don’t invest time or emotional energy into uncontrollable things.
41. They are happy to swim against the tide.
42. They comfortable with their own company.
43. They set high standards for themselves.
44. They don’t rationalize failure.
45. They know how to relax, enjoy what they have in their life and to have fun.
46. Their career is not their identity, it’s their job.
47. They are more interested in what is effective than in what is easy.
48. They finish what they start.
49. They realize that not only are they physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well.
50. They practice what they preach.