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How to be successful at life

Updated on November 22, 2012

Here's how to be more successful in anything you do

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Success is 99% Failure
Success is 99% Failure

The Top 5 Characteristics of Successful People

Everyone wants to be successful. We all yearn to develop a life with which we can be happy and satisfied. But many of us struggle to understand the actions and behaviors that will bring success. People who have been consistently successful in their field seem to have it all figured out. They seem to find opportunity where others see none, they are able to make lemonade out of lemons and they appear undisturbed by circumstances and criticisms that would make others cringe. Many years ago I became interested in successful people and curious as to what made them tick. Here are the most important characteristics common to successful individuals in any endeavor.

1. Successful people love what they do. There is no way around this one. People who love what they do have the incalculable advantage of the fact that their "work" is not really work to them. It is fun. They are passionate about their work. This allows them to put in prodigious amounts of work without getting burned out or losing their enthusiam.

2. Successful people take full responsibility for their circumstances. There are no whiners among successful people. They believe that, "if it's to be, it's up to me." People who are successful are solution oriented, not problem oriented. They don't view obstacles as insurmountable, they view them as an opportunity for growth and development.

3. Successful people are goal oriented. They are not afraid to dream big and map out a plan for success. They set small goals along the way to help develop a feeling of accomplishment and success and reward themselves with each new milestone.

4. Successful people are resilient. They do not get unduly upset with failures along the way, and are able to handle criticism and ride the emotional roller coaster that comes with developing a competency in any area of life. They are not easily rattled by difficult circumstances. They trust in the process of what they are doing and know that eventually they will succeed.

5. Successful people are able to persevere. Success does not come overnight. Many so called "overnight success stories" have developed their craft over many years before finally making the breakthrough to success. Successful people are not afraid to work hard, give more than they receive, and learn from their mistakes along the way. They focus on the present while taking action to improve the future.

In closing, I would like to leave you with one of my favourite quotations from The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn.

"The only limitation placed on our abilities is the inability to easily recognize our unlimited nature . It takes effort to become aware of our staggering and limitless abilities, it takes effort to become enthusiastic over a cause or an occupation. It takes effort to continue when our results as well as our friends tell us to give up trying. It takes effort to feel right about everything that happens, the joy and the sorrow of life. It takes effort to learn to love ourselves above all others, especially when we are so conscious of our failures, doubts and tragedies. It does not however take effort to fail. It is ironic that one of the few things in this life we have total control over is our attitude and yet most of us live our entire life behaving as if we have no control whatsoever. By our attitude we decide to read or not to read, by our attitude we decide to try or to give up, by our attitude we blame ourselves for our failure or foolishly blame others. Our attitude determines whether we love or hate, tell the truth or lie, act or procrastinate, advance or recede, and by our own attitude, we and we alone actually decide whether to succeed or fail"

I wish you all the best on your journey to success!

How do you feel about your job?

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Have you had success applying the principles in this article? Do you have examples of how these principles have impacted your lives or the lives of others? Do you have any other principles to add? Share them here!

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    • agoofyidea profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent tips. Exactly right.

    • semas profile image


      7 years ago

      Great tips to follow to be successful in life

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting read. I too like that quote. In fact, I just stumbled upon it on the right moment. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well, I've taken up a mild running program - part of my success has been positive thinking and just doing it! Thanks for the tips - it's always good the remind ourselves how to stay the course.


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