While the Merriam-Webster Dictionary indicates the definition of success to be “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame”, I believe the true definition of success is in the eye of the beholder.
Priorities, beliefs, values, and our own varied histories all color the unique meaning we associate with such a word. Consider the following:
The British author who wrote Harry Potter, the best selling series in history – selling over 450 million copies worldwide. She was living on state benefits when she began writing Harry Potter and now her story has grossed over $4.7 billion dollars in the box office alone.
The Jamaican athlete and world record holder in the 100m (9.63 seconds) and 200m (19.19 seconds), along with countless other awards and recognitions under his belt. Usain focused his attention on several other sports when he entered high school, including cricket, until a coach noticed his speed and urged him to try his hand (or foot) at track and field.
The leader of the African National Congress party and anti-apartheid movement. He was the head of both peaceful protests and armed resistances against the white minorities oppressive administration in a racially divided South Africa. He most notably became the first democratically elected leader of a free South Africa after nearly three decades of imprisonment and was also a global advocate for human rights.
Alright, you get the picture. But how did these three, along with so many others, get to their individual levels of success? Although ones path to success may be unique, there are common traits among the world’s most successful people, whether their success is highly publicized like those mentioned above or not.
What are the qualities that matter most? Take a look:
Successful people do more than the bare minimum of what has been asked or required of them. They have a determination to work harder than most, all while finding a way to still have FUN.
Successful people are patient and understand that in everything there are failures and frustrations – taking them personally would be damaging to their personal improvement. Also keep in mind that sometimes inaction is just as beneficial as action.
Successful people have integrity, which creates character and defines who they are. They are also honest with others and themselves.
Successful people love what they do. They also have a passion for improvement and are often their own worst critic because they are constantly striving to do and be a little better at whatever it is that they do.
This may be the most telling characteristic of all: Successful people are willing to try, AND FAIL, in order to eventually succeed. They persist through their failure because they know there is no reward without risk. They are flexible and have unbelievable resilience. They take responsibilities for their failures but they never. Ever. Quit.
6. Specific Focus
Successful people set specific goals. These goals give them clarity, purpose, and a sense of direction. They dream big! A specific focus also means they specialize in a certain area and build on that expertise, rather than doing a little of a lot,
7. Lifelong Learners
Successful people never stop learning, even if they feel they have reached a specific level of success. They push themselves out of their comfort zone for the sake of improvement and are well-rounded people.
Worth the Effort
Whether they seem small or large, these are the characteristics that will bring you to the level of success you have been striving to achieve. They are the common thread between so many success stories. They are the difference between potential success and actual success.
Acquiring these 7 traits will take time, but they will yield results. Take the time. It will be worth it in the end.
Michelle is the Content Marketing Manager at Calldrip. When she's not producing great content she enjoys reading, running, traveling, and spending time with her family.