Everyday life hands each one of us challenges and obstacles to overcome. As we learn from our experiences, we are able to grow as individuals and pick up on new ways to deal with situations in the future. We all strive to reach goals in our careers and personal life and sometimes fall short. You may wonder how is it that some are viewed by others as extremely successful and others are not?

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. We all have different goals and purposes in life, but are all striving to make our dreams a reality. Success isn’t measured by how big your goal is, but rather on the effort and work it took you to accomplish your goal. What makes the difference in success? Successful people may have different goals, but often have similar core traits and tendencies in common. By exploring the characteristics that many successful people share, you may find things you can improve on to be successful in your future. Let’s check them out:

1. Personal Development

Never stop learning. Create an appetite for growth, this leads to continual progress. Seek to always improve yourself. A quote that I think reflects this perfectly from Jim Rohn is, “Don’t wish for less problems. Wish for better tools.” The only way I know to gain better tools is to be a perpetual student. Highly successful individuals are always on the lookout for the opportunity to learn and experience what is around them, and find new ways of solving problems or challenges.

2. Intentional Listening

This sounds simple but it is NOT easy. Really listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your quest for knowledge, and in building relationships. Highly successful individuals have realized the power of listening, which will lead to more personal development and the opportunity to give what is truly needed and not what we may think is needed to others.

3. Splendid Discipline

The discipline of setting goals, daily, monthly, yearly, and so on. Goals that are written daily from memory become a priority. Each continuous day that a goal is written becomes clear and achievable in the mind of the individual.  Highly successful individuals have mastered the practice of clear written goals to maintain the discipline of growth in their personal and professional lives.

4. Attitude 

Let’s be honest, negativity is normal. It’s NOT successful, but it is normal. How successful individuals handle the negativity is the difference. Successful individuals do not dwell on negativity or live in it, they instead focus on the direction of the big picture they have for their goals.

5. Value

Successful individuals have found a way to bring value to life experiences. Bringing value to other individuals, to groups or organizations, and the communities that they live in through volunteering, mentoring or connecting others that would be of help and value to the situation. Successful individuals realize that the value may come in many forms and are willing to be the facilitator of the best value available.

6. Philosophy of Life

Successful individuals tend to have a clear driving force that is at the root of all they do. In each of the bullet points that have been discussed so far, this is clear in all that successful individuals do in life. Such as being generous with wealth, knowledge, and time. Through service of time on committees or donations to non-profits, or at a deeper level with some through mentoring and giving back. Successful individuals live what they believe!

Start Your Success Path

In a nutshell, the difference in perceived success by others is ACTION, LISTENING, ATTITUDE, DEVELOPMENT, and GENEROSITY. Successful individuals are living, growing, and sharing continuously in their daily life, trying each day to improve themselves and others around them. It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal, possessing these characteristics will not only help you reach your desired outcomes but improve others’ perceptions of your success. No one will ever do everything on this list perfectly, but is a great place to start evaluating yourself and determining what you can do to improve.

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

– Orison Swett Marden