Why are some people successful while others are not? How can you predict if you or someone else will be successful? Each goal requires different skills and actions, so it’s difficult to create a list of attributes that covers every type of goal. Completing a marathon requires a different set of steps than writing a novel.
However, the are some characteristics that help to make success more likely.
You can develop these characteristics and become much more successful:
- You know what you want. Success is a narrow line. It’s almost impossible to hit it on accident. You have to know your target. The average person isn’t clear on what they want. Consequently, they get average results. Be clear on what you want and you’re one step closer to being successful.
- You have predominantly positive feelings when you think about your goals. A great way to gauge the likelihood of achieving a goal is to think about it and see how you feel. If you’re excited and motivated, that’s a great sign. If you clench up, you’re going to struggle.
- You take action daily. At the end of the day, you must take consistent action to be successful at anything. There’s no amount of hoping, praying, planning, or sending positive mental messages to the universe that’s going to remove those unwanted pounds or put a shiny, new Porsche in your garage.
- You’re organized and reliable. Conscientiousness is strongly correlated with success. If you’re organized, complete tasks on time, and are less likely to procrastinate than the average person, there’s a great chance you’ll be successful.
- Begin by making a list each day of what you want to accomplish and follow that list. If you can begin making plans and stick with them, you’ll be more conscientious than most.
- You’re not afraid of failing. Most people are too afraid of failing to even try. Having the right attitude about failing makes it much easier to be successful. Fear of failure leads to excuses and avoidance. This isn’t the way to achieve success.
- Expect to fail at least a few times. Get excited when you fail. Learn from your failure and you’ll get a little closer to success each time you fail.
- You invest in yourself. It’s important to continue becoming a better version of yourself. Take the time to read books, learn new skills, attend courses, and become a more capable version of yourself. Investing time, money, and energy in yourself will pay off for the rest of your life.
- You have self-awareness. This means you know your strengths and weaknesses. You know how to motivate yourself when your motivation is dwindling. You can deal with your emotional ups and downs. You know how to manage yourself.
- You have a mentor. Why make all the same mistakes everyone else has made that has previously travelled the path you’re on? A mentor can greatly cut your learning curve and help you to avoid mistakes. The right mentor can save you a lot of time and pain.
It’s easy to see that these attributes and conditions will increase the odds of success. If you’re chasing after a goal, see how well your situation matches this list. It will give you a good idea if you can expect a positive outcome, or if some modifications need to be implemented to increase your odds of success
How successful do you want to be?
While there are a wide variety of successful people in the world, they share many characteristics. One of these is the type of mistakes they avoid. There are certain errors that significantly reduce the odds of success. Eliminate these mistakes and you’ll find your level of success increasing.
Successful people avoid making these mistakes:
- Proceeding without a plan. The average person doesn’t have a plan for much of anything. Successful people have a plan for nearly everything. Instead of trying to figure it out as you go, try making a plan and notice the difference in the results.
- Giving up too soon. Most of us give up far too easily. Your successful friends probably aren’t any smarter or more talented than you are, but they’re more persistent. Successful people simply keep going until they’ve achieved their objective.
- Repeating mistakes. If you could make a mistake one time, learn from it, and avoid making it again in the future, you’d be an incredibly powerful and successful person. Take a day and look back over your biggest failures and make a list of the mistakes you’ve made. What could you do differently next time?
- Trying to change others. You’ve noticed how hard it is to change yourself, and you wanted to change! Changing someone else is even harder, because they don’t want to change. Attempting to change others is a poor way to spend your time. Instead, identify the capabilities of others and utilize their strengths.
- Failing to take advantage of their strengths. You have a unique set of strengths. You may have been born with them or developed them. It can be worthwhile to work on your weaknesses, but when the rubber hits the road, rely on your strengths.
- Prioritizing poorly. The average person either fails to prioritize or does it poorly. Decide how you can spend your time most effectively. Get the most benefit from your time. How do you currently set your priorities?
- Using emotions to make decisions. In most situations, your experience and logic are best for making important decisions. It’s easy to make a poor choice when feeling stressed, angry, or euphoric. When your mind is calm and relaxed, all of your intellectual capability is at your disposal.
- Procrastination. You don’t want tomorrow to be the busiest day of your week. Successful people get things done. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Compare the most and least successful people you know. You’ll find a huge difference in their propensity for procrastination. Successful people avoid wasting time.
- Changing their mind frequently. Assuming you took your time to make a good decision, there will rarely be a time you should change your mind. Unsuccessful people change their minds frequently. That’s one of the reasons they fail to make progress. Successful people stay the course.
How many of these mistakes do you make regularly? Can you see how they limit your success?
Sometimes, it’s more about avoiding the wrong things than doing the right things. Avoid the common mistakes that unsuccessful people make. Most of us don’t just make these mistakes, we make them over and over. Avoid the same mistakes successful people avoid and you can expect more success in your life.
It’s not always easy to find happiness, but there are things we do to make happiness even more unlikely to occur in our lives. Happiness isn’t just about doing the right things. Happiness is also about not doing the wrong things. You might not even realize the things you’re doing to sabotage your chances for happiness.
Avoid these things that can keep happiness away:
- Complaining. Complaining to yourself and others isn’t going to get you anywhere. It wastes your time and puts your mind into a negative state. How is that helpful?
- If you can resolve the issue, there’s no reason to complain.
- If you can’t resolve the issue, why waste your time and energy complaining?
- Unrealistic goals. Your mother told you that you could be anything. She lied, because she loves you. It’s too late to become an astronaut or to play professional tennis. The odds of becoming a billionaire? Let’s just say the odds aren’t in your favor. You’re not likely to lose 50 pounds this month either.
- Do yourself a favor and set reasonable goals you can achieve in the next 2-3 months. You can then set a more challenging goal.
- Perfection. You’ll never have the perfect day or do anything perfectly. It’s not easy to be happy when you fail 100% of the time. Set your sights on consistent improvement. This is an achievable goal, and you’ll feel great about yourself.
- The past. Learn what you can from your past and push forward. The past only exists in your mind. No one else cares, and there’s no good reason why you should either. Just let it go.
- Comfort. If you need to be comfortable all of the time, you’ll never be happy. If one of your main priorities in life is to be comfortable, happiness will be elusive. Growth occurs during times of discomfort. Personal growth is an important part of happiness.
- The need to impress others. We spend far too much time worrying what others think about our clothes, car, job, and so on. Worrying about something you can’t control is a recipe for an emotional disaster.
- Negative self-talk. If you had someone in your life that just insulted, doubted, and undermined you all day long, how do you think that would impact you? You might have a person like that in your life and not even realize it. It’s you! Think about how you talk to yourself.
- Negative people. The quality of people in your life has an impact on your happiness. Seek out positive people that support you. At the very least, only include people in your life that don’t sabotage you or make you unhappy. You know you have at least one right now. Why?
- Resistance to change. Life is full of change. To make progress, it’s important to try out new hobbies and to take a chance on a new job. Change is coming whether you want it or not. Your kids will move away. A friend will pass away. You’ll grow old. Change is one of the few constants in life.
There are habits that make happiness less likely to happen in your life. It’s possible you’re sabotaging your chances for happiness. Instead of looking to do more, perhaps you should consider doing fewer of these negative things.
How happy are you? Avoid these nine things for a month and then see if you feel happier.