Every successful person is who he or she is because of what they have chosen to live by or what they have chosen not to do. That means you start getting successful when you begin to imbibe these attributes.
Some two years ago, I and one of my friends were discussing what "being successful" truly mean. One opinion was that being successful is relative, in the sense that, everyone has their own definition of success.
The other opinion was that success is absolute, and anyone who does not meet the universal criteria for success cannot be termed successful.
In the relative definition, you are successful if you are able to meet your own targets for your life. That is to say, if you dreamt of making it from school as a graduate and you did it, you have become successful to yourself even though you may not meet the description by other people in the world of what success truly mean, probably with billions of money at their possession and influence at the snap of your fingers.
But in a bid to quickly sway from choosing any of the above, I want to propose a different definition of being successful. It is simply living your life to the best that you were created to live. In this, you fully maximize your potentials and the gifts that you were naturally endowed with. And in a bid to live your potential driven life, you may both satisfy your relative and the universal definition of being successful.
Below are some of the things that make you more productive in your world and in turn more successful;
1. Learning To Plan AheadSuccessful people are known to plan ahead of time, in other words, they always look beyond the present and focuses on the future. One thing they understand is that the giant steps into the future begins with very little movements. This is supported by the universal statement "he who fails to plan, plans to fail".
2. Being Ready To Take RisksGrowing up, one of the things I feared most was risk-taking. Everyone is naturally afraid to take risks but successful people have learnt to face risks. It does not exclude the fact that they can experience losses sometimes but they are not overwhelmingly scared to lose. Planning ahead helps you to minimize risks because you are able to foresee many risks and find ways to overcome them as much as possible. But then, there are some risks that have a very fleeting certainty, in the sense that, they just show up so unexpectedly even when you think you have gone past them.
Being ready to face risks confers on you the ability to explore new things and learn from them bearing in mind that the end justifies the means.
3. Time ConsciousnessTime is a very important factor and resources in everybody's life. It is the unit of measurement of our lives as humans. People who use time recklessly end up regretting the time they wasted. Managing time has remained one of the most difficult tasks of human-kind. But it is indeed possible to optimally utilize your time, that is if you will be ready to discipline yourself.
4. Willingness To Learn New ThingsEveryone that thinks he already knows everything in the world will always find himself at the same spot. No matter how difficult or how impossible learning new things can be, a prepared mind will always scale through the hurdles. Successful people are not afraid of learning new things but they are open to new ways of doing things. Read my post on why people actually hate change more than they think they do.
5. Controlling How You SpendAt some point, we get caught spending more than we bargained for. I'd say it is a normal part of life to spend indiscriminately sometimes but what successful people try to achieve is reducing uncontrollable spending to the barest minimum. Using your own money or resources for yourself is not a bad thing at all, but many times it ends in regrets because you realize that you may have used up your capital for other lucrative ventures. It takes real commitment and discipline and sound counselling to be able to control one's spending. This is what successful people do. Buying a Porsche or Rolls Royce is no problem at all, the problem is where for the purchase came from. Your useable money or your capitals?
6. Understanding What Relationship MeansRelationships are very important. The greatest assets you can ever have is people in your connection. Great men invest in others, helping to build them up to be better versions of themselves. But it turns out to be a wheel, where the help they rendered somehow comes back to them as their deserving reward. No wonder they say the most important investment is the investment in people. Successful people do not look down on anybody, no matter who they may be at the moment. Read this on How to Build Relationships and Friends.
7. Have Competitions, Not EnemiesCompetitions are an undesirable part of life but ironically, they are important ingredients for excellence. Read this post on competition. People make competitions and sometimes it can be difficult to sustain the spirit of competition without turning it into hate. People hate competition and hate whoever is on the way to give them a competition. However, successful people like a free zone too but they wouldn't mind facing a competition along their path.
Keeping up to these things can be difficult to achieve and that is why we have just a few who have made it to the very top.
8. Willing To Seek HelpA study reported by Fearless Soul showed that intelligent people prefer to spend time alone. Successful people also prefer to find answers on their own. This is because they believe that external influence may have a negative impact on their dreams. However, it is important that you know when to ask for help. Receiving help at the right time can save you a whole lot of time struggling.
9. Understand What It Means To Give BackSuccessful people at driven by one motivation. They understand what it takes to give back to the needy world. When they think of giving up, they remember the number of people that should benefit from their success in the near future. Every successful person is truly successful when they let others in the world around them feel the impact of their success.
10. Not Ashamed Of Small BeginningsSmall beginnings are beautiful, but small endings are grossly disastrous. Successful people are not ashamed to start small. Most people end up not achieving their dreams because they are waiting for the 'big bang', instead of starting small. In this post, I emphasized on How to Start and Execute your Planned Projects because it can often be difficult to start many times. Letting money deter you from the beginning often means you are waiting for a really huge capital.
11. Does Not Look Down On ThemselvesThe condition of things can make people think of themselves as worthless. Probably, after trying a thousand times, one may have given up on oneself.
Other times, people just look down on themselves even without any significant cause, probably because they think those that have made it have two heads, four brains and seven legs. Whatever is the case, successful people always reassure themselves that they are significant, although not boastfully.
12. Think Constructively About ProjectsFor every project at their hands, they put a lot of thoughts and research into it with to ensure that it comes out successful. They think of new projects as entirely new and faces them with a special effort. By thinking constructively, you see the different sides and weigh your evidence and findings on your new project.
13. Does Not See Impossibilities, Only ChallengesTagging something as impossible makes it truly impossible. Challenges can be surmountable but impossibilities cannot. Successful people see every difficulty as a challenge and not as an impossibility with the aim t find ways to overcome them.
14. Focuses More On The Future, Not The PastIn the past are golds that are already lost, treasures that speak only a very little. Focusing on the past takes you away from the reality of the future. Successful people always say to themselves, "It shall yet get better" with the realization that the future is indeed better and the past is actually gone.
15. Loves Seeking KnowledgeNot interested in knowledge is not interested in life itself. Knowledge is diverse and it doesn't mean only a particular area of knowledge is important. But as much as possible, successful people seek knowledge in their field maximally while learning other things in other areas of life and professions.
16. Perseveres Through The Hard TimesTruth be told, trying times come. Before every successful story is at least one story of perseverance through some hard times. On the other hand, many people who failed actually do because they were unable to overcome the hard times. When hard times hit you, bounce back and be the 'hit'. This is the philosophy of successful people.
17. Learns To Respect EveryonePeople are people in their own respects. Successful people have learned to respect people irrespective of who they are or what they are. This is all part of the investment into people, being the greatest investment ever.
18. Gives Everyone Some Level of Unconditional TrustTrust no one with private matters, your plans, the list is inexhaustible. Trust should be earned and it normally should take a very complex to full determine who is worth your trust. However, if you don't give people a level of harmless trust, you won't know how trustworthy or not they are. The level of trust is just for normal things that will not impact significantly on your plans but are sufficient to prove who people are. This is important because once again, people are assets but the right people are golden assets.
19. Discusses Ideas, Not PeopleThe difference between a successful person and one who is living less than they are capable of is what they spend most of their time discussing. Naturally, it may seem more interesting to discuss people but that's not what successful people do. They'd rather spend their time discussing ideas and gathering information about certain topics that interest them. If at all they will talk about people, it is for the purpose of learning from their actions or words or whatever the case is.
20. Listens More Than They SpeakWhen you understand the virtue of listening, you will see why it is better to listen than to speak. By listening you are able to pick up more helpful data and information that will be useful to you. It does not mean that you are not willing to share your ideas but you now know that not all ears deserve to be spoken to. Successful people prefer to listen even though this may make them appear weak and silent. What comes out of them in a short time will, in turn, amaze everyone else.
21. Learns From Their MistakesMistakes are part of everyday living, but what defines a man is how he responds to them. People make mistakes and keep making them over and over again but successful people learn from their mistakes. One interesting quote I have heard in this context is "you cannot do the same thing and expect a different result".
22. Seeks Counsel Or Learn From People Higher Than ThemThe gift of having someone that knows more than you is one that cannot be overestimated. Every opportunity with an authority should be valued opportunistically. That is to say, you must give utmost attention to instructions and counsel especially when it comes from someone higher than you in many regards.
23. They Recognize And Maximize Every OpportunityOpportunities, they say, comes but once. Successful people have learnt to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. Bill Gates has once been referred to as an opportunist. An opportunist is someone who takes advantage of opportunities that others have not been able to harness. That means they see the opportunities that others may have missed several times. This ability comes mainly from the desire to meet a need and to solve a problem.
24. They Solve ProblemsIn solving problems, you create relevance to the world and that's what the world wants. Successful people are known all over the world for the solutions they profer to lives common problems. So in identifying problems and finding solutions to them, you are on your way to becoming successful.
One thing you must never forget is that you have a solution for the world and you were naturally created to be successful.
25. Forgives EasilyThe burdens and challenges to overcome are already enough. You don't want to add to them. Holding grudges against someone only increases your own burdens. Successful people learn to free their minds as much as possible.
They also learn to forgive themselves when they think they have made some bad choices lately.
26. Keep Good CompanyYour company goes a long way to determine your long term choices. The ability to recognize a good company and avoid a negative one is very important in your journey to becoming successful. Wrong communication greatly impacts your productive life as well as other aspects of your life.
29. They Don't Hate ReadingInformation is encoded within prints. Information is acquired via many sources and by far the commonest is through books and electronic media. Signs, posters, banners, and other prints are equally important sources of information. Successful people learn to read anything and almost anything that has text on because they seek information, which in turn takes them ahead of others around them.
30. They Are CreativeIt takes only a successful mind to realise that everything they need is already around them. Creativity is simply the ability to convert the meaningless jargons around you into meaning, both to yourself and others. Creativity is the magic that successful people use to transform our world and you can be creative too.
31. Understands What Education Truly IsEducation is beyond the four walls of the university. Great people see education as the acquisition of skills that will make them better persons and enable them to achieve their goals, not merely passing exams and knowing the theories. They go an extra mile to convert their theoretical knowledge into evidence-based practical skills.
32. Creating First Impressions That CountsFirst impressions matters. People judge first impressions too seriously, therefore you must find ways to give the good first impression. Successful people do not blow up their opportunities or at least are given to the quest of developing that area of their life. Read this post on How the First Impression Mattered.
Everyone including you is built for success and excellence but the magnitude to which that is expressed is dependent on how much you are willing to invest in your life. By following these principles and many more that you will find in other sources, you add into your life bits by bits until you are a full-blown success. That's all for the 32 things that every successful person does. What do you think?