Posted by Jonathan Crossfield on 08 November 2013
It isn’t all luck, smarts and who you know. Here are five common traits of successful people that help them achieve their goals. And the best news is, they’re all qualities you can adopt too!
Great ideas don’t happen without first asking questions.
Every great novel started with an author pondering “What if?” Every great scientific breakthrough began with someone asking “Why?” Every great innovation, from the internet to the moon landing, was only made possible by someone seeing a problem in need of a solution and wondering “How?”
Without curiosity, our knowledge wouldn’t expand. It’s what drives us to learn. But no one is curious about everything, which is why we are often most successful working in our personal fields of interest.
It’s easy to take credit when things go well. But successful people aren’t afraid of taking the blame when things go wrong too.
You can’t take control of your destiny if nothing is your responsibility. Blaming external factors and other people for your lack of success is placing your life at the mercy of others.
Instead of blaming the interviewer because you didn’t get the job, think how you could have handled the interview better. Instead of blaming your customers for dwindling sales, decide what constructive steps you can take to turn the trend around.
Only you can make things better, but you have to accept responsibility for your own success first.
3. Fast reactions
Ever had a great idea that you were sure would be a big hit, only for someone else to get there first and reap the rewards? Often that other person arrived at the same idea after seeing the same signs or trends as you, but the difference is, they didn’t waste time putting the idea into action.
Being successful can often mean just getting there first. The first brand to launch a new product. The first to get to the boss with that great idea to improve sales. The first to reach the patent office with a design for a new doohickey.
‘First’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘best’. But it certainly helps!
4. Unafraid of failure
Edison failed more than 1,000 times before creating a working light bulb. But those failures taught him things that eventually led to the design we still use today.
Fear of failure means fear of experimenting or trying new things. And without trying again and again you can never eventually succeed.
Of course, you can’t dwell on your failures. Learn from each one and move on to try something else.
The successful person doesn’t clock in at 9am and sign out at 5pm on the dot, simply performing the minimum work required to qualify for their salary.
Success implies that the person has managed to get ahead of the rest of us, achieving above average rewards. And that requires increased effort.
After all, an athlete doesn’t win a race by running at the same pace as everyone else.
It’s up to you
The common thing about all of these traits is that only you can make great things happen. Success won’t come easy. But if you stick at it and never give up, you stand a far greater chance of becoming successful than if you were to just wait for luck to shine on you.