9 Characteristics You Need to Be Successful
We all want to succeed in this world. The thrill of being good at something and the feeling of fulfillment and significance of accomplishing something is unparalleled. But what can you do to be successful? What qualities do you need to develop to achieve your desired outcomes in life?
Here are nine characteristics that help you to succeed (in no particular order):
- Drive – You have to have a “fire burning in you” or a passion for whatever it is you do. If you don’t want something badly enough, you won’t work as hard to get it.
- Faith – You have to believe in your ability to grow and succeed. No matter how much desire you have, you will not get off the couch and do anything if you don’t think it’ll make a difference.
- Ethics – You have to do things in the best way possible—that’s to get to the best outcome without harming anyone else. Cheaters will ultimately either fail or not find meaning in success since they didn’t achieve it fairly.
- Emotional Resilience – Emotions are a difficult beast: on one hand, you have to listen to them since they’re telling you something; on the other hand, you have to control them since they evolved to prepare you to take actions that aren’t necessarily correct given the situation. If you can listen to them, manage them, and then let them go when they served their purpose, you will be very close to mastering your life.
- Cooperation – Everyone will achieve more in life with help than without it. Your ability to give and receive help will ultimately determine your potential.
- Self-Discipline – You have the power of choice. You can control your own destiny regardless of what uncontrollable obstacle might get in your way. The act of making the right choices that will lead to success and avoiding the wrong choices that will not help you is self-discipline. You need self-discipline to be successful—in fact, a major psychological study found that the most successful people were the ones with the most willpower/discipline.
- “Growth Mindset” – Popularized by Dr. Carol Dweck’s research, the growth mindset is a belief system in which you think that you can continue to grow and improve vs. a “fixed mindset” where you believe that you will hit a ceiling in your potential once you hit some predetermined maximum (i.e., “you either have it or you don’t” in terms of talent). People with the growth mindset are much more likely to succeed than those who don’t since the latter will simply give up when they hit adversity.
- See Failure as a Learning Opportunity – People learn through experience. As such, the “more” they experience something, the better they will be. In other words, you can learn from a book, but you will learn more if you go out and do it. However, experiential learning vs. classroom learning involves a lot more failure. In a classroom, you can study the materials and get 100% on a test as long as you study enough and memorize the content. However, in the real world, it is near impossible to study an activity long enough where you will instantly be good at it and not make mistakes. Because of that, you have to see failure as a necessary step on the path to success if you want to stop beating yourself up long enough to learn and move on with the knowledge learned from the mistake.
- Open to Redefining Success with New Information – Along your journey, you may encounter obstacles that prevent exactly what you thought you wanted from happening, or you might find that you want something else more as you acquire more/new information. The most successful people exploit these “happy accidents” rather than seeing them as failure or not what they sought out to do. Examples include a scientist that discovers something new while looking for something else, rising sports stars that become world-class coaches after career-ending injuries, and college students who switch majors when they stumble upon their real passion in a general education class.
Those are nine characteristics that you must have for success. It does not mean that you won’t fail; it simply means that you’ll succeed at least one more time than you fail, which means that you will end with success!