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Top 10 Traits of
Highly Successful People -
That You Can Learn!
We have all read about people who are successful
briefly. They win a gold medal, make a fortune, or star in one great movie
disappear. Or, there are those like Marilyn Monroe and Howard Hughes who achieve
extraordinary success, at the cost of their own lives. These examples do not inspire me!
My focus and fascination is with people who seem to
do well in many areas of life, and do it over and over through a lifetime. In
entertainment, I think of Paul Newman and Bill Cosby. In business, I think of Ben and
Jerry (the ice cream moguls), and a local hardware store owner who is famous for the money
hes give to childrens charities. As a Naval Officer, husband, businessman,
politician and now as a mediator and philanthropist on the world stage, Jimmy Carter has
had a remarkable life. We all know examples of people who go from one success to another.
These are the people who inspire me! Ive
studied them, and Ive noticed they have the following traits in common:
- They work hard! Yes, they play
hard, too! They get up early, they rarely complain, they expect performance from
others, but they expect extraordinary performance from themselves. Repeated,
high-level success starts with a recognition that hard work pays off.
- They are incredibly curious and eager to
learn. They study, ask questions and read constantly! An
interesting point, however: While most of them did well in school, the difference is
that they apply or take advantage of what they learn. Repeated success is not about
memorizing facts, its about being able to take information and create, build, or
apply it in new and important ways. Successful people want to learn everything about
- They network. They know lots of
people, and they know lots of different kinds of people. They listen to friends,
neighbors, co-workers and bartenders. They dont have to be "the life of
the party", in fact many are quiet, even shy, but they value people and they value
relationships. Successful people have a rolodex full of people who value their
friendship and return their calls.
- They work on themselves and never quit!
While the "over-night wonders" become arrogant and quickly disappear,
really successful people work on their personality, their leadership skills, management
skills, and every other detail of life. When a relationship or business deal goes
sour, they assume they can learn from it and they expect to do better next time.
Successful people dont tolerate flaws; they fix them!
- They are extraordinarily creative.
They go around asking, "Why not?" They see new combinations, new
possibilities, new opportunities and challenges where others see problems or limitations.
They wake up in the middle of the night yelling, "Ive got it!"
They ask for advice, try things out, consult experts and amateurs, always looking
for a better, faster, cheaper solution. Successful people create stuff!
- They are self-reliant and take responsibility.
Incredibly successful people dont worry about blame, and they dont
waste time complaining. They make decisions and move on. Sometimes they are
criticized for taking this to extremes Jimmy Carter carried his own briefcase and a
President "shouldnt" do that! Extremely successful people take the
initiative and accept the responsibilities of success.
- They are usually relaxed and keep their
perspective. Even in times of stress or turmoil, highly successful people
keep their balance, they know the value of timing, humor, and patience. They rarely panic
or make decisions on impulse. Unusually successful people breath easily, ask the
right questions, and make sound decisions, even in a crisis.
- Extremely successful people live in the
present moment. They know that "Now" is the only time they can
control. They have a "gift" for looking people in the eye, listening to
what is being said, enjoying a meal or fine wine, music or playing with a child.
They never seem rushed, and they get a lot done! They take full advantage of each
day. Successful people dont waste time, they use it!
- They "look over the horizon" to see
the future. They observe trends, notice changes, see shifts, and hear the
nuances that others miss. A basketball player wearing Nikes is trivial, the neighbor
kid wearing them is interesting, your own teenager demanding them is an investment
opportunity! Extremely successful people live in the present, with one eye on the
- Repeatedly successful people respond
instantly! When an investment isnt working out, they sell.
they see an opportunity, they make the call. If an important relationship is cooling
down, they take time to renew it. When technology or a new competitor or a change in
the economic situation requires an adjustment, they are the first and quickest to respond.
These traits work together in combination, giving
repeatedly successful people a huge advantage. Because they are insatiable learners,
they can respond wisely to change. Because their personal relationships are strong,
they have good advisors, and a reserve of goodwill when things go bad. And finally,
none of these traits are genetic! They can be learned! They are free and they
are skills you can use. Start now!
Phil, Mary, and the Staff at
Resources for Success!™
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© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved.
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