For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by people who are phenomenal at what they do; especially those who are success in more than one area of their life.
After all, my first ever “big dream” was when I was seven or so years old, and I wanted to change my name into Chris Packlem, and become the richest man ever.
Funny how things change over time. Or better said, how we change.
But how do successful people do all that they do?
Over the years I’ve read the books written by/about the highly successful, watched interviews, read their blogs, etc.
And I’ve learned that successful people are not more intelligent, or just lucky, or born into the right family.
But they do certain things differently than other folks.
Successful people know that one cannot hit a target one does not see. They know what they want, why they want it, and what steps they need to take to get it.
Successful people create and pursue what is commonly known as S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely
- Specific – for a greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
- Measurable – When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach certain milestones, and experience the dopamine release of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your final goal goal.
- Attainable – To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.
- Relevant – Choose goals that matter.
- Timely – A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.
When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to figure out ways to attain them. You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills.
As they say, you either find a way or make one.
2. They ACT.
There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
It’s as simple as that.
Success hinges on the simple act of making a decision to live – to absorb yourself in the process of going after your dreams and goals.
So make that decision.
And take action.
3. Productive, not just busy.
Most people are busy, mistaking motion for action.
The difference between these two is as follows: motion is like a rocking chair; lots of movement, but it’s not going anywhere.
Being busy is oftentimes a way to mask mental laziness… it’s busy people who are always in such a hurry to be late; heading to work, meetings, social engagements, etc.
But are they getting stuff done? Are they reaching their goals?
Or are they just like hamsters on wheels?
The solution to all this? Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one thing at a time.
4. They know perfection is a lie.
Do not be afraid of perfection, for you will never reach it.
Also, perfectionism is simply procrastination in disguise.
Perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them, always.
In truth, the world rewards those who get the job done. And you will never get anything done if you want to make it perfect.
So make a decision. Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all the areas of your life.
5. They step outside their comfort zones.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
Keep this in mind next time you want to retire to the comfort of the familiar.
6. They focus on making small, daily improvements.
The so-called compounding effect.
Small daily improvements added over long periods of time can literally make you something else.
Imagine going to the gym. One hour every single day. Doesn’t seem like much. Odds are, there’s not much change happening for months, maybe even a year or so.
But after that?
You will literally be made of something else than most other people.
7. They aim to better themselves.
It might seem pretty obvious, but most people are more than happy to stagnate.
When it comes to their work, this means oftentimes doing the same things over and over again.
Successful people actively try to become better at their jobs. They never stop learning, they never stop looking for ways to improve themselves.
8. They learn from their mistakes.
Life will test you again and again and again, until you learn what is needed to overcome certain obstacles.
You either evolve or repeat the same lessons.
Every mistake you make is progress. Mistakes teach you important lessons. Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.
You’re not a failure until you give up or blame someone else.
9. They are extremely selective when it comes to the people they surround themselves with.
Successful people associate with people who are likeminded, focused, and supportive. They choose to interact with those who create energy when they enter.
You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.
As they say, birds of a feather flock together.
If you hang out with losers, you will end up a loser. But if you hang with the right people, you will become far more capable and successful than you ever could have been alone.
10. They persevere. No matter what.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ― Calvin Coolidge
What do you think are the most important traits that a successful person has? What sets them apart?