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What are the common traits of highly successful people?

What are the common traits of highly successful people?

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What are the common traits of highly successful people?

May 1, 2015

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

There’s much focus in today’s society on intelligence and higher education as a precursor to success. Yet, some of the world’s all time successful people have been described as “losers” when they were young. Robert Greene, authors of Mastery reveals that Charles Darwin was once an “underachieving schoolboy” and Leonardo da Vinci an “illegitimate outcast”. Both learned social rules early and after a period of mediocrity, turned them on their head to become elite, joining the ranks of world’s very first life hackers.

Some leaders in recent years also have spoken out about the value of real world experience over getting an MBA. Author Tim Ferriss of the infamous Four Hour Work Week goes so far as to describe the latter as “effectively a two-year vacation that looks good on a resume.”

Whatever your path to higher learning, the true differences between ordinary and extraordinary people might surprise you. Greene has identified some common themes among highly successful people he has studied. Some of his finding are listed below.

They’re emotionally invested in their work

It seems doing what you love trumps intelligence every time. Passion gleans the right kind attitude to see you through the tough times. Drive and resilience improve your chances of success over failure.

In her book The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying author Bronnie Ware puts “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me” as people’s number one regret. So, successful people may also be more content in their twilight years.

They’re able to focus and get things done

Successful people are not addicted to checking their phones and understand the importance of taking time out from technology in their ability to concentrate and connect with their creativity. They don’t get distracted unless they want to.

They don’t care what others think of them

Embracing their own uniqueness, successful people are very secure in their own individuality and their often controversial or unique business style reflects this. Reid Tracy, president of self-help publisher, Hay House says, “if you’re not polarising people, you’re not trying hard enough”. It seems attracting haters is a mark of success, and a thick skin is par for the course.

They’re in tune with themselves

They meditate, listen to their intuition and have a ritual for mental relaxation which allows to remove themselves from stressful situations, respond calmly and manage anxiety more effectively than most.

They’re don’t live in the past

They’re on the path of continuous improvement. Instead of resting on their laurels or basking in the glow of past successes, successful people are always challenging themselves and operating outside of their comfort zone.

They employ daily systems

Successful people avoid getting caught up in minituae. There’s a place for everything and everything has it’s place. Through automation and organisation, they reduce decision fatigue and preserve their mental energy for the important tasks of the day.

Now we know that great success not just reserved for the highly intelligent. Finding work that you love to do and employing a few daily disciplines can hold you in very good stead for a bright future. If you’re unsure about what you truly love, it can be helpful to consider whom you look up to, or are even jealous of.

Greene suggests writing down the things that excite you when they come to mind, and then trying to find the common themes around what makes you tick.

Steve Revins

Senior Tech Talent Manager
  • author
  • author

An Irish cat living the dream in Sydney I don’t know what to tell ya! Even though I’m a long way from the homeland I’ve successfully built up 5 years of local industry knowledge specialising in emerging technologies. I have a strong JAVA and Ruby on Rails following in NSW and VIC. I also have extensive experience sourcing specialist software development teams for technology companies with highly transactional, high volume, data intensive environments. Let’s catch up for a pint, but do send me a message and we’ll see what happens!

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    Senior Tech Talent Manager

IT & Digital Recruitment Without Guesswork

"Our strength lies in understanding the complete client environment, which includes not only the technology but also the mindset of the individuals working in IT environments. We provide a hiring solution that serves both the needs of its clients and candidates. We provide a premium IT talent management service supported by well thought out business processes and operating methodologies." - Steve Wilson, Founder CITI Recruitment

  • Steve Revins

    An Irish cat living the dream in Sydney I don’t know what to tell ya! Even though I’m a long way from the homeland I’ve successfully built up 5 years of local industry knowledge specialising in emerging technologies. I have a strong JAVA and Ruby on Rails following in NSW and VIC. I also have extensive experience sourcing specialist software development teams for technology companies with highly transactional, high volume, data intensive environments. Let’s catch up for a pint, but do send me a message and we’ll see what happens!

    Steve Revins

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