In its most basic form success is a feeling of happiness on your quest towards achieving your goals and a track record of goals accomplished. I am lucky to know a variety of friends and lovers who have found their own versions of success. Some are multi-millionaires, others incredible artists that have affected a huge number of people and the rest are simply really amazing individuals that are making the world a much better place. Here are 23 things I’ve noticed that almost all of them embrace in different ways and of course, to varying degrees. Challenge yourself to embrace this list and return to it as your tool kit as you work towards your own perfect version of success.
1. Delusion. They allow a healthy dose of delusion to inhabit their reality. No matter how crazy their goals seem they allow themselves to have them. They know that many of the great things that people have accomplished in life have at first seemed implausible. They offer themselves the possibility of achieving what they set their minds to and know full well that what they are after may never materialize. Having a bit of delusion is a way of maintaining hope and motivation when morale starts to get low.
2. Mirrors. They’re complete narcissists to the point where you want to strangle them. The most successful people I know will not get off of their high horse even when you attempt to knock them down. They do not stop talking about how great they are and how they are better than everyone else. It’s absolutely annoying and incredibly obnoxious, but I think it gives these people the self-confidence they need to take an idea and make it a reality.
3. Failure. Bankruptcy, deaths in the family, broken dreams and paths that twist and turn with no notice- these are common occurrences in the lives of most of the successful people I know and these brave souls face these challenges in a calm and relaxed manner. These challenges also plant the seed for deep transformation and inspiration. Most people need to hit rock bottom in order to gain enough momentum to make it to the top.
4. Other People’s Needs. Successful people believe the world is craving or will eventually need the product or service that they offer. This is a point they do not question. They consider other people’s needs to no end and strive to fulfill them. This can make them excellent lovers as well… just saying.
5. Capitalism. Successful people will most likely have a deeper understanding of capitalism than their peers. Capitalism is what will feed them, pay the bills and afford them the luxuries they are after. Capitalism is a part of “the game” so they embrace it and find a way to find their place within it, funneling abundance into the areas that they want to see develop and flourish.
6. Power. Everyone I know that is successful or inspiring is comfortable with being powerful. They command stages, seduce audiences and tackle objectives with strength. This inspires others and helps to pave a clear path for their objectives.
7. Vulnerability. They are honest about who they are and what they do because this opens them up to opportunities and people that could benefit them. By putting themselves out there in an honest way they are also able to discover more quickly how the world reacts to the gifts that they have to offer. Successful people also tend to be open about their private lives, which helps others build trust with them and their product or services.
8. Persistence. They really never give up. Many of the successful people I know are older, but their path didn’t take a turn toward success until their late 30s, early 40s or beyond. They continued to work hard and build their story and skill set until success just sort of happened.
9. Their Bodies. Their body is the vessel they inhabit on their quest for success. If not blessed with a healthy and strong body a successful person will often devote a lot of time to proper diet and exercise. Oftentimes, they work themselves to exhaustion on a daily basis. They would never be able to accomplish this if they were in poor health. They also tend to have healthy sex lives, embracing the benefits of strong sexual and emotional relationships.
10. Other Peoples’ Perspectives. They accept many perspectives; because always trying to be right is a distraction that takes energy and time from them that they could be using to achieve their goals. Having an open mind is also a side effect of their intelligence and keeps them open to new possibilities and relationships with people that could possibly bring an innovative and interesting angle to what they are working on.
11. The Unexpected. They try out different ideas without expecting any outcomes. They know that at any moment reality can change so they just live in the present. When the unexpected does happen they look at it as a challenge to approach with enthusiasm.
12. Their Inner Voice. They always trust their inner voice. They do not turn to others to validate themselves. They know their inner voice is the only voice that matters and they’ll listen to it until they day they die.
13. Self-Honesty. They are typically willing to admit when they’re wrong. They frequently look to improve any areas that aren’t working well in their personal life and their work. They spend the time to fix those things or find an expert to fix them if they can’t. Self-honesty allows successful people to offer a better product or service and allows them to continuously work towards a better version of themselves.
14. Risks. Almost every successful person I know takes huge risks. They look into the unknown with excitement, because they know that the unknown holds infinite possibility. They know you can’t accomplish anything without trying, so they go after the craziest goals they can- often not thinking about potential negative consequences.
15. Confidence. They always exude confidence whether it is in business negotiations, speeches, casual conversations or in bed. They feel confidence in themselves and wear it proudly.
16. Powerful Associations. Successful people are typically friends with other successful people. With such a broad definition of success this doesn’t mean that all of their friends are “rich.” but most of their friends will be inspiring, creative, highly intelligent or stimulating.
17. Not Getting Paid. They are willing to spend years working 70 hours or more a week for little to no pay, be it for their own budding companies or for companies that offer them important connections. They are also more than willing to invest time and energy into “stepping-stone” jobs if they believe full well these jobs will take them where they want to go.
18. Goal-Setting. They make goal lists annually, quarterly, monthly and sometimes weekly. They set realistic goals and loftier ones. By setting small goals and accomplishing them, they gain confidence, which helps to motivate them to achieve their bigger goals. They also tend to set higher goals than their peers.
19. Resourcefulness. They pursue their dreams even if they don’t have the money or resources others have told them they need. This might mean they will write an entire album using only their voice and a thrift store keyboard or maybe it means that they build their dream house out of only “found” materials. Their creativity in looking beyond their limitations often leads to genius and great success.
20. Patience. Successful people understand that things don’t just happen overnight. They are willing to get that 4 year degree, then the graduate degree, and after that a doctorate. They know that the big reward they are after cannot be won by taking shortcuts.
21. Pushing Beyond Their Upbringing. Instead of following the status quo they strive to reach beyond the confines of their upbringing. Maybe their mom wanted them to be a college professor and their dad wanted them to be a nurse, but they will do what they perceive as being “much more.” In the meantime they will most likely seem to be a disappointment to those around them, but with each small success their families start to offer more and more support pushing them further on their path to achieving their dreams.
22. Inclusiveness. The most successful people invite everyone to the party. Acting “too cool” only excludes possible customers, friends or business associates.
23. Effective Communication. They typically are great writers, speakers or conversationalists. Their ideas might be very “out there” so being able to communicate them with ease helps others to get on board. It also allows them to have excellent relationships, which nurture them and offer them a strong foundation from which they can build their success.