We all think about success, and we should, because the road to self-improvement comes from within, not from some exterior source. It is a good idea to be introspective and to strive to pinpoint bad habits as well as good ones, not just in a business sense, but also in private life situations. Still, introspecting only gets us so far. Trapping yourself inside your head and trying to figure everything out by yourself is usually not the best approach.

This is why we study our role models and strive to see what it is that they do in their everyday lives that makes them so successful. We are all aware that success doesn’t happen overnight (except in some extreme cases) and we want to pinpoint things that we can apply to our everyday lives in order to improve our chances for success. Here are some great examples.

1. Don’t just think, act

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney

Like mentioned in the introduction, don’t get stuck inside your head and forget to move forward. There are thousands of people with great ideas floating around their heads, but their inability to act on them is what ensures that they never go further than the fantasy stage. This doesn’t mean that you should set off without planning things out, but if you wait for the conditions to be perfect, you will never move beyond the starting line.

Always remember the famous words of Walt Disney: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

2. Persevere in the face of adversity

It is very easy to live under the illusion that the famous and successful don’t make mistakes. I mean, if you want an example of famous failures, I’ll give you three: George Lucas’s Star Wars episodes I, II, and III. Still, he managed to pull the whole thing off and turn a profit in the end.

Everyone makes mistakes and has difficult situations during the work day, which can sometimes turn into long-term trouble. Reminding yourself: “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.” This is the philosophy behind the success of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, basketball players of all times, Michael Jordan. It is a simple thing, but has tremendous impact if you adhere to it.

3. Keep confident with daily effort

This is what gets people confused a lot. In order to be successful, you need to be introspective and self-analytic, but you also need to avoid doubting yourself too much. Naturally, when you dwell on a problem for a long time, you are bound to come up with more than a few ways that things can go terribly wrong. This is where people choke up and fail to meet the challenge.

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not,” wise words by Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful people in history, and she couldn’t be more right. Integrity is the road to confidence.

4. Research and read as a part of being

“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” — Bill Gates

This quote has really set the standard for the age we live in. You need to be informed, up-to-date, and constantly focused on news and innovations in order to remain competitive in the fast-developing environment that we are a part of. Reading books, articles, being interested in various media, studying — all of these things make you better and more capable of dealing with adverse situations, which will open more opportunities. So, pick your way to work on self-improvement, and see how it enriches your life.

5. Don’t shy away from exercise

More and more modern work environments are actually desk jobs, and although it may not seem so, having a desk job comes with its fair share of health threats — the biggest issue being sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

The body can’t function properly when not exercised properly. That’s the way we are wired and we need to deal with that. If a busy woman like Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, can find time in her schedule to play tennis for one hour a day, so can you. I’m not saying you can’t succeed without exercise, but if you decide to avoid it, your success might seem hollow as you sit on your throne with an aching back and a tired body.

6. Calm your mind and banish stress

Yes, work equals stress. Truth be told, some work environments are less stressful than others, but each and every one includes stress. If you do not manage it properly, it can turn into anxiety and other, more severe, psychological conditions.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had problems with anxiety when he was starting to make it big, and his answer was transcendental meditation, but that was the 70s. Don’t get me wrong, meditating can be great, but it is not the only way to vent stress. Playing a videogame to chill out and relax has become a broadly accepted way to deal with stress.

7. Be mindful of your reputation

If you want to be a professional, you need to be mindful of your image and strive to maintain it. This may seem easy to do, but in the words of Warren Buffet: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

The true sign that you are on the right path to success is when you start worrying about your reputation, since it may directly impact how you progress.

8. Always look for something new

In the end, you can always start something else. Even if things go bad, always strive to leave a clean slate and don’t lose hope. Sir Richard Branson said it best: “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming,” so don’t despair. The path to success is filled with many dead ends.

Attitude can be the most important thing. I mean, none of these people had to push themselves throughout their entire lives or needed to reach the peaks they reached in order to live well, but they did it anyway. They enjoyed the struggle and welcomed challenge. That’s what it’s all about!

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