If you’re an ambitious go-getter who wants to make the most out of this thing called life, watch out for these twelve things successful people don’t do.

1. They don’t give other people the power to define “success” for them.

Successful people pursue what makes them feel happy and accomplished without worrying about what everybody else thinks. They know some people measure success in dollars, while others put more emphasis on creating positive change in the world. There is nothing inherently “wrong” with either of those definitions, but successful people know it’s NOT right to force your interpretation on another person.

2. They don’t accept anything as truth without questioning it.

Successful people are critical thinkers who question new information before accepting it to be true. They understand that all authors (even journalistsare ruled by their prejudices just like the rest of us, so they maintain a healthy skepticism, no matter how “qualified” a source might claim to be.

3. They don’t let friends or family dictate major life decisions.

Successful people care about their close ones, but they don’t put the opinions of others before their own happiness. They trust their intuition and pursue whatever fulfills them; even if that means disappointing their parents who expect them to run the “family business” or get a degree in a field that is “safe and secure.”

4. They don’t cling to past beliefs that were proven wrong.

Successful people are willing to accept the fact that they don’t have it all figured out. They try to stay humble, because life-long success depends on their ability to be receptive to change.

5. They don’t concern themselves with the unpredictable.

Successful people are comfortable with the reality that their future cannot be predicted. They might wish life came equipped with a crystal ball, but they acknowledge this isn’t the case, so they are ready to improvise when things don’t go according to plan.

6.  They don’t agonize over criticisms or personal insults.

Successful people don’t stress out about receiving nasty comments online. They strive to make a positive difference in the lives of the people they serve, but they don’t justify ad-hominem arguments or personal attacks with a response.

7. They don’t think success will come “quick” or “easy.”

Successful people pity the fools who fall for “lose weight fast” and “get rich quick” schemes. They are aware that every person evolves at their own unique pace, so no one can make any promises about how long it will take to achieve meaningful progress.

8. They don’t wait for the “right time” to take action.

Successful people don’t say things like, “I’ll open my business when the time is right.” They know there isn’t a “right” time to do anything, so they chase their ambitions without hesitation.

9. They don’t forget the people who matter.

Successful people make time to tend to their personal relationships, no matter how busy they might be. They realize that no matter how successful you might be, life would get depressing in a hurry without love and friendship

10. They don’t ignore pressing concerns.

Successful people confront problems as soon as possible. They are certainly tempted to neglect things that are difficult to deal with, but they tackle them anyway, because putting off a problem will only turn it into a bigger one.

11. They don’t dodge responsibilities.

Successful people accept responsibility for their thoughts and actions. They are human just like the rest of us, so they do make mistakes, but they are willing to own them by admitting fault and apologizing as necessary.

12. They don’t care what you think.

Successful people aren’t concerned with the quantity of their friendships, but rather the quality of them. They know it’s impossible to please everybody, so they focus on developing close friendships with folks they care about.

Featured photo credit: Climbing Journal Mount Rinjani package/Trekking Rinjani via flickr.com

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