Do you consider yourself successful? If not, you might after reading this article. You might be closer to success than you thought. Success is defined in all kinds of ways. You may want to be rich, famous or simply leave a positive mark on the world. The only definition that matters is your own.

It’s perfectly fine to go ahead and consider yourself successful right now. You don’t have to wait for your next promotion, or the building of your dream home, to be happy. Accept where you are and where you have come from. And most importantly, enjoy it. Even if you don’t consider yourself highly successful now, you’re on your way.

Here are 20 signs that you have what it takes to be highly successful:

1. You crave knowledge

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

You love to learn in one format or another. It could be books, audiobooks, podcasts or videos, but the point is: you crave knowledge. You’re not constantly making excuses for why you’re not reading as much as you should be. You’re getting it done.

2. You’re planning ahead

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

You may be saving for retirement or investing in your children’s education. In one way or another, you’re planning ahead. You may not feel wealthy right now, but you are well on your way to creating a legacy by making those small contributions.

3. You wake up early

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.” – Aristotle

You may not feel like you’re conquering the world when you slowly roll out of bed, but simply getting up early aligns your habits with many of the most successful people in the world. You understand the value of the early hours and you use them to your advantage.

4. You make friends easily

“There’s a popular concept of ‘intelligence’ as book smarts, like calculus or chess, as opposed to, say, social skills. So people say that ‘it takes more than intelligence to succeed in human society.’ But social skills reside in the brain, not the kidneys.” – Eliezer Yudkowsky

Success can’t be measured merely in terms of money. Many of the richest people in the world are often the most unhappy. Having friends and family that love you sets you apart from some of the people that you may think you want to be like. Social skills and networking are key in building a successful business and creating a successful life. If you’re good at making friends, you’re on your way to doing both.

5. You have good character

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” -Dennis Prager

Your word means something. You understand how important it is to treat others with respect. Having good character and integrity sets you apart from others, whether you realize it or not. People do notice and it will take you far.

6. You have a burning desire to help people

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

Many multi-million dollar business ideas started as a desire to help others. If you hold on to that desire, it will take you far. Want to start your own business? Think about how you could best serve others and start doing it. Your desire to help and serve people will serve you well in the end.

7. You’ve failed and you’ve kept going

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

You may have heard the terms “fail forward” or “fail up”. Failing may suck, but some of the most famous and successful people have failed the most. If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to fail…a lot. If you’re not where you want to be right now, it may simply be because you haven’t failed enough…yet. That’s OK, you’re working on it.

8. You have self-discipline and self-control

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Everyone has some self-discipline and we all want more, but just the fact that you realize the importance of it means you’re on the right track. Think of all the areas in your life that you practice self-discipline and self-control. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you may have more than you think.

9. You’re always getting better

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

You may not feel like it, but you are always getting better. If you don’t feel like you’re improving, just measure your progress backwards. Think about where you were a year ago or two or five. I bet you’re farther along than you thought. Self-improvement is something that builds up like a snowball rolling down a hill. A tiny snowball can create an avalanche if it keeps rolling. Keep learning, keep growing and keep improving.

10. You have a giving heart

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

Giving is one of the foundations of healthy finances and a healthy life. It’s not about who you’re giving to. If you’re giving at all, you’re on the right track. Consider the fact that non-profit organizations receive over a trillion dollars in revenue each year. Giving is kind of a big deal.

11. You’re motivated and driven

“I was always incredibly driven and found it impossible to relax. I felt that if I slacked off for a minute to enjoy myself, then so many things would be missed.” – Sandra Bullock

You have passion and desire to accomplish great things. You’re driven to do something big, even if you’re not sure what it is yet. If you don’t feel motivated about your work, you may need to change things up. Figure out where your drive is taking you and you will lead yourself to success.

12. You’re able to practice patience

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Believe it or not, many of the most successful people are not very patient, although almost all of them admit the importance of it. Your patience will serve you well if you embrace it. It’s one of the most important values you can have.

13. You’re the person everyone wants to be around

“Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead.” – Charles M. Schwab

You have a good outlook on life. You’re optimistic. We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking, because it’s one of the most powerful traits you can have. Being optimistic not only makes people want to be around you, it also helps you to see the good in situations, which can often lead to your success.

14. You’re confident, but not too confident

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Self-confidence sets you apart from many others who have no faith in their own potential. Believing you can achieve great things is the first step to actually achieving those things. Just don’t be over-confident…that’s annoying.

15. You have successful friends

“You are who you surround yourself with. I know that’s such a cliche quote, but it’s true.” – Selena Gomez

You understand the importance of surrounding yourself with successful, like-minded people. Did you know that your income is usually the average of your five best friends’ incomes? If you surround yourself with people who earn more money than you, you’re likely to get there soon.

16. You’re able to let things go

“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius

You don’t hold grudges, because you know it affects you more than it affects them. If you plan to be successful, you know you can’t hold on to that junk that doesn’t matter. You’re an adult and you know how to move on. If someone wants to hold a grudge against you, that’s their problem.

17. You understand the power of “no”

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

You’re not afraid to say “no” to engagements, but more importantly, you understand that saying no to low priorities means you can say yes to higher priorities. Let’s be honest, saying yes or no comes down to your priorities. You can’t always say yes and you know that.

18. You know you can’t do it alone

“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” – Anne Wilson Schaef

Successful people understand the value of asking for help. Whether it’s your marriage, other relationships or a business venture, you know that you need other people. Nobody succeeds alone and you know how to ask for help when you need it.

19. You know how to manage your time

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’” – Lao-Tzu

You have your priorities and you make time for them. You know what you should be doing and you avoid what you shouldn’t be doing. You’ve developed rituals and routines that make your life more efficient and productive. Most importantly, you understand that if you can’t manage your time, you can’t manage anything.

20. You don’t criticize, condemn or complain

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know to avoid the three Cs. You’re only hurting yourself when you criticize, condemn or complain about others. There’s no room for it in your life. You understand the importance of building other people up and nurturing friendships.

You may not have all 20 of these things down yet, but you’re probably closer than you thought. Being highly successful is something that’s developed over a lifetime. You’re creating a successful life everyday. Just keep going.

Featured photo credit: Mt. Pico de Loro / Ed Escueta via flickr.com

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