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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

13 Essential Personal Qualities for a Successful Life

13 Essential Personal Qualities for a Successful Life
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There are a few personal qualities and traits we can all strive to embody to bring more success into our lives. We have to slowly build these traits over time, like a slow-growing, beautiful flower.

These successful traits and personal qualities truly are shared by people from all areas of life. They aren’t something you just stumble onto, and they don’t just happen by chance or luck. They come from small habitual changes we make throughout our lives, one step and one day at a time.

The key lesson here is this: If you live an average lifestyle, don’t be surprised when you only get average results. If you want something more, you need to get out there and earn it! Striving to step out your door as your best self every single day is a great way to point yourself in the right direction. The better you perform every day, the more success will find its way back to you.

Here are some of the personal qualities, traits, and attributes that cultivate success in our daily lives.

1. Resilience

All of us, at some point in our lives, are going to be knocked down. Maybe you saw it coming, maybe you didn’t, but what’s important is that you develop the ability to get back up.

Resilience will help you keep going through difficult times and help you bounce back when people try to push you down.

When we lack resiliency, we run from our problems, avoid admitting mistakes, and shy away from growth. This robs us of chances to develop into someone truly amazing.

2. Drive

You need to be willing to work hard to get to the top of any ladder. That goes without question.

You need that drive to remain disciplined when the going gets tough. You need to understand your “why.” Why are you striving to accomplish this goal? What are you going to gain from it?

To help you understand your “why,” join the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. In this intensive session, you will learn how to dig deep into your inner drive and build yourself a sustainable motivation engine. Sign up for the free class here.

The clearer you can be on why you are doing something, the more driven you will remain through the difficult and challenging times that you’ll inevitably face on your journey.

3. Self-reliability

You can depend on yourself. How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to get something done on a particular day, or in a week, or in a month, only to either forget about it or push it off until a later date. Have the strength to shoulder these responsibilities and then hold yourself accountable.

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You need to be able to remain accountable when it comes to your goals and values. Understanding where your strengths and weaknesses are and acting accordingly is a great way to start living a successful life.

4. Patience

This is probably one of the most difficult of the personal qualities on this list to develop. Very little in life happens overnight.

We use the term “overnight success” to describe the people who become successful almost instantaneously. However, we often don’t see that what looks like an overnight success to us was likely years or even decades in the making for the individual.

To achieve true success and happiness in your life, you need to cultivate patience. Only through patience will you gain the clarity required to overcome the problems that you face in life.[1]

Without patience, you’ll likely succumb to the shiny-object syndrome, where you chase around the next big thing continuously but never stick with anything long enough to reach your goals.

5. Courage

Far too often I see people fail to reach their potential because they’re afraid. They aren’t afraid of the growth, but they’re afraid of taking the risk that they might fail at something, especially when it’s in public, at a work place, or on social media.

This fear prevents them from truly committing to and achieving their goals.

When you find yourself fearing failure, remember this phrase:

“Fail forward!”

The most successful people in the world have continuously said that failing, and learning from those failures, is key to success.

Stop fearing what could go wrong and begin focusing on what could go right.

6. Commitment

“Commitment is key.”

If you’ve never heard this phrase, commit it to memory.

When you commit to your goals, there is another level of determination that your mind develops, and reaching goals becomes that much easier.

If you aren’t committed, chances are you’ll lose focus. Be realistic, but find that balance so that you can commit to the goals you feel you can attain over time through true dedication and commitment.

7. Willpower

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

This is the ability to see things through to the end, a willingness to find solutions and work through the problems and challenges you face along the way. If you can’t work through your problems, it’s likely that you won’t get very far very fast.

The most successful people in the world are often the people who are also the best problem-solvers. These are the people who can work through the challenges that impede their efforts and progress. These people overcome hardships instead of just quitting and moving on.[2]

8. Passion

You need that fire burning inside of you that continually pushes you toward your goals. This is one of the most important personal qualities.

Passion motivates you to take on that next challenge because you know what’s on the other side. Success so often follows passion that it is almost an essential part of the equation.

Sometimes, passion isn’t always easy to come by. You have to try a few different things before you find something that really gets you going.

However, when you’ve found it, you’ll know. You’ll know because you’ll be excited each and every day to deal with the problems and challenges that face you as a result of that passion. When you feel passion for something, it will make you want to improve and become a better person each and every day.

9. Connection

This trait is very underrated in our modern world. People lack true connections. We hop online or onto social media and talk to people through our phones and hope that’s enough.[3]

However, humans are social beings by nature. Everyone should take the time to find people with similar goals and values. When you find these people who have similar goals and values, you can support each other through your individual struggles and invest in the relationships.

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10. Integrity

Integrity is integral to any life of true purpose, meaning, and success. If you don’t have your integrity, living an honest, successful life may be difficult.

Practice this attribute daily. The best way to cultivate integrity in your life is by being honest, open, and transparent in everything that you do.

Through actions like these, we define our true character, and that character defines who we are and who we eventually develop into.

11. Optimism

Optimism, the “glass half full” mentality, is incredibly important. If you are optimistic about your ability to take on challenges and achieve success, you’ll be more likely to positively approach difficult situations. This will help you keep an open mind and find effective solutions.

If you approach a problem with a closed mind, finding solutions will likely take longer and involve less creativity. If you’ve got a problem and try to force a solution onto that situation rigidly, you will likely struggle. Remain open and optimistic.

Be careful, though, because optimism can be taken too far. If you have blind faith in your abilities or someone else’s, you may end up putting yourself in a difficult situation. Be optimistic, but sprinkle in a little bit of realism as well.

12. Self-confidence

You need to have faith in your abilities. You need to believe that you have what it takes to achieve your goals. Be realistic about how you are, and have confidence that you’re going to use your unique personal qualities to find success.

Creating a support system around you will also help with your self-confidence. When you stumble, you will have the right people around you to help you push through and remind you who you are.

Overall, you need to trust yourself. It truly is that simple. To be successful, you first need to believe you have what it takes to get there. If you don’t, you may not take actions to move forward or invest yourself fully.

However, if you don’t have this type of self-confidence at this moment, don’t worry. Remember, we don’t all have all of these qualities naturally. The goal is to pick some personal qualities to cultivate over time. You can gain this confidence if you work at it.

13. Communication

Communication is an essential trait that any successful person should have in their arsenal.

If you can’t communicate with people, chances are that you’ll struggle to relate to them. This will make it more difficult to solve problems when they do arise between you and someone else.

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If you can’t communicate, you may also struggle to establish and maintain true connections with the other important people in your life.

Communication isn’t just about hearing what someone is saying; it’s also about hearing what they aren’t saying and responding appropriately.

When the proper methods of communication are established between two people, respect and trust follow nearly 100% of the time. This is why communication is so important as it allows you to understand someone else at a deeper level and form a true connection.

Learn more about effective communication: How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Final Thoughts

All of the above personal qualities can help you develop success in life.

If you don’t have some of these right now, don’t worry. While some will come more naturally than others, each of these personal qualities can be developed through mindful practice.

Remember, nobody ever plans to be average. Average happens when you fail to strive for something more, when you fail to apply yourself and your skills to become something more.

So begin today.

Identify where your goals are and what steps, skills, and personal qualities will get you from where you are now to where you want to be.

Featured photo credit: Jude Beck via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Rationality and Competition: Longevity and Patience
[2] Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience: Willpower over the life span: decomposing self-regulation
[3] Diana Earl, The University of Queensland: The Healthy Relationships Series: An Untapped Potential for Human Connection

More by this author

Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

  • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
  • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
  • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

A short and sweet lesson for you:

You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

  • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
  • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
  • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

Keep your mission in mind.

Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

Final thoughts

Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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