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Published on January 7, 2021

16 Tips For Success from the World’s Most Influential People

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16 Tips For Success from the World’s Most Influential People

Everyone has their own definition of success, and each one of us will follow a different path in life to get there. The good thing is that many have come before us, and successful people often share with others their tips for success and the lessons they’ve picked up while striving to achieve their goals.

From superstar athletes to business and media moguls, these tips for success come from some of the most influential people around. Soak up their knowledge and apply it to your own plan for success.

1. Embrace the Possibility

“When you come to a point in your life when you see difficult things, don’t look in the other direction; move toward it. That’s the moment when you can affect change.” —Melinda Gates

The unknown can certainly be scary for a lot of people. We avoid change because it potentially brings on a new set of problems and stress. If you lean into something that might seem difficult, however, that change can also bring on great achievement and happiness.

You’ve probably heard that complacency is the enemy of progress, but by embracing possibility—even when it seems difficult—we set ourselves up for success.

2. Challenge Yourself

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” —Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey might seem like she has the golden touch, but if you asked her about her failures, she’d no doubt be able to rattle off plenty of examples.

The media mogul hasn’t been defined by her failures, though, but rather looks at them as points in her life where she challenged herself and learned from those mistakes. It’s this sort of fearless attitude that is shared by many of the world’s most influential movers and doers.

3. Put Yourself Out There

“To be successful you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running.” —Richard Branson

Anybody can make grandiose plans about what they want to do and how they plan to do it. Plans without action, though, are nothing more than daydreams. The business titan’s advice on success is clear and simple yet incredibly valuable: take a chance and put those plans into action. There’s certainly some risk involved in doing so, but the greatest successes always involve a level of risk.

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4. Hold Yourself to High Standards

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” —Steve Jobs

Another tip for success that successful people do is hold themselves to high standards. Our lives are a cumulation of the decisions we make, and the standards we hold ourselves to are often a result of those decisions. Your family, friends, bosses, and coworkers have their own standards that they hold you to, but it’s your own behavior that shapes those expectations they have of you.

Be developing a set of values that are important to yourself and holding yourself to those values, you’re displaying integrity. It’s this trait that when coupled with hard work often yields a lifetime of success.

5. Be Persistent

“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.” —Elon Musk

In December 2020, Elon Musk’s Starship rocket exploded into flames upon its landing.[1] If you think Musk is going to throw in the towel and wallow in failure, then you don’t know much about the entrepreneurial giant. He’s not just one of the most influential people around today, but he is also one of the most persistent.

No matter what your goals are, there are going to be critics and obstacles. It’s those who are persistent in spirit and not deterred by failure who will have the greatest chances of eventually achieving success.

6. Serve Others

“There could be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. Find something to do. Get off the bench.” —George H.W. Bush

Probably one of the most important tips for success, serving others is as vital as the others on this list.

One of the most important things George H.W. Bush accomplished during his presidency was signing into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was an important step for civil rights and service to those who had been ignored for so long.

If you look at a list of the most successful people in the world, you’ll no doubt find that nearly all of them serve others in some way. Whether it’s through mentorship, job creation, or making a positive change, they’re convinced that the more they serve the more they receive.

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7. Commitment

“There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed or are you not?” —LeBron James

If you’re not in it to win it, then success is unlikely to follow. Those who experience success know how to concentrate. They recognize a goal and commit to making it happen.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that there won’t be times of doubt and setbacks along the way. Rather than casting those goals aside, however, they adapt and commit to accomplishing each step that will put them closer to making their aspirations a reality.

8. Have a Positive Attitude

“I have never, ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive.” —Sonia Sotomayor

The Supreme Court Justice’s words about having a positive attitude may not sound like an earth-shaking epiphany on finding success, but they ring true. Having a positive outlook, practicing mindfulness, and trying to see the bright side of a situation rather than dwelling on the negative is an incredibly powerful thing.

Positive thinking has the ability to change your life in every way possible. It has an impact on everything from how you view yourself to how you engage with those you meet. A good attitude can impact not just your chances of success but your overall health as well.[2]

9. Be Bold

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

Numerous shared traits can be found in the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders throughout history. One of those traits is boldness.

Successful people are bold and confident in themselves. This does not mean they don’t have moments of doubt, but they have a healthy self-confidence in themselves that they can adapt, face, and conquer the challenges life throws their way.

Notice that Disney’s quote doesn’t say “our dreams will come true,” but rather they “can come true.” Success isn’t a guarantee, but with bold confidence, it does have the possibility of being achieved.

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10. Success Doesn’t Come Easy

“Progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.” —Barack Obama

Every president faces challenges and witnesses setbacks in the goals they strive to achieve. The former U.S. president’s quote is an assertion that progress takes hard work. For every milestone, there very well may be half a dozen failures that came before it.

The path to your own success likely won’t be a smooth one without its own bumps and obstacles. But by building a work ethic on the principles outlined here, progress towards success can be made.

11. Trust Intuition

“Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.” —Barbara Corcoran

Oftentimes, the more successful a person becomes, the more they have others advising them of what they should or should not be doing. There’s certainly value in surrounding yourself with smart people of good character, but a lot can be said for trusting one’s own gut.

There’s actually some real science behind gut instinct or intuition, and our brain ns are constantly comparing past experiences with current information.[3] Shark Tank regular Barbara Corcoran has certainly trusted her own intuition in business and yours should also not be ignored.

12. Learn to Be a Strong Communicator

“Effective communication is 20 percent what you know and 80 percent how you feel about what you know.” —Jim Rohn

Being a strong communicator is of paramount importance in many aspects of life and one of the best tips for success. Speaker, author, and entrepreneur Jim Rohn was a brilliant communicator and attributed much of his success to his ability to effectively communicate his views, goals, and knowledge to those around him.

From acing a job interview to leading an army into battle, good communication goes hand-in-hand with the power of persuasion and the success that can follow it.

13. Be Passionate

“Whether you found your calling, or you’re still searching, passion should be the fire that drives your life’s work.” —Michael Dell

This is probably the most common but also one of the most important tips for success. If you’re not passionate about something, it’s hard to give your 100 percent to it. Sure, you may be able to keep it up for a short period of time, but in the long run, not a chance.

Michael Dell (yes, the computer guy) makes a good point about finding one’s calling. If there’s no passion behind what you’re doing, the success your efforts yield will be limited at best.

14. Define What You Want

“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask.” —Tim Ferris

The most influential and successful people in the world have clear visions of their purpose and what they want to achieve. They’re not simply throwing darts and hoping to hit a good idea.

You’re in charge of developing your own focus and defining what it is you want in life. Once you know what it is, go after it. If it’s more responsibility in a job, ask for it. If it’s starting your own business, take the steps to make it happen.

15. Be Confident in Yourself

“Be inspired by the success of others, but don’t be intimidated by it.” —Daymond John

There’s always going to be somebody more successful than you. In fact, chances are that when you’re first starting, there are going to be a lot of people more successful. Allowing the success of the other guy to deflate your own self-confidence can be incredibly defeating, though. Rather than viewing the accomplishments of others as unattainable, use them as inspiration and a goal to strive for.

16. Make Smart Choices

“Your legacy is being written by yourself. Make the right decisions.” —Gary Vaynerchuk

Last but not the list in these tips for success—make smart choices. Everyone is faced with decisions—some big and some small. It’s the choices you make that shape your life and the events and people that come into it. Make the wrong choices and you could have a pretty miserable life.

Nobody can choose the right choices for you, but you can learn to make smart decisions that lead to success. Making those wise decisions really all boils down to recognizing your goals and weighing how those choices move you closer to achieving those goals and align with your values.

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Final Thoughts

These tips for success will not guarantee that you become successful. Your success still depends on you. However, these tips are good stepping stones for you to achieve your dreams.

More Tips for Success

Featured photo credit: Ashley Knedler via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Last Updated on September 8, 2021

7 Ways to Eliminate Your Excuses

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7 Ways to Eliminate Your Excuses

I have this friend. She uses excuses to get out of everything related to being a responsible adult (and I mean everything!). The worst part is, she’s been doing this for so long, excuses are now a deeply embedded part of her personality.

I used to gently nudge her toward ways to solve her excuses so she’d stop holding herself back, but she has the market cornered. Seriously, it’s an impenetrable force field. Her life isn’t at all how she wants it to be, and instead of taking responsibility for it, she pulls out her scroll of excuses and reads out the section called “Reasons Why Nothing Is My Fault.”

Truthfully, I’d have more respect for her if she were to just come out with it and say, “I’m not doing this or that because I’m too lazy.” Let’s face facts: if she wanted her picture-perfect lifestyle badly enough, she’d do anything to get it.

Why do I bother with her? Because at one time, I was her: ambitious, motivated, determined, but when things weren’t going how I wanted them to I was suddenly a victim of my environment. This led to years of spinning my tires. My excuses were always there to break my fall… until they weren’t. Like my friend, I was participating in a blind game of self-sabotage that led to my life turning out exactly how I swore it never would.

Like all bad habits, excuses are easy. They allow you to box yourself into your comfort zone and be “okay” with your life. After a while, you’ll find this way of living isn’t enough for you. You can either accept where your life is (which is the excuse-coated version of “give up”), or you can eliminate your excuses by taking responsibility for where you are now and more importantly, why you created the excuses in the first place.

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So what’ll it be? Yeah, I thought so. To help you get started, here are 7 ways to eliminate your excuses:

1. Read Between the Lines

Usually, the excuse you’re using is masking the real reason why you “can’t” accomplish something. For some, it’s a fear of failure. For others, it’s a self-esteem issue. For others still, it’s a fear of success or having something to lose.

If you’re unsure of where the excuses are coming from, simply ask yourself: if you were to succeed and accomplish what you want, what’s the worst thing that could happen? List off every worst case scenario, and you’ll likely recognize a theme. This is the issue to tackle.

2. Stop Ending Your Statements with a “But…”

This is a little trick I use that works every time: instead of saying “I’d really like to, but…”, cut yourself off and say “I’d really like to.” This triggers your mind to focus on the plans you need to make to reach your goals, instead of the roadblocks currently in your way. Instant motivation!

3. Avoid Other “Excusers”

One of the big things I noticed once I began stepping out of my comfort zone was the number of people in my life who were also making excuses. So many excuses, in fact, that looking back on our conversations together, we were always complaining and excusing! Imagine if we instead put all of that time into doing!

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Like you, those you spend time with might not realize they’re making excuses, and trust me you can point it out all you want – it’s a realization everyone has to come to on their own before they can change. Jump start a new conversation; be the one who changes the tune. If you eliminate your excuses, you’ll likely encourage those you care about to do the same.

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4. Trick Yourself

Depending on your goals, sometimes just thinking about them is overwhelming. This is especially the case with enormous goals, such as succeeding in a challenging career or building a business from the ground up. It’s too easy to become so overwhelmed you don’t get started at all.

Eliminate your excuses by creating the mother of all to-do lists as it relates to that specific goal. Break it down into itty bitty baby steps. Only work on one tiny step at a time, and hide the rest of the steps in a drawer. When you’re done the step, it doesn’t feel like it was such a big deal. Then move onto the next, and the next. This worked wonders for me when I started working on my first screenplay while simultaneously recovering from adrenal fatigue. Now, I’m able to work on it regularly—and comfortably—without a list at all.

Soon, you’ll look back on all of your tiny steps and will be amazed at your progress!

5. Build Excuse-Free Habits

As they say, “Feel the fear, but do it anyway.” Recognize the excuses you’re making, own up to them, and do what you want to do regardless of what you think is holding you back. Yes, it’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s one thing to say you have control of your life and another to take control.

Building these habits is difficult, and sometimes painful in the moment, but afterward you feel refreshed and indescribably proud of yourself. So much so, you’ll want to set your next challenge right away. It’s an addictive practice once you get started! Make testing your limits fun and enjoy the process on your own terms.

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6. Use Your Excuses As Signals

Once you recognize your excuses for what they are, you can begin using them to your advantage. Consider your excuses a signal to a deeper underlying problem. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with what makes you tick. Each time you find yourself making an excuse, look into it further, find the true cause and work toward moving past it. The more you practice this, the less you’ll hold yourself back from your full potential.

7. Trust the Process

There are times when you sincerely want to do something, but there are aspects of your schedule/lifestyle/workload that hugely conflict with what you want. In these instances, you’re not in denial or making excuses, you’re simply examining the roadblocks that are in your way. It’s when you allow these roadblocks to stay in place that they become excuses.

Oddly enough, it’s when something’s really important to us that we start layering on the excuses. If you immediately turn to a proactive attitude when these situations arise, and trust yourself to think of a solution, you won’t have to eliminate your excuses – you won’t be able to find one.

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