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Published on January 7, 2021

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

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 June 4, 2021

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

Failure occurs everyday, in school, jobs, housework, and within families. It is unavoidable, irritating and causes pessimism.

While the thought of flinging your hands in the air and walking away is all too appealing, take a second to connect with the people who have been there and survived.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. — Henry Ford

Here are 10 famous failures to success stories around the world that will inspire you to keep going and achieve greatness:

    1. J.K. Rowling

      During a Harvard commencement speech, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling outlined the importance and value of failure.[1]

      Why? Simply because she was once a failure too.

      A few short years after her graduation from college, her worst nightmares were realized. In her words,

      “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

      Coming out of this failure stronger and more determined was the key to her success.

      2. Steve Jobs

        The now revolutionary Apple started off with two men in a garage. Years later we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.

        Yet, almost unbelievably, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he began.

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        The dismissal made him realize that his passion for his work exceeded the disappointment of failure. Further ventures such as NeXT and Pixar eventually led Jobs back to the CEO position at AppleJobs said in 2005:

        “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

        Lost your job today? Keep kicking and you could be just like this guy!

        3. Bill Gates
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          Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. He co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which was a true failure.[2]

          However, skill and a passion for computer programming turned this failure into the pioneer of famous software company Microsoft, and the then 31-year-old into the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

          In his own words:

          “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

          This isn’t to say that dropping out of Harvard will make you into a billionaire, but maybe that shiny degree isn’t worth as much as the drive and passion to succeed.

          If you haven’t found your passion like Bill Gates, this will help you:

          How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

          4. Albert Einstein

            The word ‘Einstein’ is associated with intelligence and synonymous with genius. Yet it is a famous fact that the pioneer of the theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein himself, could not speak fluently until the age of nine. His rebellious nature led to expulsion from school, and he was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

            His earlier setbacks did not stop him from winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. After all, he believed that:

            “Success is failure in progress.”

            To this day, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art, and even late night TV.

            Just because you haven’t achieved anything great yet, doesn’t mean you can’t be an Einstein yourself.

            5. Abraham Lincoln

              Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, defeated in his run for president in 1856, Abraham Lincoln was no stranger to rejection and failure. Rather than taking these signs as a motivation for surrender, he refused to stop trying his best.

              In this great man’s words:

              “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

              Lincoln was elected in 1861 as the 16th President of the United States of America.

              The amount of rejection you receive is not a defining factor. Success is still within your reach.

              6. Michael Jordan

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                “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                This quote by retired basketball legend Michael Jordan in a Nike advertisement speaks for itself.

                It would be an easy misconception that Jordan’s basketball skills revolve around natural talent. In fact, in his earlier years,  basketball coaches had trouble looking past the fact that Jordan didn’t reach the minimum height. It was years of effort, practice, and failure that made the star we know today.

                Michael Jordan’s success all came down to his Intrinsic Motivation, one of the most invincible types of motivation that drives people to succeed.

                7. Steven Spielberg

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                  Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg is a familiar household name. It is surprising to realize therefore that the genius behind Jaws and E.T. had poor grades in high school, getting him rejected from the University of Southern California three times.

                  While he was in college, he caught the eye of executives at Universal, who signed him as a television director in 1969. This meant that he would not finish his college degree for another 33 years.

                  Perseverance and acceptance of failure is the key to success, after all.

                  “Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry.”

                  Bad grades in high school aside, there is no questioning the genius involved.

                  To date, Spielberg has directed 51 films and has been awarded three Oscars.

                  8. Walt Disney

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                    Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt at joining the army.[3] One of his earlier ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. He was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.”

                    Yet today, The genius behind Disney studios is responsible for generations of childhood memories and dreams. From Snow White to Frozen, Disney will continue to entertain the world for generations to come.

                    The logic behind this is simple:

                    “We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

                    9. Vincent Van Gogh

                      During his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh suffered mental illness, failed relationships, and committed suicide at the age of 37.

                      He only ever sold one painting in his life, pinning him a failure as an artist. However that did not put a damper on his enthusiasm and passion for art.

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                      He would never know that years and years after his death he would become known as a key figure in the world of post-impressionism, and ultimately, one of the greatest artist that ever lived.

                      He would never know that he became a hot topic in art classes and his image was going to be used in TV, books and other forms of popular culture.

                      In the words of this great, but tragic man:

                      “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

                      10. Stephen King

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                        As a paranoid, troubled child, tormented by nightmares and raised in poverty, it is no surprise that Stephen King grew up to the title: “Master of Horror”.[4]

                        An addiction to drugs and alcohol were his mechanisms to cope with the unhappiness he felt with his life. The frustration he felt towards multiple rejections by publishers in combination with illicit substances caused him to mentally contemplate violence towards his own children.

                        These intense emotions were those that he focused onto his writing. And that’s why he said:

                        “We make up horros to help us cope with the real ones.”

                        Writing became his new coping mechanism, and this is how the master author we know today grew to success.

                        Fail More Often in Order to Succeed

                        Like Albert Einstein said, failure really is just success in progress. If you’d rather not to fail, you will probably never succeed.

                        Success comes from moments of frustrations when you’ll be most uncomfortable with. But after you’ve gone through all those bitter times, you’ll become stronger and you’ll get closer to success.

                        If you feel like a failure and think that you’ve failed all too many times, it’s not too late to change things up! Here’s how to turn your limitations into your opportunities:

                        Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, start failing, and start failing often; that’s how you will succeed.

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                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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