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8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why

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8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why

Some people achieve outstanding success and make it look so easy.

How do they do it—and what can they teach us?

Because sometimes that dream, that ultimate success, can seem so far away. There are days when the only light we can see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming express train. It can be easy to see bad luck or failure as our destiny rather than a learning curve. At those times we need to remember that we are not alone; the brightest and the best have been there before us, and sometimes what it takes to finally reach the very top is not to catch a break, but to get the right attitude.

Here’s how eight of the most successful people of this century and the last have won their dreams.

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1. Steve Jobs

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know of avoiding the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

How many of us are held back by thoughts of what we think we have to lose? But guess what? We came into the world naked and we’re going out the same way. Everything we think we have is just a loaner. The only thing we have to lose is that possible feeling of bitter regret when the curtain comes down for the last time. If you don’t follow your dreams, then what’s the point of it all?

2. Mark Cuban

“The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job, or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.”

And really, it’s true, isn’t it? We worry about failure, about not getting that dream job, about that business venture that fell over, that beautiful girl or gorgeous guy who blew us off. But failure and rejection really don’t matter at all because the truly liberating thing is this: you only have to be right once. And when you have your go-ahead business and a loving partner, how many times will you remember all the times you didn’t succeed? You won’t, because they won’t matter.

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3. Oprah Winfrey

“What other people label failure I have learned is just God’s way of pointing you in a new direction.”

Whether you’re religious or not, you have to say, Oprah has a point right there. Think back on how many times you’ve hung your head when something didn’t go right. You didn’t make the football team, but then your uncle took you rallying to help you get over the disappointment and you found out you were a hotshot driver. You lost your job slaving away in a hotel restaurant and a month later a friend asked you to take over in the kitchen in their new uptown restaurant. Is it failure? Or is it a new start?

4. Thomas Edison

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not know how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first jobs as a television reporter because she was “unfit for television news.” Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. The Beatles were rejected by one record company with the words: “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out.” What would have happened if they had given up too soon? Persistence is more important than raw talent every single time.

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5. J.K. Rowling

“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized. And I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which to build my life.”

And most people never know what rock bottom is like, so they never reach the very top. You hit rock bottom often when you shoot for the moon. It’s the place reserved for those who put everything on the line. But if you don’t put everything out there, you will never get to be as rich or as famous as J.K. Rowling.

6. Jeff Bezos

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but the one thing that I would regret is not trying.”

Failure is nothing. Failure is what happens sometimes when you try. All outstandingly famous people have failed. It’s how they learn to do it right. The only failure that is forever is when you fail to try.

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7. Michael Jordan

“I have taken more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life; and that is why I succeed.”

Everyone knows that another great sportsman, Babe Ruth, held the record for home runs during his career. Did you also know that for decades he also held the record for strike outs? When asked about it, he said this: “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” That’s why Michael Jordan succeeded; that’s why you can too.

8. J.P. Morgan

“The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding you are not going to stay where you are.”

And that step is often the hardest: leaving a poorly paying job you hate to take a risk on something you love; to move away from the safety of a steady job to chase down a dream. There are so many good and great reasons not to move. But once we decide it’s really not enough, we are on our way. Because as these eight outstanding successes show us, nothing stands in the way of the man or woman who dares to dream, who dares to risk and who dares to try until they succeed.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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