9 Common Qualities of Highly Successful People

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When we look at the qualities of successful people who have made a name for themselves and have accumulated an abundance of wealth, we should ask ourselves…

“What are they doing differently that makes them so rich?”

Some people might say that they were born with certain talents. This may be true, but that’s really just one small piece of the puzzle.

In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.


9 Common Qualities of Highly Successful People

So now the question you should be asking yourself is, “How can I start doing what successful people are doing?”. 

And the answer is, to start applying these things into your life and take the first step towards developing these 9 qualities of successful people!


1. Get Specific

This is one of the main qualities of highly successful people. When you’re setting goals for yourself , try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like.

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there and actually accomplish it.

Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken in order to reach your goal. Just telling yourself that you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague. You have to be clear and precise.

“I’ll eat organic foods and be in bed by 10 p.m. on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals!


2. Act On Your Goals

Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we set for ourselves, it’s not surprising that we miss out on opportunities to act on our goals because we fail to notice them.

Did you really have no time to work out today? Was that donut your only food choice?

Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of the right opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

Decide when and where you will take each action you want to take in advance. Write it down. Again, be as specific as possible. (“If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”)

Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize opportunities when they arise, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%!

Seth Godin Motivational Picture Quotes

3. Know Exactly How Far You Have Left To Go

Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress.

If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently. Do it weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.


4. Be A Realistic Optimist

When setting a goal, engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation.

But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal!

Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly significantly increases the odds of your failure.


5. Focus On Growing, Rather Than On Being Good

Many of us believe that our intelligence, personalities, and our attitudes are fixed. We believe that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves rather than acquiring and developing new skills.

All of your skills and abilities are malleable, having a fixed mindset or belief system is completely wrong and limiting.

Embrace the fact that you CAN change and it will allow you to make better choices and reach your fullest potential!


6. Have Grit

Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals and to persist in the face of difficulty.

Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs.

If you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. That’s not true, we all have these qualities of successful people but we just haven’t been developing them.

If you think that successful people have abilities that you don’t… well, there’s no way to put this nicely – YOU ARE WRONG!

As I mentioned earlier, effortplanningpersistence, and good strategies and habits are what it really takes to succeed.

Embracing this knowledge will help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, and it will also strengthen your will-power!

Qualities of Successful People Quote

7. Building Your Willpower Muscle!

As mentioned before, your will-power or your self-control “muscle” is just like any other muscle in your body.

When it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time, but when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow much stronger and better able to help you successfully reach your goals!

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do.

Stop procrastinating, do 100 sit-ups a day, don’t eat any GMO’s, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. Just force yourself to never give up or give in!

Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack I will eat fruit instead of junk food.”)

It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your willpower and self-control.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Motivational Picture Quotes

8. Don’t Tempt Fate

No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once unless its fairly reasonable, (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time).

Many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where they’re continually tempted.

Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.


9. Focus On What You WILL Do, Not What You WON’T Do

Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or create a profitable business? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves.

Research on thought suppression has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind!

The same is true about your behaviors. By trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want change your ways then ask yourself, “What will I do instead?.”

For example, if you are trying to create a better lifestyle and earn more money, you might make a plan like “If I want to become rich, then I’ll have to be constantly learning, developing new empowering beliefs and creating helpful habit patterns.”

By training your mind to focus on what’s better for yourself, you replace your bad habits and old thinking patterns until it disappears completely.



It is my hope that after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along.

More importantly, I hope you were able to identify your mistakes and use this knowledge to your advantage.

Remember these 9 qualities of successful people:

  1. They get specific on what they want
  2. They act on their goals
  3. They know how far they have left to go
  4. They are realistic optimists
  5. They focus on growing rather than being good
  6. They have Grit (willingness to commit)
  7. They use their willpower muscle
  8. They don’t make things harder than they should be
  9. They focus on what they do want, but are aware of what they don’t

Successful people are only successful because they do things in a certain type of way.

By starting to do things in this certain way, your success will be guaranteed!

Thanks for reading this article on the qualities of successful people. Do you agree with the qualities on this list? Leave a comment below.

DJ Barrett
DJ Barrett
Donovan Barrett Jr is a young entrepreneur with a vision to create a highly efficient education platform teaching entrepreneurs how to create their ideal paradigm. He is a coffee connoisseur who opens gourmet warehouses globally & runs a blog about mindset & business.


  1. These 9 tips are powerful and important to people of all walks of life. I have been through some but failed to continue. After reading this post, I am well verse, I can see where I am. However, I regret in some areas, if only I was persistant, I should get somewhere. Anyway, there’s more room for improvement.

    • Hey Banex,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and that it helped you understand where you are right now!

      Like you said, there’s always room for improvement.

      You know the areas in which you want to improve, so persist to work on them until. And success will be guaranteed!




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