We all want to be successful in life. Success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose." The late Maya Angelou defined success as this: "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." Sounds like an ideal life, right? While success may look different for everybody, there are common themes found in those who the world calls "successful." After reading many articles and watching many informative videos, I began to see a theme in many of the small habits. Here are 10 themes found in the lives of successful people that we can all implement into our own lives.
1.) Successful People are Goal-Oriented.
Successful people do not just wander around and somehow gain success along the way. They have goals that they want to accomplish. They know what their priorities are and how to do their most important things first. They set specific goals that they want to accomplish and make a plan for how to carry out that goal step-by-step.
"All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do." -Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author of The Power of Positive Thinking
2.) Successful People Write Things Down.
Not only do successful people have goals, but they write these goals down. They write down daily to-do lists in order to organize their thoughts and prioritize best. Writing things down helps to clear your mind and record everything that has your attention. It helps you not to forget the tasks you need to accomplish. Overall, not only does writing make your goals and tasks more clear, but it motivates you to do them! Those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to accomplish them, according to a study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California.
"By recording your goals and dreams on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be." -Mark Victor Hansen, speaker, trainer, and author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
3.) Successful People have Self-Discipline.
Successful people practice self-discipline and take full responsibility for themselves. They take care of their important tasks first and leave their not-so-important tasks for later. They realize that they have full responsibility not in how life treats them, but how they respond to life circumstances. They practice saying no to things that do not matter in order to accomplish their goals and yes to things that help further their goals. Ultimately, they know how to manage their time well.
"Success doesn't just happen. You have to be intentional about it, and that takes discipline." -John C. Maxwell, pastor and author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
4.) Successful People Read.
Successful people chose to read books that will educate them and help them grow. There are books on almost any topic you'd like to learn about, and successful people do not put these books to waste. Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, and more all claim to have reading goals. Even upon not obtaining a college degree, many obtain success purely from reading books. In response to the question of how to gain success, Warren Buffet pointed to his stack of books.
"Read 500 pages like this every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it." -Warren Buffett, business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
5.) Successful People have Healthy Morning Routines.
Set morning routines are a common theme found in successful people. They wake up at the same time every day, often early before the rest of the world rises. They eat a healthy breakfast to start the day. They exercise to start their day off with motivation. They make sure they got an adequate amount of sleep the night before to keep them strong throughout the day. They often journal and have quiet time to themselves and with their families before starting their work day. This reminds them of the importance of doing what they are doing in life. They have time to plan for the day and are ready to start the day effectively by the time they need to start working. Having a healthy morning routine helps to keep them in a set routine day-to-day and allows their creativity to begin to flow from the moment they wake up.
"When I follow my routine, I feel on top of the world. Regardless of what the day has in store for me, I feel accomplished and in control." - Todd Davis, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at FranklinCovey
6.) Successful People Take Risks.
Successful people are not too scared to take risks. They realize that great opportunities are available at the sake of taking risks. Their risk-taking makes them stand out and shows confidence. They run after opportunities and pursue hard things. They realize that playing it safe is not always the way to go. But they do not take risks uninformed. They do their research before going all in on a risky deal or choice.
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go."
-T.S. Eliot, twentieth century poet, playwright, and social critic
7.) Successful People Keep Going after Failures and Setbacks.
Because successful people often take risks, they are bound to deal with failures and setbacks. What sets successful people apart, however, is that they keep on going! They do not allow the discouragement to overtake them, but rather come back knowing they have learned a lesson that will help them in the future. They take the failure as the catapult to new and different opportunities.
"I am always doing what I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." -Pablo Picasso, artist, poet, and playwright
8.) Successful People Practice Gratitude.
Successful people realize that gratitude is a choice, and they practice this choice daily. They realize that they can choose to be thankful for the blessings in their lives. They chose to focus on the good instead of the bad. They are constantly finding the positive in situations instead of complaining about the negatives. When they find a negative, they look for ways to improve it instead of drowning in their sorrows. They keep gratitude journals so they are constantly faced with choosing gratefulness.
"Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life." -Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, producer, actress, and philanthropist
9.) Successful People Surround Themselves with Like-Minded People.
Those who are successful realize the importance of surrounding themselves with others who will lift them up and be excited about their dreams as well. They do not allow negative people to have a large space in their life. They know people personally who will be with them through their progress, and they follow others who are goal-oriented and chase after their dreams. They realize the influence those around them have on themselves, and they chose their friends and role models carefully.
"You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don't waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important." -Joel Osteen, pastor, televangelist, and author
10.) Successful People are Generous.
Generosity is a common trait among successful people. They chose to share their success with others and find ways to help out those in need. They do not wait until they are rich to give, but rather practice generosity from the beginning of their career until the end. They know that they have the power to help others and chose to act on that power instead of abusing it.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the UK, statesman, army officer, and writer
And just as a bonus, here's one more.
11.) Successful People Do What They Love.
Ultimately, successful people pursue what they love and are passionate about. This love and passion rubs off on all their work and becomes obvious to others. When pursuing what they love, they are more optimistic, productive, and enthusiastic to learn and grow. They have a joy for their life and dedicate themselves to what they truly love to do. They realize this is the key step for all other success to follow.
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." -Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., business magnate, and investor
These eleven tips are concepts that we can all implement into our lives if we truly want success. Success is a very vague term, but my hope is that by reading this article, you have discovered what success means for you. Success is not about how much money you make or how high up in the world you can get, but finding personal satisfaction with the life God has given you while actively pursuing the dreams He has placed inside of you. So go on, be successful!