Success is not limited to the wealthy and smart. The vast majority of successful people started from the most humble of beginnings. Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. writes in “The Millionaire Mind” that 61% of all millionaires never received any inheritance, financial gifts or income from an estate or trust. He also found an extremely low correlation between grade point average in college and financial success. Coming from a poor family or not being the brightest in your class is not an excuse for not achieving success in your life.3 Successful individuals share characteristics and traits enabling them to achieving success. They are:
Successful people are passionate about their goals. They obsess about their goals, day and night. They focus all their energies on achieving their goals.
Think about the first time you fell in love. You couldn’t think about anything else but that person with whom you were infatuated. Everything you did was to win your heart throb’s adoration. Just thinking about this person made your heart race. That’s how you must feel about your goal. You must have a passion for what you want. You must love and continue to love what you do. You must focus all your energies toward achieving your goals. You must have the willpower to overcome any obstacles that may cross your path.
Successful people believe in themselves. They have complete confidence they can achieve their wildest dreams. They know even though they are not the best in their class in school or are not great scholars they have the ability to succeed. They have the ability to ignore the naysayers, whether they are parents, coworkers, jealous friends or other dental practitioners in the community. To quote Dr. Seuss in Oh, the Places You’ll Go:
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.”4
Fearlessness of Failure
Successful people are not afraid of failure. They view failure as a learning experience. Henry Ford wrote, “Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.” Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “It’s hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
The rate of failure among restaurants is phenomenal. Yet if every restaurant owner was afraid of failing we would never have the experience of eating a fine meal prepared by a great chef. The greatest baseball players fail to connect with the baseball two out of three times at bat. If they feared failing, we wouldn’t have baseball as our national pastime.5
Successful people have the ability to overcome every obstacle thrown in their path. Some obstacles may be more difficult to overcome than others, but if people persist they can succeed. Obstacles to their success motivate them to work harder to reach their goal. If and when they fail, they pick themselves up and continue to advance toward their goal. They know, when struck down with failure time after time, they have the ability to get up, dust themselves off and try again.
Did you know?...
- Stephen King had his first manuscript rejected 38 times before receiving acceptance for publication.
- Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen went to over 100 publishers before “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was accepted for publication.
- Thomas Edison went through over 1000 prototypes before successfully inventing the light bulb.
Clarity of Values
Successful people have a clear understanding of who they are and what is really important to them. They can distinguish between an inconvenience and a real problem and react to each in an appropriate manner. They know what make them tick . . . their needs, their values. They are aware of what makes them happy, sad, angry or pleased.
Successful people have the ability to effectively communicate their dreams, goals and desires. At the same time, they have the ability and desire to listen to others. Not just hear words but to internalize what is said and empathize with the other person. They actively listen to what others say to them, not just hear them. They make the effort to comprehend and fully understand what others are trying to communicate to them. They discovered the more they listen, the more they learn and are better able to respond to others.
Successful people have the time of their life pursuing their personal and professional goals. They find ways to have fun while doing even the most menial tasks. They love their work and they enjoy their time at home with their family. Successful people enjoy themselves because they pick goals and careers that, if successful, satisfy their financial, physical and emotional needs.
A Strong Support Group
Successful people understand they have limitations and can’t know everything about everything. That’s why heads of successful companies have boards of directors and hire consultants. When in doubt about achieving their goals, they are willing to turn to competent, trustworthy people who share and support their dreams and seek their advice, whether it is family, friends or professionals.
Visualization of Well-defined Goals
Successful people can visualize well-defined, positively stated goals. They possess a clear vision of exactly what they wish to accomplish in life. They have a picture in their mind of what they will feel, hear, smell, taste once they achieve success.
Create Blueprints to Achieve their Goals
Successful people create blueprints to point them in the direction they need to work toward to achieve their goals. With a blueprint to guide them, they can monitor their progress and make corrections in a timely manner should they stray off the road to success.6-10