10 Characteristics That Lead To Success

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from a number of men and women, who have made some outstanding achievements and over the past month, I decided to take some time to review my old notes and reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned from them.

The list I’ve shared below are a brief compilation of the wisdom I’ve gathered from these individuals over the past decade. Here are the ten characteristics that lead to success:

1. Resilience

The ability to be resilient, no matter the obstacle is a differentiating characteristic of the successful.

So what does resilience mean?

Resilience means sticking to your personal objectives, goals or aspirations despite circumstance.

I once heard resilience described as follows:

Is a billionaire, with twenty billion dollars, twenty billion dollars smarter than the rest of us?


They’ve just mastered the characteristic of resilience in terms of how they create an enterprise. Unlike those of us who quit when resistance places itself in the path of dreams, the billionaire just keeps moving along and overcomes a barrier or two!

2. Believing You Can

If you read last week’s post then you can move to the next characteristic. If you haven’t read the post the link is right here:
Believing You Can vs. Believing You Can’t

3. Having a Plan

What is your game plan?
What is your game plan?

So you want to be successful?
What’s your plan?

If you don’t have a plan make a plan.
Have a plan to get to your plan.

Be sure to intimately know and understand your plan. What are the trade offs on the upside and the downside?

Success is life’s greatest game.
Your plan should include always playing to win, but include a strategy just in case you lose…which includes a plan to win the next time!

If you need help with planning be sure to download my FREE ebook titled, “Slay Your Goals”

4. Clearly Defining What Success Is

Most of us work a 9-5, or some iteration of that, everyday. At our jobs, either we set our own goals, or a leader sets the goals. Either way, we typically receive some type of indicator for what success will look like for the year.

When it comes to creating personal goals, that are based on our own dreams and aspirations, we often skip the vital step of creating a measure for success.

Why do we do this?
Well, most of us hate to fail.

For the most part we are forced to set professional goals in the work place. Whether we like the goals does not matter. We will work sun up to sun down to meet the expectations of those goals because we associate that success with survival.

In the meantime, we avoid gaining clarity on our dreams. Thus there is no accountability for what we intend for our dream and how we plan to measure that intention.

Stop robbing yourself of your passions and dreams. Define your success by creating clear objectives and measurements by which to hold yourself accountable…just like you do at work!

5. Self Discipline

The most successful people I know are also the most disciplined. They don’t let their celebrations outshine their wins.

Successful people tend to their well-being through diet and exercise. They also control their energy source with intentional rest. All this is done purposefully to ensure when it’s time to get to work, they make a huge impact!

The biggest hurdle to my success is me. The toughest person I ever had to lead is me. Therefore my energy is placed into the discipline of me. Where is your energy going?

6. Passion

I haven’t met a successful person yet, who was not passionate about what they do everyday.
If you aren’t doing what you’re passionate about…run!
Otherwise you will become unengaged and eventually fail.
Passionate people typically aren’t targeted when companies evaluate their employees for lay-offs. (#ijs)

7. Understands Power

Power is a tricky subject.
Yet, almost anyone we would label successful seems to have quite a bit of it.
The catch is, you just don’t take power, leadership, influence etc.
It’s given based on trust and respect.

Just because you have a leadership title, doesn’t mean people will be willing to follow.
They may do what you say, and go where you go, but that doesn’t reflect power.
It reflects survival.
When people are following you to survive, remember they will also eat you to survive.
If they will eat you, you never held true power.

Leaders with true power, typically amass that power by helping those they lead.

Mahatma Gandhi had power.
Mother Teresa had power.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had power.

Adolf Hitler took a cyanide capsule and then put a gun to his head. Mistreat power and it will mistreat you and your legacy.
Power is tricky…but you can’t trick it.

8. The yearning to be more…

A successful businessman once shared the following story with me:

Early one morning he arrived at work as an intern and entered the elevator to head to the appropriate floor. As the elevator doors began to close, someone stuck their arm in and caused the doors to reopen. To his surprise it was the owner of the company. As they ascended in the elevator the owner asked the young man, “How are you today?”
The intern looked up at the owner and said, “Well sir, I’m surviving.”
The owner squinted a bit, then replied, “Son, everyone breathing on this planet is surviving. That won’t change until you decide to be more.”

That intern listened, and today he is a multi-millionaire.

My request to all of you: BE MORE!

Mistakes happen! It's what you do with them that matters!
Mistakes happen! It’s what you do with them that matters!

9. Can Relate to a Mistake

Mistakes are made everyday.
So what?
Keep moving.
Mistakes happen.
Learn…then move forward!

The wise, learn from other people’s mistakes to ensure they don’t have to personally acquire the lesson.

10. Urgent Patience

Success is every step you take forward.
Look at success in small steps.
It typically comes in steps, not leaps.

Practice urgent patience. Small, urgent, steady steps in one direction equate to great distances over time.
Start chipping away at your own success today and stay inspired, it’s a lifestyle choice!

About the Author:

Linal Harris
Global Entrepreneur – Certified Life Coach – Media Personality – Speaker


Linal Harris is a global entrepreneur, certified life coach, author, and media personality. As the founder of Inspirational Perspective® Publishing, LLC and Insights 4 Life™ Coaching, LLC, Harris challenges his global audience and coaching clients to Murder Mediocrity® and live their best life possible. Harris concentrates his work as an ontological coach with clients on what he calls the 4 pillars of life; the relationship we have to ourselves, the relationships we have with others, our relationship to work and money, and the connection we have to our spirit and life’s purpose. Harris coaches CEO’s, executives, entrepreneurs, athletes and celebrities. Harris is the author of “Slay Your Goals”, where he provides his readers with scientific and research backed tips for achieving their goals. Harris is an expert goal-setter and has been called upon by Fortune 500 companies to assist with setting their strategic priorities, facilitate goal-setting sessions and provide inspirational talks.

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