What does it take to be a winner? The winner I’m talking about here is the person who is doing things right over the long haul. The one who reaps what they sow. The person who gathers fans over time. The person who blesses the ones around them and ends up on top. Here are 17 traits of those who create a good life.
- Ability To Delay Gratification – This is listed first because this is one of the most important attributes of a successful person. The essence of this trait is the willingness to sacrifice now for a larger reward later. The benefits of delayed gratification are seen is all aspects of life from academics, relationships, health, finances and career. Are you willing to say no to friends in order to start studying for next weeks test? Are you willing to give up a beach vacation for the next five years in order to pay off your student loans? Are you willing to get up early to get in your workout? Are you willing to consistently put in the extra work into your job that nobody else will? If so you are well on the way to a great future.
- Enthusiasm – Are you just showing up or is your enthusiasm effecting what is going on around you. If you show up for your life with enthusiasm you will get things done, gain followers and have a great time doing it. Decide in advance that you are going to give your all with positive enthusiasm, especially to those projects nobody wants to do.
- Optimism – Whether you like it or not, your expectations affect the outcome. Being optimistic doesn’t mean that you ignore reality, it means that you expect good and will be looking for ways to meet that expectation. It doesn’t mean that everything goes right all of the time. It means that you expect good no matter what happened yesterday.
- In the moment – Being in the moment means that you are focussed on the task at hand. You don’t let regrets from the past or worry about the future affect what you are working on right NOW. It also means that you give your full attention to the person who is with you now, not checking your phone to see what you are missing somewhere else.
- Forward Thinking – Being in the moment doesn’t mean that you don’t plan ahead. In order to be a high achiever you must set goals about where exactly you want to end up. Set your goals, check them regularly and work in the moment to achieve those goals.
- What’s in it for you? (not what’s in it for me?) – Being selfish is a path to mediocrity. As Zig Ziglar said “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” It only works in one order; first give and then receive. Each day if you set out to help others with a true heart of giving, you will succeed.
- Integrity – Having complete honesty with others. Being dependable. Being true to your word. Doing more than is asked. Being a straight shooter. All of these descriptions lead to being a person others can trust.
- Unending Curiosity – The attitude of curiosity and learning is a key to success and happiness. Being curious about the world and people around you means that you are engaged and growing. Taking the time and effort to learn and grow is a key to a long and successful life.
- Creativity – Thinking for yourself and creating new things allows your individuality to shine, it sets you apart and it increases your self-confidence. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You can create a great spreadsheet, you can write a great essay, you can post great photos on instagram. In the end creativity isn’t for others approval it’s for you.
- Joy – To me happiness and joy are slightly different. Happiness is a reaction and shorter term thing. Joy is something that is deeper. It remains no matter what is happening on the surface. Deep joy comes from the knowledge that there is something deeper than what is apparent to the eyes and ears. Something that can’t be changed. Something that is good.
- Even Keel – Everyone has setbacks, that’s part of the journey. But an important trait of success is not getting too high when it’s going good nor too low when the bad comes. A calm attitude allows you to process the present and make a new plan for the future. Taking the good or bad too earnestly sets you up for long transitions between the two.
- Genuine Interest In Others – You can’t go it alone and it’s not all about you. Taking genuine interest is an active practice that involves listening and thoughtful actions on a consistent basis. Anyone can fake it for a while but you learn who your true friends are when they have nothing to gain.
- Small Ego – Let’s face it, pride gets in the way of being able to do many of the items above. Having a big ego, needing the credit, holding grudges, resisting change, etc. hold you where you are.
- Self Confidence – There is an important distinction between having an ego and being confident. Being confident allows you to move forward without the baggage of doubt. It allows you to try new things and to recover after a setback. It isn’t dependent upon what others think.
- Self-Determinism – To me this is the attitude that says “my success is up to me”. It says that if I work hard I can improve myself and my life. It comes from within, not from circumstances, not from excuses.
- Consistent Effort – This is the principle of the tortoise and the hare. It is showing up every day, year after year, getting the work done. Being spasmatic in your effort, going forward at full energy in start and stops doesn’t compare to work done toward a worthy goal consistently over time.
- Systematic Implementation – High achievers have systems in place that allow them to go from idea to delivery in a short amount of time. Learning from the past and refining the process as you go allows you to concentrate on coming up with innovation rather than getting stuck in the weeds of implementation.
- Gratitude – I’ve saved one of the most important traits of a winner for last, gratitude. Consistent gratitude allows for reverence of the good already received and thereby opens us up to receive even more of what is good. If we don’t recognize the good that has come to us somehow it tends to lose the way.
What traits would you add to this list?
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