Are successful people born or created?
We all carry the capacity to become successful. We’re all equipped with our own special gifts and talents. But some of us lose our path a long the way. Life can be a cruel teacher. We learn to stop dreaming and start being realistic.
People who become great break past the thinking society tries to place on them. They follow their dreams, accomplish something great, and leave their observers in a state of envy and awe.
What makes them different? Are there common traits of people destined to make a dent in the universe? Absolutely. Even if you don’t posses these traits right now they can be learned and applied.
Here are the traits of people destined for greatness.
They’re Not Humble
In the normal sense of the word. Most people pretend to be humble on the outside. Outward humility means that you don’t come off as cocky and try to appear modest. But on the inside you’re as arrogant as can be , because you feel like you deserve a better life but aren’t willing to work for it.
People who become great are humble on the inside. They put in the work. They practice. They learn everything that needs to be learned about their craft.
Take Michael Jordan for example. He was known to be one of the cockiest athletes of all time. But on the inside he may have been the most humble athlete of all time. All of his coaches said he listened to and did everything they told him. He practiced playing basketball every single day of his life. So when it came time to show his skills he wasn’t shy about it. You weren’t put on this earth to be small. If you’ve put in the work be proud to show your skills.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw
People destined for greatness aren’t considered rational or realistic by society’s standards. Instead of blindly accepting what others tell them, they make the decision to form their own unique path. They’re the type of people who believe reality can be shaped in their minds.
They Think For Themselves
People destined for greatness march to the beat of their own drummer. They’re open minded, willing to listen, and can weigh both sides of an argument. Many people believe in certain ideas and won’t change they’re minds due to something called the confirmation bias.
Think about these statements below. Many of you might agree with them strongly, but is it because you’ve thought about them carefully or because you’ve heard them repeatedly?
- Buying a home is a great investment — There are several people who disagree with this.
- College is a must if you want to be successful — Again, many would disagree.
- Having a job is safer than being an entrepreneur — Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, says the number one financial mistake people make is having one source of income coming from a job.
“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of the truth than lies.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
The point isn’t which side you choose. The point is to think for yourself.
They Don’t Believe In Inspiration
“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” — William Faulkner
People on the path to greatness realize they won’t be feeling up to do the work each and every day. There will be days where you want to sleep in, avoid doing your work, or keep yourself distracted.
Don’t fall prey to the passion myth. People seem to have this idea that finding work you love to do is supposed to be fun one hundred percent of the time. No matter how much you love what you do, there will be tasks you dislike and days when you feel uninspired.
If you’re consistent and develop the ability to follow through you’ll be miles ahead of the pack.
They Don’t Live Balanced Lives
Your ability to prioritize time will determine how productive and effective you are. People who are on the path to greatness don’t spend their time democratically. They know how to say no to unimportant things in order to make time for their work. Yes, time with family and close friends is important, but after that comes work and nothing else.
Successful people do, in fact, get lucky sometimes. They’re lucky because they put themselves in a position to be lucky. There are two types of luck.
- Blind luck — An example of blind luck is winning the lottery.
- Purposeful luck — This is the type of luck where you’re spending your time growing, learning, and connecting with people. You “luckily,” happen to meet your future mentor, business partner, or investor in your company.
Opportunity mixed with preparation creates luck. When you’re determined to become great opportunities will present themselves and you’ll be prepared to seize them.
They Know That Personality Traits Can Be Learned
Some people are naturally charismatic and confident. If you aren’t a natural at these things it doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to develop these traits. Social skills are important when it comes to being successful. You’re likely going to have to talk to actual people in person to help spread your ideas and build the network you need to succeed.
You can join your local toastmasters club to work on your speaking skills. Top professionals have been known to take acting classes to build confidence and charisma. There are coaches and courses that teach you how to build confidence and charisma.
Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Don’t fall into the trap of believing you’re limited to the personality traits you were born with.
They Don’t Worry About Their Weaknesses
Growing up we were taught to focus on the things we’re bad at instead of refining and strengthening the things we’re good at.
“Focus on your strengths and don’t give a fuck about what you suck at.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
The focus on building diverse resumes and being well rounded leads to being mediocre in several areas instead if great in a few.
Let’s use Michael Jordan as an example again. Remember when he left the NBA to play baseball? He worked at becoming a better baseball player just as hard as he worked on his basketball skills, but he wasn’t naturally talented at baseball so it didn’t work. Choosing a path that isn’t suited to your strengths can mean the difference between being the best in the world at what you do or just being average.
They Visualize Their Success To The Point Of Certainty
Basketball players are trained to visualize their free throws going in before they attempt them. Golfers have been known to play entire courses in their head over and over again before they step on to the green. Your imagination and belief in yourself carry you towards your destiny.
One of the most difficult parts of following a lofty dreams is believing you can do it. Doubt will creep in every time you imagine yourself living out your dreams. But over time (coupled with actual work) you’ll become certain of your vision.
Your imagination and vision will keep you going during tough points on your path.
They Ask Great Questions
Don’t say, “I can’t afford it.” Ask yourself, “How can I afford it?” Challenge yourself by asking this question instead of acquiescing and saying you can’t. You’ll be better for it. You’ll seek out and find solutions where you thought none existed before. — Robert Kiyosaki
People destined for greatness know that there is a solution to nearly any problem as long as you ask the right questions. Most people fail to think when faced with a difficult situation. They’re resigned to their circumstances. If you want to be great you need to figure out how to be great. You figure it out by asking great questions.
They Never Fail
People on the path to greatness don’t believe in failure. They make mistakes. Things don’t always go their way. But they treat everything like an experiment. In an experiment you form an educated guess based on your research. Then you test it. If the experiment goes south it’s not a failure –your hypothesis was just wrong. The experiment likely gave you valuable feedback for the future. A good scientist continues to conduct experiments until they make a breakthrough discovery.
Think of yourself as a scientist and run experiments. This blog post is an experiment in gauging what people get value from reading it. Your life is an experiment in figuring out what makes you feel fulfilled. You’re only a failure when you stop seeking answers.
Your dream life is waiting for you. It’s so hard to believe, but each and everyone of us is capable of extraordinary things. But it’s scary — uncertainty. It’s scary to leap, scary to enter an unknown world, scary to trust your intuition. But the grass is greener on the other side.
It’s not about money or people praising you. It’s about waking up in the morning and not hitting the snooze button. It’s about not having to do things you hate to pay the bills. It’s about creating the freedom to do exactly what you want to do each and every day.
We all deserve to live that way, but as it stands the system doesn’t give us the tools to do that. We have to seek out the answers for ourselves. We have to be relentless. We have to learn. We have to keep moving even though we’re scared to death.
I want you to have everything. I don’t want you to be on your deathbed and suffocate underneath the weight your regret. You don’t want that either.
So go, leap, try, please.
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