While a friend of mine and I enjoyed a cup of coffee the other day, we began discussing success, and I realized that despite both of us being successful, we had different ideas about what success means.
The definition of success depends upon the person describing it: their goals, habits, perspectives and sensibilities in life. Some individuals define success as the accumulation of wealth. Others define it by how high they climbed the corporate ladder. Still others define their success by their children.
Because of that conversation, I researched ultra-successful people—more specifically, what qualities and habits successful people possess that help them achieve their success. The successful people I looked at had unique accomplishments, interests, life patterns and passions, but they also had common qualities and habits that I hope in sharing with you will inspire you to adopt a new habit or a new philosophy that will positively influence your life.
Here are the 10 qualities and habits that I found in ultra-successful people:
1. They read a lot. Ultra-successful people do a tremendous amount of reading. They love to learn. However, they don't read just anything. They read publications and books that help with their personal and professional development, anything from leadership and self-help to art and finance. It's fact vs. fiction for these folks. Learning is the cornerstone of personal and professional development.
2. They are good thinkers. You may be slightly shocked by this one, but many individuals are not good at thinking. Good thinkers are slow to make a decision, they are methodical in their approach, they evaluate every detail, they recognize all of the angles to any given situation, they do their homework, they are logical and realistic, and they have long-term vision. They "read the tea leaves" as my father always says. Ultra-successful people have great minds.
3. They value their time. This is one of my favorite qualities. Warren Buffet said, "Very successful people say 'no' to almost anything." The point here is not to give away your time easily. Use it wisely and make the most of the 1,440 minutes in each day. You can never get time back. It is one of the most valued commodities.
4. They are experts at setting priorities. Ultra-successful people don't get side tracked and off course. They set and manage priorities and stick to them. Eighty percent of results come from only 20 percent of activities. Prioritize activities that are most important to your life and remain focused on them.
5. They have a strong character. Truly, character is the backbone of all people. Ultra-successful people do the right thing. They have high morals, values and integrity, and they are honest. Good character is key to achieving any successes in life. Never lose sight of doing the right thing in all situations.
6. They are good at maintaining balance. Ultra-successful people know what they value in life and know how to balance it. Balance is created by giving time and energy to all aspects of life that are important: career as well as mental, physical, social and spiritual health. These people incorporate all of these aspects into their lives and spend time at each. If you work too many hours per day and let your health decline, you do not have balance. Ultra-successful people know how to balance the yin and yang of life. They also recognize if they are becoming unbalanced. So, the real key to balance is knowing when you've lost it.
7. They surround themselves with winners. If you surround yourself with winners, it is almost impossible to digress. Winners have good character. They are always growing and moving in a positive direction, they're smart and they positively challenge you. Winners expand your thinking and expose you to different perspectives and ideas. My successful coffee friend inspired and encouraged me five years ago to become a writer. Simply surrounding yourself with winners adds energy to your life force. They encourage learning and personal and professional growth.
8. They persevere. Ultra-successful people have unwavering determination. They are laser focused not only on their goals but on their interests and passions. As such, you'll find these people to be committed and consistent in areas of their lives. They believe in the things they do and persevere through thick and thin. They never give up.
9. They are confident. We can't go far in life if we don't have confidence in ourselves and our abilities. Ultra-successful people are assertive, bold and speak with certainty because they believe in themselves. They also believe in the path they have chosen for their lives. Self-confidence holds the power behind the person. Find your passions and go for it.
10. They are introspective. This is the act or process of looking into oneself. Ultra-successful people are masters at introspection. They know themselves inside out and upside down. This quality allows them to recognize and capitalize on personal strengths. Introspective people who know themselves don't try to insert a square into a round peg. They are good at knowing their own talents, personality, limitations and boundaries. With this personal awareness, ultra-successful people don't waste time on areas where their DNA just doesn't fit.
Success is defined differently for each of us, but if you embrace and incorporate any or all of these 10 qualities and habits, it will help to make a positive change in any area of your life.
Ronna Clements is an industry veteran with a background that includes more than 20 years of success in sales, business development, marketing, coaching and leadership. As a coach and sales manager, she has earned a reputation for building cohesive teams that consistently generate outstanding results. Clements' strengths include a strong foundation in industry best practices and professional ethics, and she is noted for her motivational personality with an informed and direct speaking style. As a living health advocate, she maintains a healthy lifestyle and has a relentless passion for optimal health. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.