10 Characteristics of Wildly Successful People

Whatever you're working toward in life, you can fast-track your progress by taking a cue from super-successful people. Here are traits that are worth copying.

Some people — Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey jump to mind — seem born for success. But don’t think the same can’t be said about you.

While we can’t all have our faces on the $100 bill, lead a corporate empire or become a television icon, we certainly can find our own success.

That may not mean earning millions — in fact, money may not even be the primary goal for you. But it can mean having a satisfying career, a fulfilling family life and enough wealth to see you through a rich and rewarding retirement.

How do you become successful? It’s simple: Follow the lead of others who already have achieved their goals. Most successful people share common traits, and those traits are not that hard to duplicate in our own lives.

Following are 10 traits successful people have in common. Such people are:

1. Goal-oriented

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You can spend life meandering about, waiting for a job to fall into your lap or for that golden opportunity to arrive gift-wrapped at your front door. But you’ll wait a long time, my friend.

Successful people don’t wait for life to happen to them. They have a plan for how they want life to pan out. Then, they set goals for how to make that plan a reality.

We like this quote attributed to industrialist Henry Ford, who founded Ford Motor Co.:

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

It’s a reminder that breaking down big goals into bite-size pieces can pave the way for success.

2. Persistent

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Thomas Edison reportedly failed 1,000 times before inventing the light bulb.

Whether that figure is inflated is irrelevant. The point is clear: People who are successful fail, fail and fail again before they succeed.

Abraham Lincoln endured a string of political failures prior to reaching the presidency. Stephen King was rejected by publishers time after time before he became a best-selling novelist.

Successful people don’t pack up their toys and head home the first time something doesn’t go their way. Instead, they keep plugging along, and that persistence helps them find success eventually.

3. Inquisitive

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For successful people, learning isn’t over when formal education ends. Most understand they don’t possess all the secrets to the universe. So, they strive to become lifelong learners.

Albert Einstein reportedly said, “It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”

Assuming Einstein actually did say that, he might have been a little too modest about his intellectual abilities. However, he makes a good point about success.

Although some wildly successful people are natural brainiacs, most possess the same gray matter as the rest of us. They simply recognize there is more to learn, and understanding that gives them the tools and resources needed to reach their goals.

4. Self-aware

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Along those same lines, let’s take a moment to hear from the philosopher Socrates, who said, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing and that is that I know nothing.”

Socrates may have been speaking on the importance of continual learning, but he also offers a reminder on the importance of self-awareness.

The people who find success are the ones who know who they are. They know their abilities and limitations. As a result, they focus on where they excel, and they leave other jobs to people with different talents.

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