9 signs you will be successful in life, according to psychology

Success isn’t something that just happens. It’s a journey, one that requires hard work, dedication and, most importantly, the right mindset. As Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit, I have come across some intriguing insights from the field of psychology about success indicators.

You see, psychology has a lot to say about success and what it takes to achieve it. And guess what? It’s not always about having the highest IQ or being the most talented.

In this article, I’m going to share 9 signs that you’re on the right path to success, according to psychological research. These aren’t your typical “work hard, stay positive” tips. No, these are science-backed indicators that you’re destined for great things.

Keep reading if you’re excited to learn what these signs are and see how many you can tick off your list. 

Let’s get started. 

1) Embracing failure

We’ve all heard it before, “failure is the stepping stone to success”. But how many of us truly embrace this concept?

According to psychology, those who aren’t afraid of failure are often the ones who end up being successful. This isn’t just some motivational jargon, it’s backed by research.

You see, failure isn’t just about losing or not reaching a goal. It’s an opportunity for learning, for growth, and for resilience-building.

Those who are on track to success understand this. They don’t shy away from challenges or risks for fear of failing. Instead, they charge head-on, knowing that whether they win or lose, they’ll come out stronger and wiser.

They’re not just okay with failure, they welcome it. They see it as a necessary part of their journey to success.

When you find yourself fearing failure, remember, it might just be a sign that you’re on the right path to success. Embrace failure and let it drive you forward. It’s all part of the game of life.

2) Living in the present

In my years of studying Buddhism, I’ve learned that one of the key principles is mindfulness, which essentially means living fully in the present moment.

And guess what? It turns out, this Buddhist concept aligns perfectly with psychological research on success.

Successful individuals don’t waste time dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about the future. They understand that the only moment they have control over is the present one. And so, they make the most of it.

They focus their energy and efforts on the task at hand, instead of getting distracted by what-ifs and could-have-beens. They are fully engaged in their current work, whether it’s a business meeting, a creative project, or even a simple conversation with a friend.

This mindful approach allows them to perform at their best in every situation, leading to better results and ultimately, greater success.

According to psychology (and Buddhism), you’re showing one of the signs of future success. Keep it up!

3) Continual learning

Something that I’ve personally noticed about successful people is that they are always eager to learn. And it’s not just me saying this, psychology backs it up too.

Successful individuals understand that the world is constantly changing and to stay ahead, they need to keep learning. They know that their education doesn’t stop at school or university; it’s a lifelong process.

Whether it’s picking up a new skill, reading a book, or even learning from their own mistakes (remember point 1?), they are always looking for ways to improve and expand their knowledge.

This thirst for knowledge doesn’t come from a place of insecurity or feeling like they’re not good enough. Instead, it’s driven by curiosity and the understanding that there’s always more to learn.

In my own life, I’ve found that this continual learning has been integral to the success of Hack Spirit. Keeping abreast with the latest research in psychology and Buddhism has allowed me to provide valuable content to readers like you.

4) Letting go of ego

A key principle in Buddhism, and one that I delve into in my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, is the importance of letting go of ego.

In Buddhist philosophy, the ego is seen as a source of suffering and conflict. It’s what makes us hold onto grudges, compare ourselves to others, and strive for personal gain at the expense of others.

Successful individuals, according to psychology and Buddhism, are ones who have managed to let go of their ego. They are not driven by pride or a need for validation. Instead, they’re motivated by purpose and a desire to make a positive impact in the world.

They are humble, empathetic, and willing to admit when they’re wrong. They value collaboration over competition and understand that success is not a zero-sum game.

And here’s the thing: letting go of ego doesn’t mean diminishing your self-worth or ambition. In fact, in my book, I discuss how it actually enhances your potential for success by enabling you to form deeper connections with others and approach challenges with an open, growth-oriented mindset.

5) Savoring solitude

Now, this might seem a bit counterintuitive. After all, we often associate success with networking, socializing, and staying connected. But here’s the thing: solitude has its own unique role to play in your journey to success.

Psychology suggests that successful individuals understand the value of spending time alone. They see solitude not as a sign of loneliness, but as an opportunity for reflection, self-discovery, and rejuvenation.

In the quiet moments of solitude, they are able to tune into their thoughts and feelings, evaluate their goals and progress, and recharge their mental batteries. This helps them stay focused and maintain a clear sense of direction in their journey.

They also use this time to engage in deep work – a state of flow where they can focus on complex tasks without distractions. This not only enhances their productivity but also fosters creativity and innovation.

6) Practicing gratitude

Gratitude is a key principle in Buddhism, and it also plays a significant role in the psychology of success.

Successful people understand and appreciate the importance of gratitude. They recognize that their achievements are not solely their own, but the result of many factors, including the support and contributions of others.

They make it a point to acknowledge these contributions and express their gratitude regularly. This attitude helps them maintain positive relationships, increases their overall satisfaction with life, and fosters a sense of humility.

Moreover, practicing gratitude redirects their focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant in their lives. This shift in perspective promotes positive thinking, resilience, and emotional well-being—all of which are essential for long-term success.

7) Adapting to change

Change is a constant in life, and how we handle it can say a lot about our potential for success.

In my own journey with Hack Spirit, I’ve found that the ability to adapt to change has been crucial. Whether it’s shifts in the digital landscape, evolving reader interests, or personal life changes, being able to adjust and respond effectively has kept me moving forward.

Psychology supports this too. Research suggests that successful individuals are not rigid. They’re flexible and open-minded, ready to adapt to new circumstances, ideas, and opportunities.

They see change not as a threat, but as a chance for growth and innovation. They’re open to learning from new experiences and aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

8) Saying no

Here’s another counterintuitive one for you. Successful people understand the power of saying “no”.

Now, this might seem odd. After all, aren’t we often told to seize opportunities and say “yes” more? While it’s important to be open to new experiences and opportunities, it’s equally important to know when to say “no”.

Successful individuals understand that their time and energy are finite resources. They can’t do everything, be everywhere, and please everyone. So they’re selective about their commitments.

They say “no” to things that don’t align with their goals or values, however tempting or attractive those things may seem. This allows them to focus on what truly matters to them and invest their resources wisely.

9) Cultivating compassion

Compassion is a cornerstone of Buddhism, and it’s also a tell-tale sign of future success.

Successful people are not just driven by personal ambition. They have a genuine concern for others and make an effort to contribute positively to the world around them.

They empathize with others, understand their challenges, and strive to help in whatever way they can. This compassion extends beyond their personal and professional circles—it’s a fundamental part of their worldview.

Psychology suggests that this compassionate approach fosters healthier relationships, boosts emotional well-being, and even enhances leadership skills—all of which contribute to overall success.

So if you’re someone who often puts yourself in others’ shoes and seeks to make a positive difference, you’re displaying the final sign of future success in our list. Keep spreading that compassion!

Conclusion

Success is not just about hard work and talent. It’s about cultivating the right mindset and habits—embracing failure, living in the present, continuously learning, letting go of ego, savoring solitude, practicing gratitude, adapting to change, saying no when necessary, and of course, being compassionate.

These indicators might seem simple, but they have a profound impact on our journey towards success. If you’ve found yourself resonating with these signs, you’re on the right track. Keep going!

For those interested in exploring some of these principles further, especially from a Buddhist perspective, I invite you to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It dives deeper into concepts like letting go of ego and practicing gratitude, which are not just critical for success but also for a fulfilling and contented life.

Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the process and continue to grow!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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