If someone displays these 10 traits, they’re probably quite successful in life

Ever wondered what makes someone successful?

It’s not always about having loads of money or a big house.

Real success is about reaching your goals and being happy.

But how can you spot a successful person?

They usually have certain habits or traits that help them do well.

And the best part?

Anyone can learn these habits. 

Here are 10 things that successful people often do.

1. Goal-Oriented

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” — Bill Copeland

Successful people know where they’re heading. 

They set clear, achievable goals for themselves.

Whether it’s running a marathon, starting a business, or learning a new skill, they always have a target in mind.

But it’s not just about having goals; it’s about taking steps to reach them too.

Successful people don’t just dream – they plan, they act, and they keep going until they get where they want to be.

So if you know someone who’s always setting and smashing their goals, chances are they’re quite successful in life. 

2. Resilience

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” — Vince Lombardi

Life can be a roller coaster with its ups and downs.

But successful people don’t let the downs keep them down; they bounce back.

This trait is called resilience.

When they face a challenge or even a failure, they see it as a lesson, not as a dead-end.

They dust themselves off, learn from what happened, and try again.

It’s all about having that ‘never give up’ attitude.

3. Continual Learning

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Successful people never stop learning. They’re always curious, always thirsty for more knowledge. They read, they take courses, they ask questions.

And it’s not just about their field or industry – they’re interested in learning about all sorts of things.

For example, I have a friend who’s a successful entrepreneur. But he doesn’t just read about business.

He reads about psychology, history, technology – you name it!

He believes that all knowledge is connected and that learning about different things can give him new ideas and insights.

4. Optimistic Outlook

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

Successful people are often quite positive. They have an optimistic outlook towards life. This doesn’t mean they’re always happy or that they ignore problems.

But they believe in possibilities.

They see opportunities where others might see obstacles.

Otimists are more likely to focus on things they can do to resolve a situation rather than dwelling on the situation itself.

So, if you notice someone who always sees the glass as half full and not half empty, you’re probably looking at a person who’s successful in life. 

5. Empathy

“To understand another human being, you must gain some insight into the conditions which made him what he is.” — Margaret Bourke-White

Successful people are not just about achievements and accolades; they’re about people too.

They understand that success is hollow without meaningful relationships.

That’s why empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others – is such a common trait among them.

They listen, they care, they help. And in doing so, they build strong connections with the people around them.

It’s a beautiful cycle, really – they care for others, and others care for them in return.

At the end of the day, it’s these bonds of care and understanding that truly enrich their lives.

6. Discipline

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” — Jim Rohn

Success and discipline go hand in hand. Successful people understand that achieving their goals requires consistent effort and dedication.

They set routines for themselves and stick to them, no matter what.

Take me as an example. I’ve always admired writers who churn out book after book, year after year.

So, I decided to follow their discipline. I started setting aside a specific time each day just for writing, no matter how busy I was.

Over time, this routine turned into a habit. And guess what? My writing improved significantly. 

Following this disciplined approach has brought me closer to my goal of becoming a successful writer.

7. Self-Acceptance

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” — Carl Jung

Successful people aren’t perfect. And guess what? They know it. 

They understand their strengths and their weaknesses, and they’re okay with them.

They don’t waste time pretending to be someone they’re not or trying to please everyone else.

Instead, they focus on being the best version of themselves they can be. They accept their flaws, work on their weaknesses, and celebrate their strengths.

It’s this raw, honest self-acceptance that gives them the freedom to grow and succeed.

So, if you know someone who’s unapologetically themselves – faults and all – chances are they’re doing pretty well in life!

8. Time Management

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” — Stephen R. Covey

Successful people understand that time is precious, and they treat it as such.

They are skilled at managing their time efficiently, prioritizing tasks, setting schedules, and sticking to them.

They know that every minute wasted is a lost opportunity.

Many high achievers attribute their success to effective time management practices.

So if you see someone who always seems to get things done on time without stressing or rushing, they’ve likely mastered this key trait of success. 

9. Adaptability

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” — Albert Einstein

Life is unpredictable. Plans change, things go wrong, and sometimes, everything seems to be up in the air.

But successful people don’t panic in these situations – they adapt! They’re flexible and can adjust their plans or strategies based on the situation.

This reminds me of a time when I was planning a big event.

Everything was going smoothly until a week before the event when the venue cancelled on us.

Instead of freaking out, I took a deep breath and started looking for other options.

It wasn’t easy, but by staying adaptable, we found another venue at the last minute and the event was a huge success. 

10. Honesty

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” — Thomas Jefferson

Here’s a hard truth – successful people value honesty.

They understand that lies and deceit might provide short term gains, but in the long run, nothing beats honesty.

They are truthful with others, and perhaps more importantly, with themselves.

They’re not afraid to confront the hard truths about their performance, their decisions, or their actions.

This self-honesty allows them to grow and improve continuously.

So if you know someone who’s always true to their word and values trust above all, you’re likely looking at a successful person. 


Success is a multifaceted concept that goes far beyond material wealth or professional accolades.

It’s about fulfilling your goals, maintaining strong relationships, and constantly evolving both personally and professionally.

The 10 traits we’ve explored—being goal-oriented, resilient, continuously learning, optimistic, empathetic, disciplined, self-accepting, efficient with time management, adaptable, and honest—are not innate qualities only available to the lucky few.

These are habits that anyone can cultivate in their journey toward success.

Remember, the journey to becoming successful is not a sprint but a marathon. It requires consistent effort, constant growth, and the right mindset.

By understanding and integrating these traits into your daily life, you’re setting a robust foundation for achieving your goals and finding genuine happiness.

Success is not just about arriving at a destination; it’s about the person you become along the way.

So the next time you meet someone who embodies these qualities, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication that likely went into their achievements.

More importantly, reflect on how you can integrate these traits into your own life.

After all, the path to success is open to everyone willing to take that first step.


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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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