If someone does these 12 things, they genuinely want to succeed in life

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On paper, everyone wants to succeed in life. But when it comes down to action, only some are willing to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to succeed. 

Today I’m looking into what actions, habits, and behaviors people that want to succeed do on a regular basis. 

It includes some that you’d expect but also some unusual ones. 

1) They set clear goals

According to a study, people who write down their goals are 33% more likely to accomplish them.  

Setting clear and specific goals provides direction and purpose. SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) provide a roadmap to work towards, making it easier to measure progress and make necessary adjustments.

That’s why if you see someone set goals, they truly want to accomplish things in life. Even something as easy as putting a date on when I want to finish something works wonders for me. 

2) They have a growth mindset

Okay, so we already know setting goals is essential and a good indicator of success. But what about the mindset?

A growth mindset allows people to see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Those who understand that abilities can be developed through effort and practice, have greater resilience and adaptability.

Mindy Kaling, actress, writer, and producer of one of my favorite TV shows, The Office, has often spoken about her experiences as a minority woman in the entertainment industry. 

She learned to embrace challenges, learn from criticism, and constantly improve her craft. Her uniqueness was her superpower. 

But she also did the following. 

3) They take initiative

Taking the initiative, stepping forward, and taking opportunities instead of waiting for things to happen is incredibly important. 

This proactive approach allows people to seize moments that otherwise pass them by. You can’t even win the lottery if you aren’t actively playing. 

It’s that simple. 

Wanting success in life, whatever that may be, is inseparable from taking initiative and action. 

Yes, there’s something called being in the right place at the right time, but that only highlights the importance of effort too. 

4) They’re adaptable

Adaptability is crucial in an ever-changing world. Being willing to adjust plans and strategies based on new information or circumstances allows us to navigate uncertainty effectively.

It’s one of the most important skills you can have, as every employer will expect that from you.

That’s why willingness to succeed and adaptability go hand-in-hand. We almost can’t talk about success without mentioning adaptability.

I’m sure you’re aware of the rise of A.I. and how many people think it will lead to incredible loss of jobs, especially white-collar ones. 

Anyone wanting success needs to account for that when thinking of the future. 

5) They practice self-discipline

Self-discipline means controlling impulses and focusing on the tasks at hand. It helps us overcome procrastination and distractions, enabling consistent progress.

Every time I think of this topic, I’m reminded of Christian Bale, the actor. He’s famous for his extreme physical transformations for movie roles. 

Notably, he lost significant weight to portray the shrunken lead character in “The Machinist.” 

He then quickly gained muscle and bulked up for his role as Batman in “Batman Begins.” These transformations required strict diets, intense workout routines, and unwavering self-discipline.

I can’t even imagine being able to pull something like this off myself. 

6) They take calculated risks

Success often involves taking risks, but calculated risks involve careful consideration of potential outcomes. 

People who genuinely want to succeed in life assess the potential rewards against potential drawbacks before making decisions.

Love him or hate him, Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for “Rocky” in just three days and turned down offers that would have taken the story without him as the lead. 

In the mid-1970s, Sylvester Stallone was a struggling actor and screenwriter in Hollywood. After completing the script, Stallone faced an uphill battle in getting the film made. 

Studios were interested in the story but were doubtful about his conditions. They offered him huge amounts of money for the script, but with the condition that he doesn’t play the lead role of Rocky Balboa himself. 

Stallone had to make a difficult decision during this critical turning point. He took a major risk by believing in his vision and standing firm on his decision. 

7) They stay persistent

When someone has persistence, they can keep going when faced with obstacles and setbacks. It’s all about maintaining focus and effort even when things get tough.

This results in the achievement of long-term goals.

When you always have a dream or goal on your mind, you aren’t swayed by anything. That’s why entrepreneurs would rather work 80 hours per week for themselves than 40 for someone else. 

They have a different mindset that helps them achieve great things even under the threat of failure and ridicule. 

8) They have effective time management

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. But what separates successful people from the rest of the population is what they do with it.

It all comes down to effective time management. It’s what helps people make the most of their days. 

They ensure that they use their time efficiently by prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines, and avoiding time-wasting activities.

If you don’t have an army of engineers, managers, and thousands of other employees, you can’t afford to waste time on social media like Elon Musk.  

9) They’re continuously learning

Curiosity fuels continuous learning and innovation. People who ask questions, seek new experiences, and explore different perspectives are more likely to discover unexplored and exciting opportunities for success.

Lifelong learning is essential for personal and professional growth. It keeps people up-to-date with new knowledge and skills, helping them remain competitive and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.

If you notice someone is determined to learn all of their life, you know they’re destined for success, especially if they do the following too. 

10) They network and build relationships

Another important aspect that many neglects is building a strong network. This provides us with access to resources, knowledge, and opportunities. 

If you don’t cultivate relationships with mentors, peers, and colleagues, you won’t find and engage in valuable collaborations and support.

The same goes for getting feedback. Feedback is a valuable tool for improvement. Actively seeking constructive criticism from others helps us identify blind spots and areas where we can improve and boost our skills.

11) They stay positive

Having a positive mindset and an optimistic outlook on life is one of the best indicators of future success. 

A positive attitude helps resilience and problem-solving. Even in challenging times, a positive outlook can help us maintain motivation and find solutions to obstacles.

That’s why you should recognize when negative thoughts start creeping in. Simply start countering them with positive and reinforcing ones. 

Think of your past achievements and think of your “why.” For example, you work tirelessly to retire early or to earn money for your kids’ tuition. 

I’m working more than 50 hours per week because, first of all, I love what I do, but also because it allows my family to live the life we always wanted. 

After I close the laptop, it’s off to the beach for the rest of the day. 

12) They keep a journal

And lastly, an unusual habit that’s getting a lot of attention lately, although it’s anything but a modern phenomenon

Keeping a journal helps people reflect on their progress, set intentions, and track their growth over time. It can also give insights into patterns and areas for improvement.

I use a journal to write down my thoughts on certain topics, jot down ideas for future projects, vent and rant, but also to write down what I’m grateful for. 

Final thoughts

Ultimately, there’s no real indicator of whether someone will succeed in life. They could go to Harvard and become an accomplished person only to get depressed and lose it all.

Yes, they wanted to succeed in life, but at what cost? Don’t overdo it, and always have the work-life balance in mind.

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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