People who always seem to get ahead in life tend to display these 8 patterns of behavior

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In the journey of life, some people always seem to be a few steps ahead.

Ever wondered why?

I’ve observed, as a Life Transition Coach and the creator of the course Reset Your Life Compass, that these individuals tend to display certain patterns of behavior. It’s not about being manipulative or stepping on others to get there. They just have a distinct way of navigating life.

In this article, I’ll share these patterns with you. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll find one or two that you can adopt in your own life.

Let’s get started. 

1) Embrace change

One common trait I’ve noticed among people who consistently get ahead in life is their ability to embrace change.

Change is a constant part of life. Yet, many of us resist it, sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of comfort.

But those who regularly find themselves on the winning end? They don’t just accept change – they relish it. They view each change as a new opportunity for growth and learning.

Take for instance when a job loss or a sudden shift in career path stares them in the face. Instead of wallowing in despair, they seize the moment to reassess their goals and passions.

Embracing change is not about being reckless or impulsive. It’s about understanding that life is a journey filled with twists and turns – and navigating those turns to lead to a more fulfilling life.

This attitude is what sets them apart and propels them ahead in life. And it’s something all of us can learn to do better. Because in the end, our ability to adapt to changes often defines our success.

2) Understand yourself and your core values

Another trait that successful people share is their deep understanding of themselves and their core values.

In my years as a Life Transition Coach, I’ve found that those who truly know what they stand for are often the ones who get ahead. They have a clear sense of what’s important to them, which allows them to make decisions that align with their deepest beliefs and aspirations.

As Carl Jung said, “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

It’s a powerful quote that perfectly encapsulates the importance of self-understanding and introspection. The more we understand ourselves, the better equipped we are to navigate life and shape it in a way that resonates with our core values.

I’ve designed an exercise to help you define your own values: Defining Your Values Exercise. It’s a simple yet powerful tool to help you better understand yourself and what drives you.

Understanding oneself is not just about self-improvement; it’s about building a life aligned with who you truly are. And it’s this alignment that often leads to lasting success and fulfillment.

3) Set meaningful goals

Let’s be honest, setting goals can be a daunting task. It’s easy to fall into the trap of setting vague or unattainable goals, or worse, not setting any goals at all.

However, those who consistently get ahead in life understand the importance of setting meaningful and realistic goals. They don’t just aim for the stars without a roadmap. Instead, they break down their big dreams into smaller, actionable steps.

These people understand that a goal without a plan is just a wish. They don’t shy away from the hard work that comes with pursuing a goal. They know it’s the small, everyday steps that lead to big achievements.

Setting meaningful goals isn’t about impressing others or chasing after societal standards of success. It’s about defining what success looks like for you and having the courage to pursue it.

A life without goals is like a ship without a compass. It’s aimless and directionless. So take the time to set meaningful goals for your life—it’s one of the surest paths to getting ahead.

4) Take the wheel

Life can feel like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes, it may seem like you’re just being thrown around by circumstances beyond your control. But here’s the raw truth: those who get ahead in life are the ones who take the wheel.

Taking control of your life doesn’t mean you can prevent every bump or curve in the road. It means accepting that while you can’t control everything that happens to you, you can control how you respond.

Successful individuals don’t play the victim card. They don’t let life’s challenges dictate their path. They steer their own ship, navigate through the storm, and chart their own course.

It’s not always easy, and it’s not always comfortable. But taking responsibility for your own life is empowering. It gives you the ability to shape your destiny rather than leaving it to chance.

Take the wheel. Decide where you want to go and start steering in that direction. You might be surprised at how far you can get when you’re in control.

5) Journal regularly

As a Life Transition Coach, one tool I often recommend to my clients is journaling. This simple, yet powerful practice can have a profound impact on your life.

Journaling allows you to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It’s a space for you to be honest with yourself, to express your hopes and fears, and to track your personal growth. It can help you gain clarity, understand your patterns of behavior, and make more conscious decisions.

Those who consistently get ahead in life often have a regular journaling habit. They understand that self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and success.

I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of journaling in my own life and in the lives of many of my clients. That’s why I’ve included it as a core component in my course, Reset Your Life Compass.

Start a journaling habit today. It’s not about writing perfectly or impressively—it’s about honest self-exploration and discovery. The insights you gain could be the key to unlocking the fulfilled life you desire.

6) Change your habits

We all have habits. Some serve us well, while others, not so much. The people who consistently get ahead in life are those who successfully change the habits that hold them back.

It’s not easy. Habits are deeply ingrained patterns of behavior. But with determination, patience, and the right strategies, you can replace your less productive habits with ones that propel you forward.

For example, if you’re always rushing in the morning, a new habit could be waking up 30 minutes earlier. This simple change can transform your mornings from stressful to peaceful.

Remember, small changes in your daily habits can lead to big changes in your life. It’s not about perfection—it’s about progression.

So take a hard look at your habits. Which ones are serving you well? Which ones are holding you back? Make a commitment today to start changing one habit at a time. Your future self will thank you.

7) Find your purpose

Let’s get real: life without purpose can feel empty and unfulfilling. Those who consistently get ahead in life are often driven by a sense of purpose.

Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” This quote underlines the significance of having a purpose in life.

Your purpose is your ‘why’. It’s what gives meaning to your actions and direction to your life. It’s not about achieving a particular status or material success, but about contributing to something bigger than yourself.

Finding your purpose can be a journey. It’s not always clear-cut, and it can evolve over time. But when you find it, it can fuel your motivation, shape your goals, and guide your decisions.

To help you on this journey, I’ve created a video with some tips for finding your purpose in life. I invite you to watch it:

8) Live authentically

Here’s something counterintuitive: those who consistently get ahead in life are not always the ones trying the hardest to impress. They’re the ones living authentically.

Living authentically means being true to who you are. It means not conforming to societal pressures or others’ expectations. It means living in alignment with your values, passions, and purpose.

People who live authentically often find that they attract opportunities that are a good fit for them. They build genuine relationships based on trust and respect. They make decisions that feel right to them, not just what looks good on paper.

Living authentically might mean taking the road less traveled. It might mean making choices that others don’t understand. But in the end, it’s your life. And living it in a way that is true to you is what will ultimately lead you to get ahead.


Getting ahead in life isn’t about luck, manipulation, or stepping on others. It’s about embracing change, understanding yourself, setting meaningful goals, taking control of your life, journaling, changing your habits, finding your purpose, and living authentically.

These patterns of behavior don’t just lead to success—they lead to a fulfilling and meaningful life. And remember, it’s never too late to start adopting these behaviors. Each day is a new opportunity to make choices that align with who you are and where you want to go.

If you’re ready to reset your life compass and start navigating towards a more fulfilling life, consider joining my course, Reset Your Life Compass. It’s designed to help you discover your values, set meaningful goals, and develop behaviors that will help you get ahead in life.

Remember, the power to get ahead in life is in your hands. It’s about making conscious choices that align with your authentic self. And it’s this alignment that leads to true fulfillment and success. Keep going. You’ve got this!

Jeanette Brown

I have been in Education as a teacher, career coach and executive manager over many years.
I'm also an experienced coach who is passionate about supporting people in finding real meaning and purpose in their lives, building a resilient, grounded inner self and achieving their desired goals.

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