11 personality traits of highly successful people

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You know those people who always achieve whatever they set their minds to?

The ones who say “I’ll lose 40 pounds in a month” or  “I’ll earn a million before the year ends”… and they’ll actually do it?

Well, it’s definitely not pure luck that got them there!

Aside from hard work, they possess traits that make them a success magnet.

Want to know what they do differently?

Here are 11 personality traits of highly successful people.

1) They truly believe they’re destined for success

Highly successful people may have self-doubt sometimes, but they always, always know that they’re destined to become great.

They KNOW they will succeed in their career.

They KNOW they will have the house they dream of.

They KNOW they will do things that would make a dent in the universe.

For them, it’s just a fact of life no different from the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

And this kind of confidence is so powerful because it’s self-fulfilling.

When they’re struggling, this belief reminds them that their struggle is a necessary step towards their journey to success…so they persevere.

And when someone minimizes their potential, this belief stops them from getting discouraged.

Most highly successful people are a bit delusional, and this is likely one of the main reasons why they’re able to achieve great things.

2) They have the eagerness of a beginner

Beginners are full of passion, curiosity, energy… and most of all, they are not ashamed to fail.

They believe that in order to create a masterpiece, one has to make 1000 bad paintings.

So even if they already made 50 paintings, they won’t expect to get any recognition. And neither do they get too hurt when someone criticizes their work or rejects them.

After all, they’re still on their 50th painting. They’re still basically a beginner. In their mind, they still have 950 paintings to make to become great.

Many people who strive for success want it to happen on the first try. And if it doesn’t, they slowly lose enthusiasm and start to feel shame for trying again and again.

But the highly successful people become successful because they don’t see it that way.

For them, they’re just beginners—always enthusiastic and eager to learn more—so they’ll keep trying without shame.

3) They nerd out on things that interest them

To be successful, one has to be passionate. To be HIGHLY successful, one has to be obsessive.

Highly successful people naturally love learning—whether it’s through books or real-life experiences.

And when there’s something that interests them, oh boy. They’ll lose sleep reading and nerding out about it.

If they suddenly have interest in stocks, it will be all they can think about. They might even attend classes and hire mentors because they have to know everything about it.

And if they’re into baking, they’ll be thinking and talking about baking 24/7.

This kind of obsession and laser focus can eventually make one successful in whatever it is they’re pursuing.

4) They love planning and organizing

Many highly successful people have a Type A personality.

They love spreadsheets and post-its and team management apps. They enjoy planning their day, their week, their month… and most of all, they enjoy making plans for the future.

They’ll create a roadmap for their life—from how they’ll achieve their goals to how they’ll meet their dream partner (even if they know love can’t be planned, they’ll try anyway).

They’re well aware that only a few things in their plans will actually come true, but they also know that generally, nothing great can be achieved without good planning.

5) They put in the hours

Highly successful people work their asses off.

They’re totally fine with working 10-12 hours a day if that means they’ll eventually achieve their goals.

But they’re not actually suffering while they’re burning the midnight oil because the act of pursuing their dreams gives them so much thrill and pleasure.

They are aware that while luck and talent and meeting the right people can help one succeed, ultimately, the surest way to achieve it is through consistent hard work.

And if they want to be HIGHLY successful, they simply have to put in the effort it takes to be one.

6) They’re not shy to ask for help when necessary

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Successful people know that in order to fast-track success, they need to collaborate with others— whether it be by hiring experts, getting mentorship, or collaborating on a project.

So when they need help, they won’t let their ego get in the way. They’ll approach the right people and ask for guidance.

Highly successful people hate wasting time. They think, “why spend your time trying to figure out how to make something work, when someone has already done it?”

And when someone asks for their help, they’d willingly say yes as long as they think it’s something they can commit to.

7) They know hard work is not everything

Highly successful people are well aware that in order to be highly successful, one needs more than hard work.

So while they work on their goals, they also take time to meet people—especially those that can potentially help them achieve their dreams. Because while they don’t completely agree on “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know”, they believe there’s some truth to it.

They also actively work on their physical and mental health. They know that success is hard to attain if one doesn’t have a healthy mind and body.

8) They’re hopeful (but still grounded)

As mentioned earlier, most of the highly successful people are a bit delusional.

They believe in impossible things. And that’s the reason why they’re not just successful, but HIGHLY successful.

You see, if we’re too grounded in reality, it would be very difficult to launch anything ground-breaking.

But this same delusion has led many people to their graves. They keep believing that anything can be achieved only if they do more or put in more money.

In the end, they fail badly because well, they can’t let go. They refuse to remove their rose-colored glasses.

The truly successful ones are highly optimistic—again, even a bit delusional—but they’re also grounded. They’ll push hard and aim high, but at some point, they’ll pause.

Then they’ll assess the situation and ask themselves if it’s wise to continue or let go.

9) They always choose to do good

Warren Buffet said, “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” And highly successful people keep this in mind.

No matter what someone’s pursuing—whether it be to become the most successful pianist or the most successful entrepreneur—if their reputation is tainted, they won’t go far.

Even if their only crime is stealing fifty bucks or flirting with a married colleague, those “little” things can affect their success directly.

So they make sure that they live a life with integrity.

But it’s not just to achieve success, of course. They also truly want to have a peaceful life. After all, drama and chaos can make it harder for one to achieve success.

10) They take risks

Highly successful people believe in “High risk, high reward”.

They know that in order for them to be truly successful, they have to be willing to lose big and make a total fool of themselves.

Highly successful people are naturally bold, and not because they know they’ll succeed. They’re bold because they’re not afraid of failure.

They know that, whatever happens, they can just start all over again.

11) They don’t stop until they succeed

If one doesn’t stop walking, they’ll eventually get to their destination.

They know that even if they only put in 1% every single day, they’ll eventually get to 100% if they won’t stop putting in effort.

And if one project fails, then they’ll just pursue another one. And if that other one fails too, then they’ll pursue another one, then another one.

Many highly successful people have many “failures” under their belt before they achieved success. What sets them apart is that they don’t give up.

And so if you want to be successful, just don’t stop. You’ll get there eventually.

Final thoughts

There’s no magic formula to success.

Even putting in 10,000 hours of work won’t guarantee it.

It’s a combination of hard work, luck, and having the right personality traits. So while you can’t control luck, you can at least work on your traits and habits.

It still doesn’t guarantee success, of course, but it surely increases your chance exponentially.

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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