15 things successful people do differently than everyone else

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When we talk about success, the first thing that comes to mind is the material trappings – the fancy car, the flashy jewelry, that big corner office…But there’s something else that sets successful people apart from those who struggle to find prosperity and happiness – a sense of fulfillment and a drive to keep growing.. 

See, success isn’t just about the thickness of your wallet, your fancy car, or how often you go shopping. It’s more about personal growth, inner fulfillment, and finding joy in what you have. 

How exactly do successful people go about cultivating this mindset?

In this article, I’ll show you 15 habits successful people practice that help them not just reach their goals but also enjoy their success. 

Let’s dive in! 

1) They prioritize their health

The first thing I’d like to point out that successful people do differently from the rest of the world is the priority they give to their health. 

They understand that life (and the journey to success) is a marathon, not a sprint. They know that to have that staying power, that capacity to endure, they need to keep their physical and mental health in tip-top shape.

I love reading articles that talk about how successful people take care of themselves. To give you an example, think about this: famous self-made billionaire Richard Branson starts his day with a good workout. In fact, he attributes a huge part of his success to staying active. 

Mental health is important as well. I like how Jennifer Aniston takes care of what she lets into her mind. She really makes time for meditation and journaling and tries to limit her use of social media. 

Practices like these help successful people stay at the top of their game…and feel happy while they’re at it!

2) They focus on self-improvement

Do you see how everything begins with the self? From the physical to the emotional and the mental…there always needs to be that desire to keep improving yourself. 

One thing I’ve noticed about the successful people I know is that they all have a growth mindset. They don’t sit around saying,‘’Oh, I know all of that already, why do you think I’m successful?”

Nope. They didn’t get to where they are with that kind of mindset. 

See, the only way you can keep growing as a person and developing new skills is if you have the willingness to learn. 

And, as the next section shows, they know that setting goals is key to learning and self-improvement. 

3) They set clear goals

Successful people and poor people have different approaches to goal-setting

Consider these two statements:

  • “I want to save $10,000 for a down payment on a house within the next two years.”
  • “I want to be more successful.”

Which one do you think would be more achievable?

The first one, right? See, that one is specific, measurable, and time-bound – it clearly defines what the person wants to achieve and when they want to achieve it. 

The second goal, on the other hand, is very broad and vague. It’s not clear what success means to the person. And also, how do they intend to get it?

Without a clear definition and actionable steps, it’s difficult to know what progress looks like or how to measure success. Having clear goals makes it easier to take action, which leads me to my next point. 

4) They take action

Here’s another difference I’ve noticed between successful people and poor people. The former sees a problem/has a goal and takes action. They take initiative and actively seek out opportunities to get them to where they want to be. 

Meanwhile, a poor person is typically more passive and reactive. They may wait for things to  happen to them or for opportunities to come their way. 

Unfortunately, if that’s your mindset, you could be waiting forever. To be successful, you’ve got to take risks and grab the bull by the horns! 

5) They take calculated risks

When I say take risks, I mean take calculated risks. What does that mean?

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Here’s the thing – successful people are brave. But they aren’t foolhardy. They weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of a decision before taking action. 

That means they can stretch beyond their comfort zone and pursue opportunities with huge potential for rewards and growth. 

6) They develop a positive mindset

This habit actually plays a huge role in why successful people can take risks. They know the power of positive thinking, so they may use affirmations or visualization techniques to develop a positive mindset

Case in point: actor and comedy writer Mindy Kaling uses a vision board to manifest the things she wants out of life. 

I myself know someone – my aunt – who did this trick to stay positive about her future. At the time, she was recently divorced and didn’t know what to do next. 

All she knew was that she had to learn how to stand up on her own and raise her three kids. And if there was one thing she knew for sure, she wanted a big white van. 

That sounds quite specific, right? 

Well, she cut out a photo of the van from a magazine and stuck it on the door of her fridge. Two years later, she had built a successful business, and guess what? That big white van was sitting in her garage! 

It’s amazing what a positive mindset can do for you – it can make you bounce back from the school of hard knocks!

7) They cultivate resilience

The great thing about having a positive mindset is that it naturally trains you to be resilient

That’s something successful people know, and they really take pains to be flexible and learn from their failures. 

If you look at my aunt’s story, you’ll see that it’s one about resilience. 

The truth is, life really will knock you down from time to time. But if you make the choice to stand up every time and learn what you can from the experience, there’s no reason why you can’t make your way up to the top! 

8) They take responsibility for their lives

What I love about these stories of successful people is the way they take charge of their lives

When you get the short end of the stick, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a victim, of saying, “Oh poor me, I just can’t catch a break!” 

I totally get it, I’ve been there myself! 

But the thing is, moaning and groaning about the state of your life won’t get you anywhere. Blaming other people or making excuses won’t make you successful. I know people who do this all the time but never stop to think about their role in it. 

If this sounds like you, I’ve got a question for you – What’s your role in your life? Are you a spectator, or are you the lead?

I mean, when you think about it, no one else should have the power to keep you from succeeding. You steer your life in the direction you want it to go, and that means you’ll have to put yourself in the driver’s seat.  

9) They learn from others

I know I said that we should be in charge of our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take help from other people. 

In fact, a common thread in the life stories of successful people is that they all have a mentor. Someone to guide them in their careers and personal lives. 

Is there someone you look up to? Someone you admire for their work ethic and extensive experience?

Then don’t be afraid to ask them to mentor you. Mentors can offer a fresh perspective on challenges and opportunities and help you see things in a new light.

10) They network strategically

Speaking of making connections, here’s another thing that successful people do that poor people may not– they make strategic connections. 

Successful people understand the value of building relationships and networking just like anyone else, but with a key difference. They do it with a focus on those who can help them achieve their goals.

That’s something other people may struggle with if they have limited resources and social capital. It isn’t easy to get into certain professional or social circles, after all. 

But the good thing is, one can nurture the right connections through avenues like community organizations, religious institutions, or other networks. 

11) They manage their time effectively

This efficiency in managing social connections also extends into the way successful people manage their time. 

For accomplished and purposeful people, time is a precious commodity. So you won’t find them scrolling for hours on social media or watching TV show after TV show. 

They use a variety of time management techniques such as time blocking and tracking, task delegation, and prioritizing tasks. Simply put, they make every minute count!

12) They know when to stop and relax

It’s a common misconception that high achievers do nothing but hustle. But one of the key aspects of time management is also knowing when it’s time to take a break

In fact, according to Psychology Today, the human body works best when given equal amounts of activity and rest. 

That’s probably why they always say, “Work hard, play hard!”

13) They practice gratitude

Remember when I said that many people choose to complain about the state of their lives? Apparently, that’s a key thing that makes successful people different. 

And here’s the thing – you might have all the money in the world, but if you do nothing but complain and dwell on your problems, then sadly, you’re trapped in a poverty mindset. 

We all have different definitions of success. But one thing is constant – to be considered successful, we must factor in our level of happiness. And the most significant indicator of that is how grateful we are. 

See, successful and happy people are always thankful for their blessings. They focus on what they have, not what they lack, and that gives them a sense of abundance and fullness. 

In short, gratitude contributes to an abundance mindset. 

14) They give back

And when you feel like your cup is overflowing, then the natural inclination is to share your blessings with others! 

See how switching from a poverty mindset to one of prosperity has nothing to do with material wealth? It centers on the spirit – that feeling of inner fulfillment. 

That’s why you’ll often find successful people giving back to their communities or supporting causes they care about. Because they operate from an abundance mindset, they feel like there’s enough for everyone!  

As a quote by Anne Frank goes, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” 

15) They enjoy the journey

Lastly, successful people are all about finding joy in the process of pursuing their goals. 

Sure, the end result is important, but for them, the old Taoist saying, “The journey is the reward,” rings true. 

When they achieve a goal, they celebrate (and they celebrate others’ successes, too!). When they fail at something, they look at what they can learn from it. Either way, life is always exciting!

And more importantly, they don’t compare themselves with others. So their sense of pleasure and satisfaction comes from the ups and downs of their own life journey, not from being better than other people. 

I guess what we can learn from them is this – pursuing your passions and goals give you a sense of purpose. No matter what happens along the way, it will all serve to enrich your life.

That way, even if you don’t exactly have a six- or seven-figure paycheck, you’ll never feel like you’re poor! 

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