8 things successful people never compromise on

Success is different for everyone. But no matter what your version of success is, there are some things you simply can’t compromise on if you want to be successful.

I’ve put together this post of 8 non-negotiable items successful people never compromise on. 

Let’s go.

1. Integrity

A successful person never compromises their integrity.

You can rely on these people to have a word as strong as stone.

Integrity prevents people from letting others down, from betraying, and from lying, because they respect those around them and themselves.

They show that their word can be trusted, that they are reliable, and that they can produce what they promised they would.

It’s difficult to build stable success without integrity. If you stomp over people all of the time, then it will eventually come back to bite you.

You’ll never build trust with others, and no matter who you are, you’ll need other people by your side to be successful.

This is why successful people keep their integrity and always take the high road.

2. Self-respect

We all have regrets in life.

Maybe it was behaving in a way that went against our values.

Or perhaps it was something as simple as ignoring someone who wanted to talk with you.

But if you want to be genuinely successful, then you need to maintain your self-respect.

You don’t want to look back on life with regret because you sacrificed your self-respect for gains.

A healthy level of self-respect allows you to have the confidence to set firm boundaries.

Successful people know what they stand for and what their values are, and they’re accepting of their strengths and weaknesses.

They won’t sell themselves out. They remain true to their values and what’s important to them, which keeps their dignity intact.

3. Talking behind other people’s backs

Successful people never compromise on their principle of never talking badly about someone else behind their back.

After all, there’s no purpose to it, and most of the time, all you’re really doing is talking bad about someone else who can’t defend themselves.

A successful person understands that another person’s private life is none of their business.

And when you gossip, you just make yourself a more judgmental and toxic person.

A truly successful person is compassionate rather than judgmental.

Rather than gossiping about people behind their backs, a successful person focuses on working towards the goals they’ve set for themself.

And that’s what being successful is all about: Completing the goals that you’ve set out to complete.

4. Having clear goals

If a successful person is going to take action to achieve something, then they’re going to be clear about what their end goal is and the actions they need to take to get there.

It isn’t enough for a successful person to say they’re simply going to “lose weight”. It’s too general.

Successful people have a deliberate use of language that helps them visualize exactly what they want to happen.

So instead of “I want to lose weight” they might instead say “By December of this year, I am going to weigh X kilograms.” or even “I will lose X pounds every month to reach my goal of Y by December 1st of this year.”

These are called S.M.A.R.T. goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Successful people are always clear about what they want to achieve and how they’ll really get there.

They won’t compromise on their vision even when they encounter challenges along the way.

Self-development expert Brian Tracy says it best:

“All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.”

5. Focus

Successful people always maintain their focus. They do this by focusing on one thing at a time.

It’s easier to get distracted nowadays since we’re surrounded by content that calls for our attention.

The more distracted you become, however, the less progress that you’re going to make

Our ability to focus is a muscle.

Successful people strengthen it by being mindful of their actions and being present in the moment.

This enables successful people like athletes and artists to get into a state of flow.

It’s when time flies and their mind and body are moving almost like it’s doing it on their own — they enter their peak performance.

Distractions put them in danger of ruining their flow, which ruins their momentum.

Then the mind has to reset and slowly build up to it again, which takes too much energy.

That’s why successful people try to eliminate distractions as much as possible.

6. Work

If you want to be successful, then you need to do the work.

It’s rare to build anything great if you don’t take action and put in the effort.

Whatever kind of success you’re aiming for will always involve putting in the work.

Want to be a marathon runner? Then train and run regularly.

Want to be a writer? Then read and write constantly.

Want to speak another language? Learn new words in that language every single day.

Success doesn’t just magically happen. It requires taking action. Successful people do the work and strive to improve every single day.

7. Understanding the value of small gains every day

Success takes time. Being an overnight success is rare. This is why successful people never compromise on their philosophy of building slow and steady.

Jim Rohn said it best:

“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Failure is simply a few errors in judgment, practiced every day.”

For some reason, humans overwhelmingly underestimate what it takes to accomplish big goals and grossly overestimate what it takes to accomplish a series of small tasks.

Most of us believe in the narrative of a big defining moment where we achieve everything we’ve ever dreamed of, and completely forget the value of numerous small, good decisions on a daily basis.

Successful people know that tiny gains made frequently move you slowly and steadily forward.

They start small and add up to something big.

Want to write a book? Write 2 pages a day and you’ve written a book in 6 months.

Want to run a marathon? Start with a 5-minute run and increase from there.

It sounds simple, and, well, it is.

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, explains how consistent small improvements can turn into something much more in the long run:

“Meanwhile, improving by 1 percent isn’t particularly notable—sometimes it isn’t even noticeable—but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run. The difference a tiny improvement can make over time is astounding. Here’s how the math works out: if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.”

8. Compromise

This may sound a little strange, but you know what successful people never compromise on? The ability to compromise, to remain flexible, and adapt.

One of the most common behaviors of unsuccessful people is their stubbornness to stay the same.

Their ego tells them, “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” or “It’s the way we’ve always done something.”

Successful people understand that if their ventures aren’t making the money they sought to make, or if their employees are leaving at an alarming rate, a change needs to happen.

Holding on to traditions might backfire in the long run.

Adam M. Grant, author of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, says it best:

“Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.”

Curveballs are thrown everyone’s way, but it’s your ability to overcome them and adapt that will define how successful you’ll be.


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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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