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14 traits of highly determined people that lead them to success

So you know your goals — what now?

Your next step is to, well, take steps forward.

But up ahead, there are going to be challenges. You’re going to fail. You might even have to sacrifice social gatherings, weekends, and a million other things you currently take for granted.

Are you up for it?

Succeeding in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds isn’t impossible; it’s been done by countless others before you.

But how did other people overcome their obstacles?

They were determined.

Determination is what gets you out of bed when you’d rather hit the snooze.

It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

Learn to overcome the obstacles to your success with these 14 traits that highly determined people share.

1. They Focus On The Bigger Picture

The daily barrage of what needs to be done can obscure the larger goal.

Today’s challenges, once completed, will only make way for tomorrow’s challenges.

Day after day, overcoming hurdle after hurdle; if left unchecked and unreviewed, could lead you on an entirely different and unintended path.

This is why it’s essential that goals — from short to long term — are reviewed often.

Take a step back; refocus your vision, then act accordingly.

This allows for the necessary feedback to know if you’ve started to drift from path and that a course correction is needed.

2. They Aren’t Scared To Fail

The fear of failure is one of the more common fears among people.

They’re afraid that if they fail, they will ultimately be deemed unworthy of anything good in life. Nonsense.

Failure is inevitable — but it isn’t final.

Failure is only the way it is if chosen to be seen that way.

Looked at from a different perspective, a rejection gives extra time to improve the work; a financial loss is a lesson in what not to invest in, and a broken habit streak is a chance to learn from the temptations. It’s all a matter of perception.

3. They Avoid Comparing

It’s gotten to be much easier to compare oneself with others thanks to social media.

More and more people post about their successes that you forget that they’re still humans prone to mistakes and failures.

Comparison only harbors insecurity and discouragement.

Real progress isn’t determined by who’s ahead in life, but instead how much better you are than yourself yesterday.

No matter what pursuit, there is always going to be someone in the world that is smarter, faster, or more skilled than you.

Avoiding comparison means avoiding a never ending cycle of disappointment.

4. They Focus On What They Can Control

The weather, your surroundings, the way a neighbor behaves, or the opinion of strangers.

These are things that will remain the same no matter how much mental energy you spend disagreeing with them, or wishing they were different.

A highly determined person understands that the only thing worth being concerned about is what they can control: the effort they put in, the words that they speak, their perception of events, and their ultimate action. To focus on anything else would be a waste of precious energy and time.

5. They Redirect Their Energies

When someone frustrates us or we suffer an injury, it can be easy to scream and shout in despair.

“Why is this happening to me?” we exclaim as if such occurrences are so rare and we’re the only unlucky people who have ever lived.

What escapes use, however, is that we don’t have to be victims of these events.

Our reactions to situations aren’t dictated by the situations themselves — but by us.

We have the choice of how we want to go about certain situations.

If someone doubts that we’ll be able to achieve our goals, while we may feel discouraged, we can choose to still show up to continue our progress.

Highly determined people redirect what they feel to strengthen their resolve to keep going.

6. They Are Unapologetic

We can often be weighed down by the opinions of others.

Their doubts cloud our minds and stop us from pursuing our passions.

But taking actions just to impress others will never bring true fulfillment and satisfaction.

Those states of being come from the inside.

Highly determined people have developed thick skin.

They refuse to apologize for who they are and what they’re pursuing because they’ve realized that it’s the right thing for them to do.

It’s their passion in life, and they aren’t going to let anyone get in the way of their personal fulfillment.

7. They Remember To Be Grateful

No matter how difficult days can get, there is always going to be something to be grateful for.

What is a problem today can serve as a valuable lesson tomorrow.

Such wisdom would not have been made possible without having gone through errors, mistakes, and hardships — and there will be plenty on the road to success.

So highly determined people always remember to be thankful for what they have and already achieved.

Challenges shrink in intensity when we remember to take the time to appreciate how far we’ve come since we started.

8. They Act Despite Their Feelings

Our feelings at the moment play a significant role in our daily decisions.

After working for hours, our energies will be drained, so we might naturally reach for a can of sugary soda.

Although we know that we’ll be disrupting our diet, we can’t help ourselves — “it’s been a long day” we rationalize.

Our defenses are lowered and so we return to the familiarity of the old habits we’re trying to break.

Highly determined people are still people.

They feel the same exhaustion after work — but have the self-control to stop themselves from reaching for a fizzy drink.

How?

Because they know that there’s a more important concern — their diet.

So although they recognize their craving, they reach for a healthier beverage, despite their feelings.

9. They Put In Their Hours

Muscle growth doesn’t happen instantaneously. Hollywood actors and actresses train months in advance to get into the physique of the role that they’re set to play.

Even then, they follow a strict diet and routine. Any day missed might negatively affect their physical outcome.

They put in the hours in and out of the gym. The price of achieving goals is paid in hours spent in deep and deliberate work.

That’s all there is to it. It’s simple — but it isn’t easy.

The gym may only be a few minutes away, but everyday is a test of dedication to the larger goal.

10. They Are Resilient

Failures and hardships are inevitably going to feel discouraging.

It’s common to spiral into the mindset that the goal is unachievable and that you lack the emotional, physical, or mental strength to see it through.

What highly determined people do that others don’t is that they bounce back.

They try again.

They take another swing, submit another draft, try a different diet, and paint another canvas.

They understand the power of iterating; as long as they’re living and breathing, they can have another opportunity at achieving success.

11. They Are Resourceful

When the boss puts a deadline that’s much shorter than what they’re used to, a highly determined person doesn’t sit still trying to go about the process as usual.

They get to work to figure out what parts of the process can be expedited, delegated, or done in a different way with a different piece of software.

They ask around for help and try out different approaches.

They always keep an open mind about what they can leverage to do what they need to do.

12. They Take Responsibility

There can be a litany of reasons why you haven’t made any progress on your goals. The motivation isn’t there, the time isn’t right, you just haven’t got the skills yet, cookies are just too good.

These are excuses, which is something that isn’t in a highly determined person’s vocabulary.

When you decide on a goal, it’s important to remember that you chose it.

A highly determined person doesn’t blame others for imposing such an impossible goal on them — they take responsibility for their actions.

They seize control of themselves so that they remain accountable for what they decide to do or not do.

13. They’re Methodical

When a highly determined person sets a goal for themselves, they don’t do so mindlessly. They develop a plan of action.

Like a general trying to win the war, they strategize their approach for victory.

Not every goal needs to be achieved; they prioritize the ones that are realistic and guarantee small successes, like jogging for 3 KM every other day.

Once they build their own momentum, they move to 5 KM, then 8. After enough time, they’ll finally be ready to take on the marathon.

14. They Take The Leap

Pursuing your goals is an act of courage.

There’s uncertainty in every step of the path.

But thinking about your goals isn’t going to move you forward.

While other people dream, highly determined people get out of bed and face the day head on, making their dreams reality.m

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Written by 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. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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