8 characteristics of successful people

I have been blessed with the opportunity of meeting and be around successful people. What I could so far learn is that if there is no formula for their success, there are a few traits or characteristics that are present in all of them.

1.    They want to be the best!
The first characteristic present in successful people is the desire to the best. This is the most important of the 8 characteristics. The desire or will of be the best is what make one work hard, without limit of hours or in spite of innumerous trials and errors. It is the fuel, the motivation. The will of be the best is that make possible to go through the cycle: “expectation-implementation-failure-frustration-evaluation-correction-expectation...“. And do not be tired of repeating it. This process of seeking to be the best involves, indeed, competing. Compete with the aim of measuring performance and progress. And compete is not bad as long as the established rules are respected! Seeking to be the best, in fact, is our manner of giving room to our divine particle, of being closer of reaching fullness in something. And this, in fact, is what success is about!  
“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (Saint Paul)

2.    They put their soul into their purpose!
The second characteristic present in successful people is that they put their soul into their purpose and vision. Purpose is mission. Vision is where to go or an imposed limit. Purpose is related to competencies and infrastructure. Vision is ambition. It is not possible to give life to a purpose or vision if doubt or hesitation is present. What consumes your time? What calls your attention? What would you like doing if you could and or the necessary conditions were present? What thoughts make you smile? What are your abilities? What you do or can do well? And equally important: What you do that people appreciate? To what reason(s) people access you? For what you are praised for? What people ask you to repeatedly do? To find purpose, or, to what you were wired for is an encounter with yourself. It is to discover yourself! And establish a vision is to imagine a possibility that you can construct!
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Saint Paul)

3.    They are committed!
The third characteristic present in successful people is that they are committed. This is maybe one of most difficult characteristics, mainly, in our current society in which the concentration span time is limited and in which – well elaborated – contracts continue to be broken or breached. To commit is to place oneself in a prison; is to place yourself in a place available for something; is an obligation; is to contract; to pledge; to surrender! There is no possibility of reaching success in a field without commitment, without making choices at the expense of letting go other options. It is necessary to surrender completely even in the face of failure and frustration. Commit yourself and place your heart is to fight as if it was the only and decisive fight. Is to face the involved risks. Is to dive in and not just to wet the feet to try the temperature!
“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Book of Psalms)

4.    They do differently!
The fourth characteristic present in successful people is that they do differently. It is difficult to be different in a politically correct world as this that we live in, in which consensus building and patterns are privileged. Do different is not to be worried in observing existing form or formats. Be different is to be distinct or be out of the standard. It is to be “disruptive”. Be disruptive is to not care for breading with patterns. It is to launch into disorder, interrupting the normal course or unity. It is to be unconcerned in being original even at the possibility of something to be tempted or done! It is as said by Steve Jobs in a speech dedicated to the “crazy ones”: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Saint Paul, many years before, had already similarly said: “Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” (Saint Paul)

5.    They are not afraid of applying new techniques!
The fifth characteristic present in successful people is that they use what they have in a different way, applying new techniques. In other words, they are innovators. They insist in trying finding, introducing, or launching something new. Innovation demands observing the environment, under the optics of their competencies and resources, with curiosity, focusing on the changes that are occurring even if yet incipient, and being willing to make small bets or pilots. Innovate involves curiosity, observation, study, test and sweat!
“Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” (Saint Matthew)

6.    They value themselves!
The sixth characteristic present in successful people is that they value what they do, not expecting that others will. In the end only they know first-hand how much was the cost in terms of dedication, renunciation, training, trials and errors, and the extent of quality and innovation embedded in what they have done. Self-praise or, best, self-recognition is something ill seen as it may be associated with arrogance. Nevertheless is far from being like that. Whose accomplished something must be content with the did, feeling that made something worthy or recognition. Many hide themselves behind false self-depreciative modesty that refrain people from see and recognize the accomplishment. These people act as blockers, self-saboteurs, maybe for fear of exposure and scrutiny. But if you like it and appreciated it, show it that others, certainly, will!
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (Book of Joshua)

7.    They keep on learning!
The seventh characteristic present in successful people is that they continue learning. They are curious and are not afraid of making questions! They challenge themselves to try something new and do it if in young age as well as in advanced age. This is what that keeps them active and young; is this that energizes them. The learning process may be formal, structured or based on practice and unstructured, it does not matter. What matters is to value learning, the discovery, the challenge of the test and, inclusive, of finding that your initial hypothesis is wrong. The person who keeps on thirsty of learning, that values it may live various beginnings, as in the end what keeps them on the race is the race itself and not the finish line. And thirsty and opening for learning makes they live other lives and careers!
“Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.” (Book of Proverbs)

8.    They play hard!
The eight characteristic present in successful people is that they are good, do good and play hard. Be good is to have an inclination for the loyal, fruitful, advantageous, true, competent and skilled! Inclination is not enough. It is important to act in order to materialize the good. Doing is related to work, task or obligation. One does because is right and for feeling responsible. It is to become a protagonist. And play hard is to empting yourself, dropping the last drop of sweat, reach your limit, and not be afraid of the dispute and of what it may cause. Play hard is not the same as playing outside the rules or being dishonest. Play hard is to face with the deserved respect; is to play to win!
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Saint Paul)

Two things are important to be clear: the definition of success and how many characteristics are necessary and if we may develop them. As to success, we may assure that it is not related to accumulation of goods and titles but instead in being performing what you have being wired for, that your characteristics, qualities and competencies allow. A successful person does not need to have the 8 characteristics but only a few, essential and common to all: will of be the best; commitment; value yourself and what you do; and keep on learning. I am certain that we may learn and develop the other characteristics if we recognize that they are important, pay attention in how we react to them and seeking to condition ourselves to change. Success!
“Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.” (Book of Proverbs);“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Saint Paul)

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