5 Traits of the Truly Successful

iStock_000011937660XSmallTalk to anyone who has achieved high levels of joy, fulfillment, confidence and success, and you will almost always find they share these five traits:

  1. They dream big. They know if they don’t, they may have to settle for someone else’s plans.
  2. They move through the world, taking calculated risks. Their big dreams and inner drive don’t allow them to play it safe.
  3. They don’t let failure have the last word. On the contrary, they turn failure to their advantage, letting it propel them toward something better.
  4. They are insatiably curious. They are constantly growing, learning more about their chosen field, and contributing to their chosen field.
  5. They let go of whatever would hold them back. They’re on a mission — and people on missions don’t let themselves get weighed down or distracted by trivia, even “good” trivia.

Successful People Love Their Work … And Other People

Last week at separate events, I met two people who seemed to have mastered these five traits — one was an actor who also had a day job; the other was the owner of a highly successful hair salon, here in San Diego.

Both lit up when talking about their work. You could sense their enthusiasm from their smiles, their handshakes, the texture of their voice, and the spark in their eyes.

As you can imagine, both were great fun to talk to. So how can you and I be more like that?

Go for Progress, Not Perfection

What if we took any one of the above five traits, and made even 5% progress on it in the coming week? What might that do for our smile, our handshake, the texture of our voice, and the spark in our eyes? How might it change the way we handle life’s inevitable annoyances?

Like the actor and the salon owner, you have a contribution to make that is uniquely yours. Not someday, not yesterday, but now. Find it and go after it, and your life will never again be the same.

On deck for next week: unpacking what it means and doesn’t mean to dream big.

“We detect rather than invent our mission in life.”
– Viktor Frankl

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Gina DeLapa is the creator of the Stuff You Already Know series. To read an excerpt from her latest book, order the book, sign up for her blog, read a Nugget of the Day, submit a Nugget of the Day, or contribute a story or anecdote, visit StuffYouAlreadyKnow.com.