Success is something everybody wants. There’s no clear-cut definition of what thus ‘success’ entails. Some might argue that it’s about wealth and career attainment, while others may passionately counter that it’s about settling with a family you love or developing a more open-minded worldview.

Just as there’s no clear-cut definition of success, there is also not a clear-cut path. No matter your definition however, those who we often look up to and consider to be successful and inspiring all share a pocket of similar traits. Work on mastering the list below, and you’ll be well on your way down the path of success, however you may choose to travel it!

Here are 21 inspiring traits to learn from highly successful people:

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Dream Big

If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough! Highly succesful people know that it’s good to take a chance on yourself. Aim high, and shoot for the moon; if you fail, you’ll still land among the stars and learn something about yourself along the way!

2. Learn From Your Mistakes

Whenever you stumble, there’s always an opportunity to get back up. Don’t let your mistakes discourage you. Let them motivate you to try again, but in a different way!

3. Take the Path Less Traveled

The path to success is never clear-cut. Take the path less traveled and forge your own way.

4. Get Decisive

People who are highly successful don’t talk themselves into doubt and discouragement. They consider all of their options, but make the final call with deftness.

5. Curiosity Won’t Kill the Cat

While the old adage may warn that “curiosity kills the cat”, a little curiosity is perfectly healthy and moreover, encouraged! Don’t be afraid of delving into new experiences and subjects. Ask questions, and be open to making mistakes. People who use curiosity to their advantage know that mistakes are just a stepping stone of learning.

6. Trust Your Gut

It’s true that oftentimes, your gut feeling is the right feeling. When you find yourself second guessing a decision or becoming skeptical of something, tune in to your intuition, not out.

7. Communication is Key

Communication is the backbone of every prosperous relationship, be it personal or in the workplace. Communicate honestly, openly, and frequently, and always provide or ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings.

8. Find a Solution

Find a solution, not an excuse or someone to blame. Excuses and blame, while somewhat helpful in cushioning the blow of the problem, only extend the problem further.

9. Be Resourceful

Those you find inspiring may be big dreamers, but they’re also realistic in what they can do with what they have available to them. Be aware and innovative of your resources and don’t let any opportunity go to waste.

10. Take Time to Recharge

No matter how extroverted the individual, everyone needs time alone to recharge. Whether this is a time to relax on the couch and watch a movie or partake in a favorite hobby, time alone helps us to stay rested and stay in-tune with our mental health.

11. It’s All About the Passion

Sometimes, passion can make all the difference. Believe in yourself and others will too! No inspiring life is lead without an eager, driven passion.

12. Take a Risk

Just as highly successful people are decisive, this decisiveness sometimes means having to take a calculated risk. Outside of one’s comfort zone is just where the reward may reside!

13. Change is a Good Thing

As cliche as it may sound, it really is important to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Change is a good thing, and successful individuals know that no inspiring life is lead without a lot of change, and subsequently, a lot of flexibility and adaptability.

14. Appreciate How to Negotiate

The idea of “buy low, sell high” works for selling others on your project too! Don’t sell yourself short, but learn how to negotiate to get what you want. Even if you’re a little afraid of hearing “no”, remember that there is never harm in asking.

15. Grow Your Network

It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Attend events in your community that will allow you to connect with other professionals and mavericks in your industry. Moreover, work on creating authentic connections, not merely shallow ones.

16. Honesty is the Best Policy

Transparency not only with others, but yourself is important. Be realistic about expectations, as well as mistakes or miscalculations so that they can more easily be resolved.

17. Get Inspired

It can be hard to stay motivated when you aren’t feeling inspired. Get inspired by listening to music, taking a walk, attending a convention, meeting up with fellow creatives– whatever will get those innovative gears turning again!

18. Inspire Others

One of the most rewarding aspects of working towards defining your own success is the potential you have to be inspiring towards others. Once you’ve begun to pave a path in the direction you want, be sure to help others do the same!


19. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Control your emotions or they will control you.

20. Make a Commitment

Getting started is rarely the hard part of a project; rather, it’s the finishing that’s tricky! Once you’ve started something, make a commitment and keep with it.

21. Challenge Accepted

One of the most inspiring tenets of those who are successful is that they treat every experience, (positive, negative, and anywhere in-between) as an opportunity for learning and growth. When a challenge crosses your path, don’t be discouraged; instead, look it square in the eyes and say: challenge accepted.

No matter your definition of success, developing and perfecting these traits will help you to achieve that definition. Moreover, developing these traits can help to improve your outlook on navigating everyday life. What’s best of all however, is that these traits can help you to serve as an inspiring figure to others.

As you work on mastering these traits, keep in mind that it’s alright to stumble. Stumbling is inevitable and part of the process. Our definition of success? Remembering that it’s more about the journey than the destination.

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