“All successful people 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.” – Brian Tracy

Success means something different to everyone. What you might consider a success is likely different from what your neighbor or even your best friend sees as success. Regardless of what success means to individual people, it’s still something that everyone strives for.

Whether in our education, business, home life, or social life, we want our efforts to be effective. Thankfully, there has always been a secret to success. Highly successful people have behaviors, habits, and traits that help contribute to their success in life.

Here Are 10 Traits Highly Successful People Display

1. Persistence

You can’t find success if you give up. Even when things seem bleak, highly successful people always find a way to move forward. Sometimes, moving forward means take one step – just one step – towards your goal each day. Persistence and determination are better than just sitting back and giving up.

Takeaway: Think tortoise versus hare. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you finish the race.

2. Commitment

Achieving a goal, or gaining success, can’t happen without commitment. That’s why highly successful people are known to have a strong drive. They commit themselves to their work. Even if they must take a break (and we all need breaks from time to time), a successful person will make plans to return to their goal, whether it be short- or long-term. A person who has a hard time being committed to even the smallest of tasks might have a harder time succeeding.

Takeaway: Always get back on the track of doing what you need to do in order to succeed.

inspirational quote

3. Optimism

Highly successful people are a “glass-half-full” types. Looking at things from an optimistic point of view, they realize this perspective is paramount to pushing forward and succeeding. After all, if someone is pessimistic, they’re less likely to maintain the drive and determination to follow through and achieve their goals.

Takeaway: Optimism keeps your mind bright and focused, thus keeping your on the path to success.

4. Long-term goals

For success, we need more than just short-term goals. Highly successful people know how to work towards the future. They conscientiously focus on the goals right in front of them, while still making plans to reach milestone achievements farther down the road. People who obtain success have perfected the art of delayed gratification.

Takeaway: Good things come when you wait (especially if you keep moving forward while you’re waiting).

5. Resourceful

Having resourcefulness is thinking on your feet, innovating, and trying out new ideas. Highly successful people know how to make situations work in their favor, whether it be teaching themselves something new, networking, or utilizing knowledge they already have to propel them towards their goals. Highly successful people know that interdependence isn’t a failure. It’s a resource.

Takeaway: Consider all your resources, even from surprising sources.

6. Learn from failure

Speaking of failure, according to Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., one of the key traits of highly successful people is the ability to learn from their mistakes. When we fail, we need to take those disappointments as learning opportunities, transforming it into success. Because they’ll know better for next time, highly successful people aren’t afraid of making mistakes.

Takeaway: Let your failures be your springboard to greater heights.

7. Educate themselves

Getting a rounded education is important to success, but what’s even more important is continuing that education after receiving a diploma. Highly successful people are always learning new things, and always striving to educate themselves on things they don’t understand. Highly successful people can often be found reading, listening to the news, and double-checking their sources.

Takeaway: Learn something new today.

8. Self-awareness

Confidence is important to success, but even more so is knowing your limitations. A highly successful person is aware of their own shortcomings. They challenge themselves to do better, but don’t overestimate their abilities.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to admit faults or to ask for help when you need it.

9. Know when to say “No.”

Being a “yes man” can open up a lot of doors and opportunities. It’s important for highly successful people to be open to as many opportunities as they can be. It’s equally important for a successful person to know when enough is enough. Knowing when to say “no” to commitments is a trait that every successful person has.

Takeaway: Setting boundaries and knowing your limitations is key to success.

10. Good communication

Communication is more than just being able to talk smoothly. Highly successful people know that communication requires active listening and participation in a conversation. Being able to exchange and understand ideas clearly is a huge part of success, and that’s why it’s a trait that all successful people share.

communication skills of successful people

Takeaway: Listen and learn as much as you speak and do.

Final thoughts

How you define success is up to you. However, to be successful, it’s important to know the traits and behaviors that get people to where they are. All of these traits are found in highly successful people and are good behaviors to start integrating into your day to day life – no matter what your goals may be.


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