As much as I would love to say that I have life figured out, I don’t, so when I ask this question, just know that I am with you on this one. Asking myself: How do ordinary people achieve extraordinary success, is a question that runs across my mind almost daily. I’m curious. I want to know. And I guess I also want to live it.
There are people around us every day that are achieving the extraordinary success that we seek out to achieve. Most of the time when I see somebody like this, the thoughts come across my mind of: How did they do that? What separates them from me? What skills do they have that I don’t have? How can I do that?
The truth is, those who achieve extraordinary success aren’t any better than us. They don’t have more time in a day than we do. They aren’t given anything in life that we aren’t.
So if all of these statements are true, then how does somebody – who seems to be an average joe – achieve extraordinary success? How did they manage to take their life to the next level and find the success that they sought?
In looking at the characteristics of some of the most successful individuals, here are 8 common similarities that I believe helps them to achieve extraordinary success.
1. They are clear about what their goals look like.
Some of the most successful individuals that I have come across have been incredibly specific about what it is that they want to achieve in life. Some of these individuals even knew what they wanted from a young age.
I just finished reading Marie Forleo’s Everything Is Figureoutable. She recalls walking through the streets of So-Ho with her mom as a younger girl, and she told her mom that someday, she was going to live in Manhattan.
Being from Jersey, that wasn’t too far of a stretch, but she stuck with that dream, and guess what happened? She now lives in So-Ho.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your dream is, get clear on what you want. The more clear you are on what you want, the more direct your intentions and actions are going to be.
2. They envision themselves having already achieved their goals.
Stop for a moment and close your eyes. What does it look like to have achieved your goals and your dreams? Take notice of the environment you are in, the noises around you, the people that surround you, and then take notice of you. How old are you when you envision your success?
Keep that image with you. That image of having achieved your goals is going to be what’s going to propel you forward when you feel like giving up or feel weighed down by challenges.
Some of the most successful individuals will purposely carve out time in their mornings to sit down, close their eyes, and envision the day ahead. That’s because when you envision, you act out of intention instead of reaction.
3. They learn from their failures.
Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots throughout the course of his career. Walt Disney went bankrupt before creating Mickey Mouse. JK Rowling was a single mom who was nearly homeless while writing Harry Potter on the back of a napkin. James Dyson created 5,126 vacuums that didn’t work before figuring it out.
Failure is inevitable. If you are failing, it means that you are continuing to push past your comfort zone and giving yourself the opportunity to succeed. If you aren’t willing to fail, then you aren’t willing to succeed.
So by all means, learn from your mistakes, and keep failing!
4. They take action instead of overthinking.
There is only one way that you are ever going to achieve life-changing success, and that’s by taking action. If you fail to take action, then you are never going to know what you could have truly achieved.
Any successful person that you look at has got to where they are in life because they have taken the action necessary to move towards their goals. Without action, there is no way they could have gotten from where they were to where they are now.
5. They prioritize what’s important.
Have you ever wondered why you hear all of this talk about the importance of a good morning routine? It’s because they work. If having a good morning routine wasn’t going to benefit you, you wouldn’t constantly be hearing about it.
One reason why they are so effective is because they help you to prioritize what’s important. By waking up early, you are able to map out your day, set your goals for the day, and get started on them all before being tied down by the various distractions in the world around you.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 am every morning. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5:00 a.m. New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark wakes up at 3:30 a.m. Benjamin Franklin used to wake up at 5:00 a.m.
It’s not to say that you have to wake up early in order to be successful, but it helps you to prioritize your day and accomplish what’s truly important to you before being tied down by the schedule of others.
6. They accept responsibility for their lives.
Good or bad, successful people overcome challenges and obstacles by taking responsibility for everything that has got them to where they are today.
This isn’t to say that everything that has happened over the course of your life is your fault. Sure, there are some things that have happened that you can’t control and some things that others may have said or done.
But the past is the past. No matter how badly you want to change the past, you are never going to be able to.
One thing you will always have, though, is the power of perception. You control how you think about certain things and how you allow your past to control your present. Nobody has a perfect life, and it’s not going to do you any good to worry about things that you can’t control. If you want to separate yourself from everybody else, then take responsibility for your life and move forward with everything you have.
7. They believe in their abilities.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. Success only comes to those who know what it is that they want to achieve, to those who are taking the action necessary to achieve their goals, and to those who believe in their abilities.
If you don’t believe in your abilities and what you’re capable of achieving, then how can you expect others to believe in you?
Never forget that you are you, and that is your greatest superpower. You are truly a one-of-a-kind individual with characteristics that separate you from the rest of the 7-billion of us. Use those characteristics to your advantage and make the create what only you have the ability to create.
8. They never give up.
You heard about the failures of Walt Disney, of Michael Jordan, and of James Dyson. Do you think it was easy to keep going after the failure that they endured? Probably not. In fact, there were probably many times where they thought about giving up and were even on the brink of doing so.
But they didn’t. They kept pushing through, they kept learning from their failures, and because of that, they were able to grow from who they were into who they saw themselves being.
Once you give up, it’s over. Instead of knowing what your reality could have looked like, you will be left to ask yourself the same question over and over again: What if?
If you want to achieve the success that you envision for yourself, then you need to keep pushing through every challenge no matter how hard it may seem to overcome.
Go Achieve Life-Changing Success For Yourself
Now that you know some of the similarities shared by all successful individuals, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to challenge yourself to become the best that you can be? Or are you going to disregard everything that you just read and settle for being a fraction of the person you have the potential to be?
It’s your life, so either way is fine with me. But it is my hope that you choose to take action, to believe in yourself, and to work as hard as you can each and every single day to pursue your goals, because only you have the ability to turn your goals into your reality.