When we think about, talk about and visualize about successful people, our minds typically race to the elite billionaire entrepreneurs such as the late Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zukerberg, Jeff Bezos, Phil Knight, Richard Branson, and the like. People hardly put into reckoning great names such as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and Lee Kuan Yew, who tower above the rest in their all round greatness of spirit and success. Since the modern society equates success with how much cash one has in his or her bank account, I will focus here on how people who are really driven to achieve financial success over the short and long hauls think and act. Money has its place, however, I will not just rest there, I will equally show you how people achieve ultra success in areas money can't even buy. Here I focus on 7 key character attributes that set successful people apart from people that achieve average or little success, which incidentally, is close to 95% of the human race. To be ultra successful requires mental toughness. It requires the willingness to think differently. It requires the willingness to forgo short-term gains and comfort for long-term enduring results.
No talisman, concoctions, or potions exist to conjure wealth otherwise everybody would be wealthy. If you are ready to join me on the thrilling journey to freedom; if you are willing to pay the price to achieve that elusive success that we all crave but only few achieve, then you are in the right place. Let's get started.
The 7 Things They Ultra Successful Do Differently
1. They don't settle for less
Successful people set very high goals from the outset and will not settle for less until they have achieved their goals. Usually they have a hierarchy of goals with the highest goal they wish to achieve at the very top, then they go about achieving the goals one after the other with messianic zeal. We've all heard about the story of Bill Clinton, who became the 42nd President of the United State of America at a relatively young age of 47. When Clinton was 15, back in 1961, he met President JF Kennedy, who shook the young Clinton's hand and from that day Clinton purposed in his heart to be like JFK. He resolved to become a president one day and in 1992, he beat the incumbent President George HW Bush in a highly contested election to take the presidency and was sworn in as President on January 4th, 1993.
2. They jealously guard their time
In his Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell points out that it requires about 10,000 hours of continuous effort to perform at the highest levels of any endeavor, whether sport, arts or science. A virtuoso piano player, world-class orchestra conductor, legendary opera singers, golfer of the ranks of Tiger Woods, a tennis superstar in the mold of Serena Williams, basketball legends such as Michael Jordan, teachers of world-class repute all require massive amount of effort to perfect their skills. That effort requires time. Recall pilot CB Sullenberger that landed a crippled American Airlines passenger aircraft on the Hudson River in New York. Do you think he just woke up one day to perfect such a feat? Elite players guard their time like the apples of their eyes. They would rather part with their purse than their time, because as we all know, time is the stuff life is made of.
3. They are action oriented
Successful people have action as their watch word. Same with successful companies! What is a company by the way? Is it not a team of people united behind a common purpose? There is a difference between having action as your watch word and actually taking action. Some people have all forms of vision, mission, values, and purpose statements but they never get down to doing anything concrete. They take months to take decisions that can be taken within an hour because they do not want to be wrong ? They do not want to make mistakes. In short, they want to be perfect. Have you ever seen a perfect decision or a perfect product? Never! If you wish to be super successful, do not join the council of planners, or committee of reviewers, join only the team of doers.
4. They stretch to the limit
Can you imagine the technological wizardry required to reduce the computer from container-size main frame to something the size of a small portmanteau? What about the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, three gadgets so captivating, beautiful, and alluring, people were willing and prepared to do anything or pay any price just to have them when they first came out? There is no doubt that to produce these revolutionary designs require leaps of imagination. Few exhibited leaps of imagination more than the late Steve Jobs. For him, nothing was good enough unless it was insanely great . Jobs stretched his people to the limit and that's why most admired him because he made them operate at their highest level of imagination and competence. Jobs always let his people know that the goal was to '' leave a dent on the universe '', a feat Apple people enthusiastically pursued with zeal and maniacal determination.
5. They face risks head on
You see obstacles and risks when you take your focus off your goal. However, you see the prize of your achievement when you focus on your goal. You see the gold medal around your neck when you focus on your goal. Jack Canfield in his Success Principles tells the legendary story of the then 21 year-old Chad Pregracke who set out in 1997 to clean up the Mississippi River. Can you even contemplate starting such an project or enterprise? But that is what Chad Pregracke did. He had no MBA in project Management. He did not have any degree for that matter but he set out to clean the biggest river in America. Chad succeeded. In 2011, Chad was recognized as a Service Hero and was invited to speak to all four living ex-US Presidents at the Points of Light Tribute event in Washington DC. He was introduced on stage by ex-US President Jimmy Carter.
6. They exhibit legendary tenacity
When Henry Ford decided to double the pay of his workers to $ 5 per hour in 1914, there was uproar. Other Industrialists castigated Ford, saying, '' the most foolish thing ever attempted. '' New York Times wrote an editorial with the headline, '' He's crazy, isn't he? ''. Not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal wrote a feature article questioning '' the application of spiritual principles where they don't belong. '' Was Henry Ford deterred? Of course he was not. He pursued his ambition with the tenacity of a bulldog and a rottweiler rolled into one, and went on to become the richest man in the world.
7. They play to win
Playing to win is the ultimate mindset. Thinking only in terms of winning makes you focus only on possibilities. The most successful people think only in terms of winning. The attribute, play to win, pulls together all the other six attributes. When you do the first six, there is just no way you won't win. Winning means seeing the big picture of what you wish to achieve from your mind's eye and pursuing it unrelentingly. The greatest men and women in all of human history: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Nelson Mandela, all play to win. The majority of other people just play. If you wish to be great, play to win.
These seven traits or character attributes in summary, are the things that you need in your journey to achieving super success. While other gurus may exhort you to set goals, be it known to you that a goal is worthless if you do not achieve it. To achieve your goal, you must have the mental toughness and resilience to employ the 7 mental attributes to enable you win. You don't need a PhD, MBA or college degree to win, noting that as Benjamin Franklin quipped, the world is full of educated derelicts. Every success as they say, is 90% mental and only 10% physical.