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Amanda Sparks Headshot

What Successful People Do That Most Don't

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Most people equate success with financial wealth. Certainly, we look at people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg as successful, and they have amassed large fortunes. But success to these people means more than wealth. Each has also discovered that social responsibility adds to his success, because it brings a different sense of accomplishment and happiness -- improving the lives of others. And they have formed habits that will sustain their success.

A successful life, then, is really more than accumulating wealth -- it is a combination of many things that come from some very basic habits. Here are examples of those habits.

Successful People Don't Live in the Past.
We learn from our past mistakes. But to dwell on them keeps us from moving forward. We need to focus on who we want to be not who we were.

Successful People Don't Have to Always be Right.
Others may have a better idea or solution. And they may give us constructive criticism that we should embrace. The need to always be right makes us unhappy and does not endear us to others whom we may need.

Successful People Focus on What They Believe is the Correct Action for Themselves.
We all know people who are "pleasers." We may fall into that category sometimes. Acting only to please others does nothing to move ourselves forward toward our goals. Being a people-pleaser is a form of enslavement. It is important to know when and how to say "no".

Successful People Have Confidence and Brush Off the Nay-Sayers.
There will always be others who criticize and speak negatively about your goals and dreams. If you plan to be successful, you need to become a "Teflon" person -- none of that stuff will stick or cause you to doubt yourself.

Successful People Surround Themselves with People Who are Supportive and Worthy.
You can either be in a "box" with those who do not have big goals and dreams, or you can get out of that box and be with those who do. Living outside the box opens the whole world to you and puts you in contact with others who see the opportunities that abound. Surround yourself with successful people.

Successful People Don't Complain
It's so easy to get into this mode of whining and complaining. And it becomes just that much easier to justify not going after what we really want in life. When situations make life a bit hard, successful people see these as challenges and find ways to go through or around them. They adopt an attitude of "Watch me do this" instead of "I don't think I can do this."

Successful People Finish What They Start
Whether it is a home remodel or a new business launch, successful people have a plan in mind. They may have to modify that plan but the goal is the same. And they don't stop until they are finished.

Successful People Have an Abiding Curiosity
They read a lot; they engage others in conversations to learn more; they take classes. All of this curiosity often leads to the ability to find creative solutions, to relate well to others, and to have a strong general knowledge base that will serve them well in life. They just have a much better "feel" for how the world "works."

Successful People Have Standards that They Will Not Compromise
Many people have made it to the top through unscrupulous means. But they generally don't stay there long. Bernie Madoff is a prime example. Others, like Gates, Buffet, and Zuckerberg have standards by which they live and do business, and they will remain on top because of it. Zuckerberg's motto for Facebook, "Do no harm," is something everything truly successful person lives by.

Successful People are Open-Minded and Adapt Quickly
They understand that the traditional way of doing things might not be the best. They look for new ways to do things. They also are quick to understand that they must adapt to new ways that others have established for doing things. Successful teachers are great models for us all. As new technologies and new, more effective teaching strategies are developed, they embrace what works in their classrooms, even if it means giving up methods they have used for years.

Successful People Give Back
Whether it is volunteering in a soup kitchen or contributing millions to promote global education and health, successful people have a strong sense that we, as humans, are all connected and need to help one another. Making the lives of others better improves ours as well, if only by the fact that we put our heads on our pillows at night knowing that we have done our share.

Successful People Take Care of Themselves
We cannot be ready to take on challenges and change our worlds if we do not stay physically and mentally fit. Diet and exercise are important, as are the mental activities of relaxing our brains and engaging in great visualizations and positive thoughts.