The not so obvious characteristics of successful people

successBefore I begin I want to define success. For me it’s having a loving family, being at the very top of your profession, and being financially secure enough to basically choose where and how you want to live.

I seem to meet more people every day who I envy in so many ways! People who love doing their jobs whilst maintaining an almost perfect work life balance.

Don’t get me wrong I do meet an awful lot of individuals who try to act successful or boast. These people I find want to convince themselves more than anyone else. I’m talking about the unassuming person in the room who you would think was an average individual, that is to say he or she struggles in one or two areas of their life. But after a lengthy conversation you realise that in fact they have almost mastered this thing called success (some people may call it happiness).

The more successful people I met the more I became intrigued about their personalities and in particular the traits that have helped them to reach their level. Here is what I’ve noticed:

1. They’re all philosophers, meaning they question just about everything. If a teacher tells them how to teach they’ll question them without having any experience teaching. They don’t assume you would know more about a profession, even if you trained and worked in that area for 10 years. Don’t get me wrong it’s annoying and sometimes offensive but it’s not personal. It’s just the way they are. Before they can be in agreement on anything they have to question absolutely everything. They’ll stop when they feel they have a satisfactory answer or they realise you’re just not credible enough to give them one. In the latter event they will finish with a disappointed look and a patronising…”Ok, that’s fine”.

2. They’re all straight talkers – again this can be annoying or even construed as arrogant but in reality it’s a quality of great benefit to the rest of us. This is because they cut out any potentially confusing words and leave you with a direct response. That essentially saves you precious time so you know where you stand. I guess their thinking is: Why waste time worrying about being genuine when you can actually BE genuine by being straight with a person.

3. Early risers – if you’re like me then this point will hurt. I’m not an early riser and when I mean early riser I mean waking up at 7 or 8 on your day off. They get the most out of their day because well, they’ve put themselves in a position where they have lots to do. Daylight represents an opportunity and the longer you sleep the more precious time you’re losing. Something I’m definitely going to work on! This also applies to their routines. They seem to have a set of actions for the morning and night that ensure they are ready for any challenges they may face during the day. For example they may read the latest news in their industry before they go to bed or wake up early to work out so that they feel fit. One of my heroes wakes up early to respond to all his emails so that he never forgets to reply to someone.

4. Attention to detail – meaning they remember and live for the small details. Nothing slides with them and they can catch you out in a conversation on the smallest of details. Their offices and houses are made up of subtle touches that come together to make an impressive place to work and live. If you give them a 20 page document, they will read the 19th page as if it were the first, with absolute care and focus.

5. They read – just about anything they can get their hands on. This explains why they know so much about a topic that’s supposed to be your specialism. They even say things like, “I’m sure you know more about it than I do” while you nod and think to yourself, I’ve no idea what he’s talking about.

6. They’re essentially good people. The successful people I’ve met have huge hearts. They show subtle bouts of class by helping others or appreciating the difficulty a person may be facing at any given time. They are respectful without trying to be and they never flaunt their wealth, family or like-minded friends. In short they make you want to spend more time with them because they love to share their knowledge. So when you leave a conversation with them you feel like you’ve added something worthwhile to your life’s learning.

Perhaps you may have one or even all of these qualities? If so, know that you may be considered a successful individual by many. If you feel like you’re not quite there yet, welcome to the club!

I hope you found this interesting.

As always, thanks for reading!

The Young Philosopher BCN


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