12 Things All Successful People Do: Forbes

10/10/2013 02:37 pm ET | Updated Oct 10, 2013
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“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”

Whether in business or life, we often walk a fine line between success and failure. Booker T. Washington’s quote highlights the inevitability of challenges on the path to success. In fact, I firmly believe success and failure go hand in hand. If you’re hoping to succeed, you’ve got to fail or learn from those who have.

This is due to the fact that successful individuals aren’t just born — there’s a lot more that goes into the equation. Through my experience, I’ve found those who are highly successful have a lot more in common than we may think.

On the hunt for success? Here are some habits to take note of:

1. Boldly fail. Failure can and will happen, regardless of how awesome your work ethic is. The most successful people understand the reality of failure and its importance in finding success. While you may want to run and hide after you fail, you must learn from your mistakes to ensure you don’t fail in the same way the second time around.

2. Set goals. Those who are successful set daily achievable goals. Find success by solidifying goals that are S.M.A.R.T. — smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely. Get rid of long-term goals and establish small daily goals to achieve your vision more easily.

3. It’s not always about luck. It’s all too easy to chalk up success to being in the right place at the right time. While this certainly is an element of success, you can’t forget the crucial involvement of blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t hold yourself back by waiting for the perfect timing or idea. Some of the most successful people got there by hitting the ground running, even if timing wasn’t perfect.

4. Carefully track your progress. Often, success comes down to keeping your eye on the prize while regularly monitoring behaviors, strategies, and tactics. You can’t make adjustments if you don’t know how you’re doing. Be sure to hold yourself accountable by checking your progress as often as possible and getting feedback when it’s due.

5. Don’t wait to act. Successful people don’t always know the right answer, but they keep moving anyway. Taking action will lead to answers, so don’t let obstacles stall you when you’re searching for the right solution.

6. Connect the dots. Those who are successful have the ability to see the greater picture. Look at things in a “past, present, and future” context to receive favorable results.

7. Harness your confidence. You’ve got to truly believe in your abilities. Assess yourself to gain a clear understanding of what you are able to accomplish, and use this as fuel to light your own fire.

8. Commit. Success doesn’t come without effort. The most successful individuals are often the most committed to what they’re working toward. Go the extra mile every day and make no exceptions.

9. Be alert. Awareness breeds success. If you’re not keyed in to your environment, you’re sure to miss opportunities. Listen to what’s being said about your company, constantly hone feedback, and keep your eyes and ears on your entire industry.

10. Persevere. Truly successful people never give up. Do they ever fail? Yes. But as times get hard, their stamina to move forward doesn’t wane. Develop a willingness to work through the challenges you encounter along the way.

11. Communicate like a pro. Those who are successful have an ease for convincing others. They don’t manipulate or pressure but logically explain the benefits. Communicating with confidence will allow you to more easily negotiate your visions.

12. Display humility. Success doesn’t have to come with an ego. In fact, many successful people don’t have one. This is because they understand that while extraneous factors come into play, some failure can be chalked up to their own shortcomings. Never forget to hold yourself accountable for every aspect of your life. This is how you’ll remain focused and humble.

Make these habits second nature, and success will be certain to follow.

What do you think is the most important habit of successful people?

Image courtesy of Robert Couse-Baker; Flickr

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