5 Things Successful People Do Differently

5 Things Successful People Do Differently

Last update: 26 February, 2016


What is the secret to success? Just what do successful people do so differently from the rest of us? Is it a matter of habits, behaviors or attitude? Is it a matter of luck? Or maybe they were born into an environment that just breeds success?

Success isn’t something we are born with nor does it only rely on our surroundings. There have been many cases of people who were educated in potentially favorable settings and/or surrounded by successful people, but still ended up with less luck.

The thing is, in the matter of success, habits and planning have a lot to do with it. In addition, personal development, the development of values and goal setting are also aspects that have been associated with success.

What all successful people have in common

So, what is the secret formula for success? Let’s take a look. You may be surprised at how simple it is!

1. Successful people believe in and pursue S.M.A.R.T goals.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. It applies to specific, measurable, reachable, relevant and proper goals. In this sense, SMART goals really are smart!

When someone identifies their SMART objectives, they find the true motivation that pushes them to pursue their goals. They also feel motivated to develop the behaviors, abilities and skills necessary to succeed.

2. Successful people immediately take decisive and necessary measures.

The real reason that many people aren’t successful is simply because they don’t take action. Studying, learning, researching…all are great, but they don’t produce anything if action isn’t taken.

The problem is that many people are dedicated to dreaming and preparing for something to accomplish, but don’t ever take that actual, first step. We all know that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but some of us don’t realize that just packing our backpacks isn’t what gets us to go.

Success depends on the simple act of making the decision and then acting on it. Successful people make this decision and adopt the means necessary to act on it.

3. Successful people are focused on being productive, not just doing a bunch of different things.

In his book, The Four-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss says that it’s necessary to cut back on our speed and remember that the majority of the things we devote our energy to don’t make that much of a difference. Simply “being busy” is often considered a type of mental laziness. Ferriss also mentions that a lazy mindset and random actions aren’t the way to succeed. Instead, working more intelligently and streamlining our actions is what counts.

However, if you take a look at those around you and yourself, you will see that people will go to great lengths to be “busy.” But being busy isn’t the same as being productive. People who are just busy are always at the end of their rope, wiped out, and never get to everything. According to Ferriss, the answer is to slow down, review your commitments and goals, and put first things first.

4. Successful people avoid perfectionism

Many people are perfectionists and proud of it! But perfectionism is one of the main enemies for advancement and success, among other things. The fact of the matter is, perfection doesn’t exist…at least in our mortal world.

Not that pursuing perfection is a bad thing, in fact, it can help us improve. The problem arises when we stop moving forward and try to improve on something that has already been done. But that doesn’t mean you just go with the flow. Successful people try to do whatever it is to the best of their abilities in each situation without stopping to improve on something that has already been completed.

Just remember that the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists; those who are getting things done get the rewards. Therefore, the only way to get the work done is by being imperfect 99% of the time. Don’t question it, start moving, see the results, and repeat the process again and again.

5. Successful get outside their comfort zone.

Many people don’t take advantage of opportunities simply because they don’t believe they are ready for them. In other words, they feel uncomfortable and think that they need more knowledge, ability, experience, etc. before being able to act on the opportunity. Sadly, this kind of thinking stifles both personal growth and success.

The truth is, no one ever feels 100% ready when presented with an opportunity. After all, the majority of life’s opportunities force us to grow emotionally and intellectually. They force us to stretch ourselves and step out of our comfort zone. All of this means we are not going to ever feel completely comfortable in the beginning, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t ready.

Throughout life, important opportunities will present themselves to us so that we may grow personally and experience success. If you want to make positive changes in your life, you have to embrace these moments of opportunity despite not ever feeling completely prepared. These are the things that successful people do.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.