Before we get into the list, let’s define success. Success is taking the talents you have and utilizing them to their utmost. We all have varying levels of talent. When people develop their talents, we see the likes of J. K. Rowling, Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, George Washington Carver, or Abraham Lincoln.

This is only a short list of people. But within this list, we have a wide range of wealth and talent. In every case, these individuals fully lived or are living out their talents. And anyone would say they live or lived a successful life.

You will never see yourself as a success if you compare your talents and success to that of others. Talk to any truly happy person and they will be fully living out their God-given talents. For them, that is a successful life.

Success Defined By The Successful

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” ― Anne Sweeney

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ― Robert Collier

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ― Maya Angelou

“Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” — Michelle Obama

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” — Colin Powell

Here are 10 things successful people do.

They Are Avid Readers

There is not one successful person in this world that got there on their own strength and wisdom. They had 100s of coaches to help them to get there. Many of their coaches were the authors of books that inspired them to live through their passions and talents.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” —Frederick Douglass

They Are Stay Accountable To Others

Successful people surround themselves with others that keep them accountable. These same people also keep them accountable to their promises and call out their mistakes. Anyone that finds success will find more responsibility and opportunity. With responsibility and opportunity comes temptation. The most successful people realize this and create accountability in their life.

“The reason people blame things on the previous generation is that there’s only one other choice.” –Doug Larson

They Know The Limits Of Their Talents

One cannot have success without failure. No matter how much talent you have, success comes when you test the limits of your talent. The testing of limits will bring failure, but from this failure comes opportunity, learning, and success. Successful people know the limits of their talents because they are constantly testing them and expanding them.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” –Colin Powell

They Set Goals

In order for one to be successful, you have to know what you are trying to achieve. Otherwise, how can you know when success has actually occurred? Successful people create goals and follow them. They pursue very specific avenues that fit their talents.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” –Jim Rohn

They Are Patient

Success does not happen overnight. It is a learning and growing, failing and succeeding process. Expecting instant gratification or results will never produce true success.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” –Pele

They Are Good With People

No one succeeds on their own. They surround themselves with people that call them on their crap and keep them on track. Successful people are empathizers and have great interpersonal skills. They succeed with others not at the expense of others.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” –Dalai Lama

They Are Genuine

Being a genuine person is key to truly being successful. If you are not genuine, it is impossible to find success. Success is not trying to be someone you are not but leaning into who you truly are. Genuine people have found their authentic self. They have no need to compare or live up to someone else’s standard.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.” –1 John 3:18

They Seek Wisdom

The successful have surrounded themselves with people that keep them accountable. These same people provide great insight and wisdom into life and work. Successful people will look for wisdom in books, people, and their mistakes. They will seek coaches and mentors to provide insights they cannot discover on their own.

“Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” –John Wooden.

They Are Happy

Their happiness does not come from an external source. They are happy because they are living out their passions and talents. Real happiness comes from within. External validation is a boost to happiness, not what makes one happy. Despite failures, struggles, and criticism they choose to remain happy and optimistic through it all.

“The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are.” –Goldie Hawn

They Have A Self-Development Plan

When one is not careful, success can lead to complacency. People that live a successful life are always developing themselves, seeking self-mastery. Their self-development is the fuel for their continued success.

“Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” –Lao Tzu

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