12 Things Successful People Do Differently Than Unsuccessful People


12 things successful do differently than unsuccessful people

Do you consider yourself a successful person?

In this article, I’ll share with you 12 things successful people do differently than unsuccessful people.

Count how many of these things you’re already implementing in your life. Then, ask yourself what you could start doing today to increase your odds of achieving your goals and dreams.

Let’s get started.

Here are the 12 things successful people do differently:

1. Success people take 100% responsibility 

Successful people take 100% responsibility for their life. Not 99% or 99.9%, but 100%. They aren’t big believer in luck. They know that the more action they take and the longer they persist, the more likely they are to get ‘lucky’. They recognize that they’re responsible for the results they get in any area of their life. For their life to change, they must change.

Unsuccessful people hope, daydream, and wish

Unsuccessful people believe they are where they are because of external forces that are out of their control. They blame circumstances and people for their lack of results. They believe in luck and enjoy playing the lottery hoping that one day they’ll become a millionaire (It will never happen.) Instead of making a decision to change, they hope, daydream and wish.

2. Successful people focus on what they want 

Successful people spend the majority of their time focusing on what they want. They constantly think of their goals and dreams looking for ways to achieve them.

Unsuccessful people focus on what they don’t want 

Unsuccessful people spend most of their time focusing on what they don’t want or don’t have. They dwell on the past or complain about their present reality, rather than envisioning what could be in the future.

3. Successful people have a growth mindset 

Successful people understand that they can always learn. They’re confident they can learn any skills they want as long as they put their heart into it. And their track record proves them right. They’ve learned many skills that allowed them to be where they are today.

Unsuccessful people have a fixed mindset 

Unsuccessful people believe that once they reach adulthood they can’t learn anymore. They use excuses such as I’m too old, I’m not smart enough or I don’t have any talent to avoid doing the hard work required to learn a new skill. As a result, they get stuck at the same level for years.

4. Successful people set goals 

Successful people set clear goals (often daily). They know where they’re going and they take steps every single day towards their goals. Every day they wake up with a clear intent.

Unsuccessful people hope for the best 

Unsuccessful people wake up every day with no clear intent. They’re mindless zombies with no specific goals. Therefore, they can’t do anything, but hope for the best. If things don’t turn out well, they blame everything and everyone but themselves. They’re just “unlucky”.

5. Successful people are proactive 

Successful people proactively seek to achieve their goals. They reach out to people who could help them achieve their goals. They are the ones who take the first step because they understand that if they want something to happen, it’s entirely up to them.

Unsuccessful people are reactive 

Unsuccessful people react to their environment. They believe they are victims who have no power to change their situations. Sure enough, it becomes their experience.

6. Successful people are life-long learners

Successful people are learners. They read every day and constantly seek knowledge. As the business philosopher Jim Rohn used to say, “all leaders are readers”. Successful people constantly look for new ideas that could transform their lives.

Unsuccessful people are life-long TV addicts

Unsuccessful people turn on TV as soon as they go home after work. Then, they don’t understand why they aren’t where they want to be in life. Over the course of their life, they often watch the equivalent of 5 to 10 years of TV (or even more). They seldom (if ever) read books, don’t go to seminars and don’t learn any new skills.

7. Success people ask, “how can I help you?

Successful people are constantly looking for ways to help other people. They understand the importance of having a network of people to support them. They focus their effort on building long-lasting relationships. They help as much as they can without expecting anything in return. They know that by serving other people they will get back at least as much, and often more than they put in.

Unsuccessful people ask, “what’s in in it for me?”

Unsuccessful people are trying to get more than they put in. They always think of ways they can pick the brain of other people without giving anything back. They are vampires sucking up information and knowledge from other people while contributing little.

8. Successful people ask for help 

Successful people realize that they can’t achieve their goals just by themselves. They need help from other people. Therefore, they actively seek help. When they’re offered help, they accept it.

Unsuccessful people want to do everything on their own 

Unsuccessful people try to do everything by themselves. They want to show to the world how great they are. They have too much pride to ask for help or are afraid of looking stupid.

9. Successful people think long-term 

Most of the actions successful people take are long-term. They think 5 years, 10 years or even several decades down the road. Then, they align their daily actions with their long-term vision. They do that for all areas of their lives be it their career, their finance, their health or their relationships.

Unsuccessful people seek instant gratification 

Unsuccessful people are addicted to instant gratification. They have a hard time thinking long-term and have little self-discipline. They prefer to take the path of least resistance by sitting on their couch watching TV. They eat junk food that gives them instant pleasure, play video games or try to get as many likes as possible on Facebook to get their daily boost of dopamine.

10. Successful people value their time  

Successful people understand that their most valuable asset is their time. They relentlessly work on making an effective use of it. As a result, they focus most of their time on high-leverage tasks, say no whenever necessary and delegate things they aren’t competent at. They understand they can never get more time, but can always make more money.

Unsuccessful people waste their time 

Unsuccessful people make a poor use of their time. They behave as if they’ll live forever. They waste countless hours in useless chitchat. Not to mention the time wasted in front of the TV. Because they don’t prioritize their tasks, they spend a lot of time on low-value tasks that have little impact.

11. Successful people go out of their comfort zone 

Successful people seek growth and are willing to be uncomfortable on a regular basis. Like anybody else, they feel fear, but they take action anyway because they realize that it’s where the growth is. They know that everything they ever wanted is on the other side of their fears.

Unsuccessful people seek comfort 

Unsuccessful people are unwilling to go beyond their comfort zone. They use every excuse possible to avoid leaving their comfort zone. They prefer to play it safe.

12. Successful people are self-aware 

Successful people know themselves very well. They know their strength and their weaknesses. They understand their personality traits. Their self-awareness allows them to control their emotions very well.

Unsuccessful people lack self-control 

Unsuccessful people tend to ignore their strengths. They aren’t fully aware of their personality traits and have difficulties controlling their emotions.

So how well did you score? And what could you do to improve your current situation? Leave me a comment below to let me know

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Comments 3

  • Great post, I resonate with the part of having a strong mental growth mindset. You should always choose goals that have no limit, unlimited growth because when you step ahead with a goal that has an ending somewhere in the future or inside yourself you will be unsatisfied. Personally, I like goals that never have an end, always seek for things that can always improve . Great article thank you

    • Thanks for your comment Ricardo. Glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, having big goals is great as long as we don’t forget enjoy the process 😉

  • Dear Thibaut
    20 years ago I read the book form Allen Carrs “Easy way to stop smoking” and I discovered lots of traps I make with myself in order to justify I was smoking. A big window was opened and, well , in fact I lasted 4-5 years to stop smoking :), but all cigarettes since I read that book tasted in my mind like poison and I can hear some voice whispering me something like “idiot” .
    I’m actually reading your book “Master your focus” and I have read this “12 things” article.
    I can say I have the same sensation of a big window is also being opened on my mind.
    Your ideas are clear, I think you have the capability of explain in a brilliant mode what we know are our strengths and weakness, but also and more important, what can we do to do better in family, work … in life .
    Nothing worthdoing is ever easy.
    Thanks and congratulations

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