Over the course of my life I have been fortunate enough to meet quite a few amazingly successful people. Every single one of these people have a different definition of success. For some it is balance, while for others it is becoming rich, or influential, or having a good family life, or avoiding “the man” altogether. Whatever their view of success is, they do it marvelously, and better yet they enjoy what they do. Interestingly enough after years of knowing these people I have seen a common thread evolve in how they run their lives, no matter what their end goal may be.
1. They Smile
Photo: Daniel Park
Smiling has so many positive benefits that I couldn’t possibly ignore this one. In fact I had to put it first, because successful people tend to be happy people, and happy people smile! Some of the benefits of smiling include: boosting your immune system, reducing blood pressure, and attracting other people to you. Smiling is contagious.
2. They Take Control Over Their Thought Life
This is a big one. Positive people are not exempt from bad moments, mornings and days. They too can get slammed with negative thoughts and the giant temptation to dive into the pool of self-pity. However, the difference is they choose not to. They will take that thought and get rid of it anyway they can. Some get rid of these thoughts through visualization, others through prayer, others still by taking their focus off themselves, or getting outdoors, or getting a fresh perspective from a friend. The thing about highly successful, positive people is that they refuse to stay in a place of negativity because they know the laws of attraction and what they focus on increases. Thus they work as hard as it takes to never stay in a negative place.
3. They are Grateful
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Gratitude is key in both becoming successful and positive. Nothing ushers in the feel goods faster than making a list of what you’re thankful for. Some of the most successful people I know make a list every day of 5 or 10 things that they are grateful for before they go to bed. Gratitude is great for keeping those negative thoughts away and helping stay focused on what’s really important.
4. They Know how to Quiet Themselves
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In a very loud and overstimulating world it has become even more important to be able to quiet your soul. Through meditation, prayer, quiet solitude, coloring, deep breathing or any other number of means it is absolutely vital to make sure that the chaos in the world does not overtake what’s inside us. Successful, positive people know how important it is to stay steady and grounded when the winds of confusion and overwhelm start to blow.
5. They Focus on Others
I cannot express how key this is. Selfishness is a sure-fire way to end up unhappy. I’ve seen it time and time again. Successful, positive people take their focus off themselves and put it on others. They enjoy the company of other people and look for ways to be kind and generous where they can.
6. They get Outside
The great outdoors is such a great place to clear the mind and get creative juices flowing. Successful and positive people spend some time outdoors to get fresh inspiration. You never know what million dollar idea might just pop up during the next hike or surf session!
7. They Take Care of Their Bodies
Photo by: Scott Webb
I can’t stress this one enough. It is so important to take care of ourselves. Eating the right food, getting enough sleep, and exercise are all pivotal in being successful and positive in the long-term. Sure it may seem like no big deal when you’re 20, but when you’re 60 you’ll be glad you took the time to invest in yourself.
8. They Set Boundaries
This can be a hard one to do sometimes, but successful, positive people set boundaries. The reason being is not everyone is going to celebrate in your success and will try to drag you down to their level so they can feel better about themselves. Avoid these people! You are worth people who cheer in your successes and encourage you in your failures.
9. They Laugh
Photo by: Priscilla Westra
Laughter is as good for the soul as smiling is. Having a good laugh regularly has been proven to help lower stress as well as stimulate your organs, not to mention the feeling of empowerment. Nothing brings strength and courage quite as fast as a good ol belly laugh.
10. They Look for Different Perspectives
Photo by: Rikki Chan
To quote Big Hero 6, “Shake things up! Use that big brain of yours to think your way out! Look for a new angle.” So many times the answer is right in front of us we just have to change our perspective a bit and it magically appears.
11. They Enjoy Challenges
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I once was talking to a WWII Airforce pilot. God bless him, he was 94 at the time and looked better than most 60 year olds. He told me that there are never obstacles, only opportunities. Successful, positive people look forward to challenges because it spurs them on to a new level of greatness. There is a newer and greater world on the opposite side of that challenge and it can be great fun to figure out how to get there. Nothing in life worth having ever comes easy.
12. They Look for the Best in People
Photo by: David Cumming
I had a wise friend tell me that whenever she has a friend do something that might strike her as insensitive she says, “That’s not her/his heart.” and it helps to defuse the situation for her. Now I’m not saying that people don’t do mean things, but more often than not when it is those close to us I think it is usually a simple misunderstanding. Remember their heart toward you and give them grace. Clarify if need be, but don’t let little things destroy your relationships. See people for where they are at, but really highlight the good. This will make them feel so empowered to be that amazing person you see!
13. They are Slow to Offense
Photo by: Johann Walter Bantz
In a world where there is a seemingly endless line of offended people, be the one to shrug things off. Offense gets you nowhere. Action does. Successful, positive people don’t allow themselves to settle for being offended because they are too busy making life better for themselves and everyone around them.
14. They Take Joy in the Little Things
Take joy in those little moments each day that bring you joy. Focus on them and be grateful for them. Even in the worst of times they are still there, sometimes we have to search a little harder for them, but they are so worth it when we realize them.
15. They Keep Things Simple
Photo by: Starter Stockup Photos
Whether it’s simplicity of design, relationships, speech, etc. There is almost always something major that is just kept simple. No added drama or clutter, just clean and simple. For me, I don’t like knick knacks. It stresses me out to have them all over the place, I prefer a more minimalist approach to my home. I also don’t like games in relationships. I’m very much a what you see is what you get person, simple.
16. They Manage Their Time Well
Photo by: Luca Bravo
Time management is so key in being both successful and remaining positive. It’s a terrible feeling to have to rush at the last-minute to get something done. While sometimes that is unavoidable, successful, positive people tend to know their priorities and put those things at the top of the list to ensure they are properly attended to. Keeping a calendar, schedule, and/or to-do list are great ways to help with time management!
17. They are Solid in Their Identity
Photo by: Julian Jagtenberg
Out of everything that I have seen successful, positive people do this is hands down the biggest one! They know who they are and are proud of that. They don’t try to people please, but rather attract the right people to themselves by just being them. Lastly, they don’t try to fit in with the crowd, but instead love standing out. Mean spirited comments and snide remarks roll off their back and they keep going because they know the value that they bring to the world, and that anchors them.
18. They are Constantly Learning
Photo by: Redd Angelo
There is always something new to learn, some way to get better, something to evolve in. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to always be learning. You can learn something from everyone, even if it’s what not to do. Those at the top of their game are willing to be flexible and learn and move with the trends.
19. They Take Care of Their Possessions
Photo by: Jez Timms
Successful, positive people take pride in the things that they own and because of that they take care of them. It is hard to be inspired and creative when you’re surround with broken and cruddy stuff. It doesn’t have to be brand new. I’ve known people who go for the antique, vintage look, but they take care of it.
20. They Think Before Speaking and Acting
Photo by: Katie Treadway
Think before you speak, and treat others as you’d like to be treated. These two golden rules reign supreme in the lives of successful and positive people. There are not careless words and they always treat others will honor and respect. Even when they are dealing with someone they don’t like they tend to take the high ground and make the best of every situation.
21. They Value Beauty
Photo by: Lauren Roberts
Beauty inspires. It pleases the senses, puts us at peace, and spurs on inventive creativity. Beauty can be found anywhere, you just have to look. Oftentimes a design can originate from a simple flower, or a new business idea can come from people watching. Being open to beauty in its various forms allows for a more joyful and adventure-filled life.
22. They Know What They Want
Photo by: Glenn Carstens-Peters
Last but not least, they know what they want. It is so easy to just drift through life never defining any goals or motivations, but there is a thrill in getting closer and closer to that dream. There is an even greater joy in achieving goals and getting to dream new dreams.
Successful, positive people come in all shapes and sizes. They are in all arenas of life. You know them when you see them though. They are the people who you are instantly drawn to, the ones you find yourself wanting to emulate. There is a different light coming through them and it is bright and affects everyone around them.