8 things successful people do that unsuccessful people don’t

“80% of success is showing up.” Don’t take our word for is, it’s Woody Allen who once said this.


How do you define success? I see two important parts.
The first is success in handling yourself and your own actions. In my eyes, this is what the quote is about. The second part is success in dealing with others, because no one can really be successful without the help of others.


| Success in handling yourself


1. Take action. Get things done. Don’t postpone.
Ideas are important, but without execution, without taking action, there’s nothing to them.
Get the action habit, as David Schwartz puts it in his book ‘The magic of thinking big’ – must read by the way. There is one success ingredient often missing in people, and that is the ability to get things done, to get results. We’ve all heard people say ‘well I thought of Facebook before it even existed’. Too bad you didn’t do anything about it. For every Mark Zuckerberg, there’s at least a couple thousand would-be’s, who just didn’t take action. In your personal life, don’t be the guy who thinks it would be a great idea to get back in touch with an old friend, but keeps postponing the call. Get in the habit of taking action, or prepare to have a lot of regrets a couple of years down the road.


2.Keep learning. Never stop.
Successful people never reach the point where unsuccessful people say: “Now I know enough”. Try to learn something new every day. Stay up to date on changes in your field, but also look outside the areas you’re familiar with. Keep broadening your view and keep an open mind. Never act like you know it all.


3. Embrace change
Unsuccessful people are often afraid of change. A successful person realises that change is the only way forward and is not intimidated by the need to learn new things. They actually thrive in this context. Get in the habit of being enthusiastic about change instead of reverting to fear and resistance.


| Success in dealing with others


4. Take responsibility for your failures
Whether you make a small mistake or screw up bigtime, take responsibility and don’t make excuses. Never blame others for your failure.


5. Forgive others when they mess up
Don’t hold grudges, forgive others when they come to you.


6. Talk about ideas instead of gossiping about people
There’s a quote floating around the internet, no idea where it originally comes from – but that doesn’t really matter, does it? It goes: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Think about this. It makes sense. Do your best to eliminate gossip from your conversations and move to the interesting stuff.


7. Give compliments
Nobody ever lost something by making another person feel good. I’m not saying you should make up stuff. When I say ‘Give compliments’, I mean you should give sincere, honest appreciation. Unsuccessful people are quick to criticise, and rarely compliment others. Successful people are exactly the opposite.


8. Do everything you can to help others succeed
Unsuccessful people want others to fail, makes them feel a bit better about themselves. Successful people do everything they can to help others succeed. There’s nothing to gain from other people’s failure, perhaps in the short term, but definitely not in the long term.

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