As I am taking some personal time I wanted to republish this post from December of 2013. Even though it was originally published the day after Christmas it was still pretty well read and the advice is still very relevant.
As we end this year you may be searching for guidance for the next year in order to improve who you are and how you do what you do. I will save you a search. Here is a list that was written by Eric Barker of the blog post Barking up the Wrong Tree. Eric gleaned information from a variety of sources and established this list.
They work their asses off! Successful people never quit working. They are busy all the time. Sixty to sixty-five hours a week are very common. It is very helpful to be smart too, but researchers have found that above an IQ of 130 it is the hard worker who is more successful. Remember it is Edison that said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
The reason busy people have some much time to accomplish things is that they tell most people “NO.” They need to be focused on what they are doing and not on what you are doing. They don’t want to focus on your objectives, they want to focus on their objectives.
They focus on their strengths, the things they do well, and ignore their weaknesses. There are legions of us who focus on what we don’t do well trying to improve as opposed to working on what we do well. I once wrote a blog post entitled Forget their Weaknesses, Improve their Strengths that talked about just this item. Who knew I was onto something.
They have extensive networks. They become the center of what they do.
They are lucky. But they don’t wait for luck to occur to them they create luck. As Barker says “By being more outgoing, open to new ideas, following hunches, and being optimistic, lucky people create possibilities.”
They keep on keeping on. Barker calls it “grit” or perseverance. Pink called it the best predictor of success. Grit will get you more that IQ will in many situations.
They make mistakes. Not just little mistakes but REALLY BIG mistakes. They use them as learning opportunities. BTW, they keep a notebook to keep track of their “learning opportunities.”
Last but not least, really NOT least, they find mentors. It is your coaches that make you work hard and harder and smarter. Most of us would not do that without the mentor showing us the way and helping when we stumble. They point out the lessons we may miss in our experience.
Barker had many more references and links in his post. I would suggest you check it out.