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By Khalilah Starks

I am fascinated by success – wild success!! I’m fascinated by people who win big and seem to create success with whatever they put their hands on. I believe that success is definitely a choice. It doesn’t happen by luck. It’s deliberate. But, how does a person achieve wild success? Some would say that it’s opportunity or luck. Some would say that it’s being born into a successful family structure. After all, they have a model or blueprint to follow. But, what about the person who is born into poverty, but achieves great success in life? They surely didn’t have a model.

Most of us want success and the shiny things that come along with it. But, only a small percentage of people will actually go on to achieve the wild level of success that many people dream about. So, what separates the person who achieves all that they can in life and the person who stays in the same stagnant position year after year and just can’t seem to get it right?

For all the successful people that I’ve met and studied, I’ve determined that they all have these characteristics in common:

1. They Dream Big. Wild success starts with a dream – a BIG dream. A dream that may scare you and make others question your sanity. That insane dream defines the target that you’ll shoot for – it‘s your goal. Aim low and you’ll achieve low.

2. They Embrace Fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged, fear of looking bad, fear of the unknown – they embrace it all. Instead of running away and avoiding those things that are uncomfortable, they push through it, to go after what they truly want. The bigger the dream, the greater chance you have of encountering those things that you fear the most.

3. They Practice Self-Discipline. In a world where there are so many options for fun and excitement, it’s easy to get distracted. It’s easier to play on Facebook than work hard on achieving a goal. It’s easier to pick up that Krispy Kreme doughnut than head out to the gym. A person that is disciplined will deal with the temporary pain in order to achieve the bigger payoff of success.

4. They Focus on Strategic Activities. The key word here is Strategic. Strategic activities are those activities that get results and move you closer to achieving your goals. You could spend the entire day extremely busy. But, if most of the things that keep you busy on a daily basis don’t move you towards the achievement of your goals, then you’re wasting time and stacking the odds against yourself.

5. They Do Enough. It takes hard work to achieve big success. But, what qualifies as hard work? It’s when you’ve done all that you can do. It’s when you’ve done your very best. The most successful people out here always work at their fullest potential and will do nothing less than that.

6. They Have a Strong Belief in Themselves. They know that they can do it and you can’t tell them any differently. They expect to be successful. When you truly believe that you can be whatever you want to be, you’re on your way to creating huge success.

7. They are Great Communicators. Communication skills are critical in just about all aspects of life. Outside of sports and entertainment, the most influential and successful people speak well. There is power in being able to communicate with people and having a great command of our language.

8. They Have an Insatiable Thirst for Knowledge. They want to know everything. They read books. They are curious and seek to find answers. The most successful people can engage in conversation with just about anyone. The more you know, the better conversationalist you’ll become. A great conversation opens doors and creates relationships with people who can prove to be invaluable as you work to achieve your dreams.

9. They Run With Highly Successful People. Who are the five people that you spend the most time with? This is your circle and largely reflects your potential for success. Winners associate with winners. So, you’ll find that success oriented people tend to associate with other success oriented people. There’s truth in the statement, “You are the company you keep.”

10. They Get Better. And, it’s not because anyone told them to get better. There is a consistent focus and internal drive to be better than they were the day before. This takes a great deal of self-reflection, assessment and honesty.

My list doesn’t end here. I have ten more characteristics that I’ll reveal in my next post which will go live next Monday. See you then! In the meantime, I welcome your comments! 