12 habits that separate successful people from unsuccessful people

In a world of dreams and aspirations, some soar while others stumble. So what sets successful individuals apart? The answer is simple: their habits. 

Success doesn’t typically happen by chance–instead, it’s a result of habits and actions that when done consistently, can drastically change the way we live. 

The good news is that these habits are not exclusive to a particular profession or background; they can be cultivated by literally anyone who is committed to personal growth and achievement. 

In this article, we will explore twelve habits that differentiate successful individuals from unsuccessful ones. Let’s dive in! 

1) They set clear goals 

Successful people are the architects of their own destinies… they don’t wait around for things to happen

They outline their dreams, break them down into actionable steps, and chase them with determination and grit.

Whether it’s career goals, fitness targets, or personal ambitions, they have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. 

They constantly have their eyes on the prize and filter out everything else. They’re doers and don’t have to live with the regret of what could have been. 

So, grab a pen and start scribbling down your goals… success begins with a clear direction!

2) They’re great communicators 

Here’s the thing: successful people tend to work well with others because they’re effective communicators.

They not only articulate their ideas clearly but also listen actively, as they understand the power of two-way communication. 

They tailor their style to different audiences, whether it’s their team, clients, romantic partners, or even strangers. They know how to strike a balance between being assertive and empathetic, ensuring their message is conveyed with impact. 

By mastering the art of communication, successful people build strong relationships, inspire others with their words, and create a positive and collaborative environment wherever they go.

3) They have a thirst for knowledge

From my experience, achievers are always knowledge-hungry. 

They never seem to stop learning, constantly in search of ways to expand their minds. They have an insatiable curiosity about them. 

They devour books, attend workshops, and dive head-first into new experiences like there’s no tomorrow; they aren’t afraid to ask questions or seek guidance from mentors either. 

Successful people understand that growth comes by getting out there, taking risks, and being open to new ideas. 

4) They don’t fear failure 

Something that’s always stood out to me is the successful person’s unique relationship with failure. 

They don’t let setbacks knock them down for a long time. They view failure as a teacher, not a final verdict, ultimately using it as motivation to come back stronger. 

I’ll never forget the time I failed miserably in a business venture. It was a punch to the gut, and for a while, I questioned my abilities.

But instead of wallowing in self-pity, I decided to take it as a lesson. I analyzed my mistakes, adjusted my strategy, and eventually, I tried again. 

That failure became my stepping stone to success. It taught me resilience, problem-solving, and the importance of adaptability. 

Now I embrace failure with open arms, knowing that it’s not the end, but a chance to learn, grow, and come back with a vengeance. 

Failure is no longer an enemy; it’s my greatest teacher. 

5) They have a positive mindset

behaviors of optimist at heart 12 habits that separate successful people from unsuccessful people

One of the hallmarks of successful people is their optimistic mindset. Have you ever been around truly successful people? I’ll bet you noticed the good vibes and positive energy they gave off. 

They don’t dwell on the negatives or get caught up in self-doubt. Instead, they choose to focus on solutions and more uplifting aspects. 

They believe in themselves and their abilities. They’re their own personal cheerleaders, ones that constantly radiate positivity–a feeling that’s infectious to those around them. 

6) They know how to network 

No man (or woman) is an island. Successful people know that having the right connections is a major key to success. 

Hence, they actively cultivate a supportive tribe of mentors, peers, and collaborators. They’re not afraid to reach out, make genuine connections, and offer their own support in return.

It’s almost like they’re a member of a secret community of success, where everyone lifts each other up and shares useful knowledge. 

7) They’re highly adaptable 

Fun fact: successful people are masters of adaptability.

When life throws them a curveball, they don’t panic. They roll with it and adjust their game plan. They’re open to new ideas, flexible in their approach, and quick to switch gears. 

They know that life is unpredictable, so they prepare accordingly, always remaining resilient, open-minded, and ready to learn. 

With adaptability being such a coveted skill in this changing world, successful people are experts at it and give themselves a chance to thrive regardless of circumstance or environment. 

8) They have a healthy work-life balance 

Another key habit of successful people is that they prioritize a healthy work-life balance

They have an innate understanding that burnout is totally a buzzkill, so they make time for rest, fun, and meaningful connections. 

They’re not all work and no play; they know how to unwind and recharge their batteries. 

I remember a time when work consumed my life. I would stay late at the office, constantly check emails (even during dinner), and sacrifice time with loved ones. 

I was on the fast track to burnout, feeling exhausted and disconnected. It was then and there that I realized the importance of a healthy work-life balance. 

So I made a conscious decision to set boundaries, prioritize self-care, and create dedicated time for my personal life.

I started scheduling regular breaks, playing basketball, and spending more time with my girlfriend and dogs. The change was remarkable. 

I felt rejuvenated, more present, and more productive. I learned that a harmonious work-life balance is not just a luxury, but a necessity for long-term success and happiness.

9) They avoid comparisons 

Real talk: successful people have mastered the art of avoiding comparisons. They’d rather carve their own path than get caught up in what others are doing. 

As a result, they tend to focus on progress, goals, and growth and ignore everything else. 

Once we start comparing ourselves to others, we’ll never be fully content. We’ll want more of everything: money, clothes, cars, fame, etc. 

This mindset however is not one rooted in reality and can be toxic. The successful person doesn’t need to “win” to feel happy

They know that life isn’t a race and that constantly comparing themselves to others simply isn’t a sustainable practice. 

10) They have gratitude 

power of kindness 1 12 habits that separate successful people from unsuccessful people

Successful people get that it’s important to appreciate what they have, big or small. 

They take time to reflect on their successes and achievements in life, acknowledging the efforts and people behind them. 

By embracing gratitude, they stay grounded, find fulfillment, and build strong connections with others. 

Being mindful of gratitude keeps them positive and humble. They actively maintain this aura of humility, making the world a better place one “thank you” at a time.

11) They’re disciplined 

I’ve always found that successful people have an uncanny ability to buckle down and get things done

They know that greatness doesn’t come easy and that reaching their goals requires consistent effort. 

Sometimes this means making sacrifices like skipping that extra hour of sleep or saying “no” to short-term pleasures. 

They understand that delayed gratification is the name of the game. By flexing their self-discipline muscles, they stay focused, keep their eyes on the prize, and gradually turn aspirations into reality.

So when you feel the temptation to slack off, remember that self-discipline is a major key to unlocking your full potential and achieving extraordinary things. 

12) They give back 

Last but not least: successful people have the habit of giving back.

They totally understand the importance of paying it forward and helping out others in less fortunate circumstances. 

They know it’s not just about stacking up their own wins, but also about spreading love and goodness to communities and causes they’re passionate about. 

Whether it’s by throwing donating to the cause, rolling up their sleeves and volunteering, or sharing their wisdom through mentoring, they’re all-in. 

They understand that even the smallest acts of kindness can create a ripple effect that lights up the world. 

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, if you want to achieve success in life, you can start by changing your daily habits. Don’t get overwhelmed, adopt them gradually, one step at a time. 

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nothing of value in life is instant. The hardest part is starting. Once you start incorporating fresh habits into your routine, that’s already a milestone. Give yourself a pat on the back!

As long as you stay dedicated, success will always be within reach. Now go out and get it!

Picture of Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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