Who doesn't want to be successful? And who hasn't seen many an overused infographic that touts qualities like ambition, belief, willpower, and drive as the main characteristics of a person of success? These are all great, but after watching thousands of people strive to attain goals (in the fitness field, of course) over the years, I've noticed some lesser-known qualities that seem to make just as big of a difference as these commonly praised ones.
ONE. Have a Realistic Outlook
This probably is not the first thing that pops into your mind when you consider the qualities of a successful person. What do we mean by "have a realistic outlook?" A realistic outlook on what exactly? Life. That's what. The closer your outlook on life matches actual, real-life, a few pivotal things happen.
First, you understand that challenges and difficulties will come. Those are part of life. In fact, entire seasons of life are fraught with trials and tribulations. The sooner you recognize that this is true for you, too, the less disillusioned you'll be when hard times come.
Secondly, if you expect challenges to come your way, the more likely you'll be ready to face these difficulties head-on and you will likely overcome them sooner. Plus, you will probably have better mental resilience and better problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles.
TWO. Accept Responsibility
Your life is yours. It once was said that this life is yours to make, or to mar. That means it's up to you. Accept responsibility. Know that it's you - your ambition, work ethic, planning and goal setting, vision, and skill that are going to get you where you want to go. Nobody is coming to do it for you, save you, send you a magic bullet, or drop anything in your lap. If you want success in something, go get it.
THREE. Know Who You Want to Be
Many of us know what we want, or what we want to be, but do we often consider who we want to be? And, why is this important? It's unfortunate that this question isn't as common, because it goes hand in hand with the question of what we want to become. The what should barely precede the who. Why? Because it's only half the picture to know what you want. The second piece of the puzzle here is to ask yourself who you must become to get there; ask yourself who you must be to get what you want.
Persistence is so underrated. If you read biographies of successful people, persistence is like a common thread that unites all their stories.
Let's glace back to Quality #1, shall we? Once we understand that hard times will come, the under-girding quality we must possess is persistence. How will we survive the trials if we give up on the first challenge? You'll never get where you want to be if you cannot persist. You must have grit, tenacity, and fortitude if you want success.
Being a personal trainer. I often see success through a lens of fitness and fitness goals. If my client wants to lose weight, these are all qualities she must possess as a prerequisite to her attaining her goal. We all know losing weight, running a half marathon, and any other ambitious fitness goal are difficult. Those who will succeed are those who grow in these four areas.