There are so many recipes for success. Every life coach and self-help book has their own version.

The traits I’d like to master are traits I’ve seen in actual people who I think are successful.


A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but its persistence.

Jim Watkins

There’s a story I read in Napoleon Hill’s book, where a man keeps digging for gold and eventually gives up. Someone else comes and takes his spot and strikes gold soon after. The moral of the story was the man wasn’t persistent enough.

This is true of all successful people. They don’t give up, even when things don’t go their way. They find a different way or approach the problem from a different angle. These people are stubborn and dig their heels in. But, they just don’t give up.

Be Consistent

I always thought that being consistent meant doing the same thing over and over again, which meant there was no room for creativity. I realize now, that’s not true.

Being consistent is showing up every day, whether you like it or not. It means being reliable.

Whereas persistence involves determination, consistence involved discipline.

The best people I know have a very strong sense of discipline, principals and moral character.


I’d like to think I’m a fairly optimistic person and to most I come across that way too. But, the true test your optimism is when things all around you are crumbling.

This is a happy trait and can really make a difference.

I used to watch my ex-boss. Every time, we had disappointing news, he ponder for bit but, then brighten up and say, let’s try something different then. Again, optimism mixed with persistence. He wouldn’t let the bad news get him down. Negativity is not productive and can only end up hurting you.

I’m far from mastering any of these traits.

For me, the most challenging of these traits is persistence. I know I often give up too easily. I know I don’t always pursue things the way I should. I do have the mindset but, not always the follow through.

I am still a work-in-progress.

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