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Traits of highly successful people

I’m sure you encounter people in your practice every day who are very successful. What traits do these people have that set them apart from those who are just mediocre in what they achieve? Can you please enlighten?

I’m sure you encounter people in your practice every day who are very successful. What traits do these people have that set them apart from those who are just mediocre in what they achieve? Can you please enlighten?

Ido meet highly successful people regularly. Many are accomplished business leaders, entrepreneurs, entertainers and visionaries — and all share a commonality: reaching out for help and not being ashamed to do so. These people are truly inspiring and have similar attributes that drive their success. To guide you, here are some traits that will make you stand out:


Have a clear vision of what you want, and think of what is possible. Maintain high standards.

Ask “why not” and see obstacles as challenges, not deterrents, as you creatively overcome them.

Choose to be different
, even if it’s unpopular. Thinking uniquely will lead to exceptional outcomes, while doing things as others do will result in more of the same.

Work really hard and focus on what you can control
, not what’s beyond it. Make sure you have a plan, stick to a schedule and maintain diligence and determination.


Be proactive and take initiative rather than waiting for things to happen. Had Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg been passive, the world might not have Apple and Facebook!

Defy the norm, be curious and don’t accept the status quo. If you’re striving for better than what exists, then think and dream big. It certainly worked for a junior senator from Illinois named Barack and a once-homeless and unknown British writer named J.K. Rowling.

Surround yourself with supportive and positive people. Success breeds success. If you mingle with losers, you won’t go far, but if you surround yourself with optimistic people who are successful, then you will be, too.

Sell yourself. A strong belief in who you are and what you do can lead you to become a brand in itself. It worked for Oprah and Jay-Z. They both built empires around their names.

Finally, enjoy what you do and be passionate about it.


– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com


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