Four Characteristics of Success | The BridgeMaker

Four Characteristics of Success

By on Oct 26, 2009


Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be. – George Sheehan

Look deep. Are you doing the things you need to do on a consistent basis in order to get the results you want to get?

No matter if your goals are personal or professional in nature; there are four characteristics of success that will help you find what you are looking for in life. From becoming a better parent or spouse, to finding more success at work, these attributes provide a roadmap, a checklist, to help you achieve your goals, too.

1. Personal Accountability

“I do what I say because I said I would do it.” It all starts and ends with you. When you look into the mirror, do you like what you see? We can push away, hide, and even deny to others what we are thinking and doing, but we can never hide it for ourselves.

Personal accountability is not about perfection; it’s about effort. We can never be all things to all people, but we can be everything to ourselves. We can get up every morning with the attitude to focus on the things that will create a more successful and happier life and not to short-change or sabotage ourselves in the process.

Listen to your inner wisdom, your gut, to see if you are on track or not – 100% of the time your inner wisdom is right. You then have a choice to make. You can choose to rationalize why you are not seeing the results you had hope to gain or you can choose to be completely honest with yourself and make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.

2. Resiliency

Life will always throw you off balance. You will encounter setbacks when you were expecting success. It’s not a matter of “if” this will happen, it’s only a matter of “when.”

When disappointment and failure happens remember this: Our character is not defined by what happens to us, our character is defined by how we respond to what happens to us.

3. Interpersonal Skills

We do not live in a vacuum. Even though our journeys may be our own, we cannot ignore the other people on the road with us.

The ability to communicate, to ask questions of others who have achieved what you are seeking, to listen and to respond are all invaluable tools.

If you are seeking a more fulfilling relationship with your partner, then how well you relate to that person will determine the success, or failure, of that relationship.
Similarly, if you are looking for more career opportunities, then your ability to communicate your goals and accomplishments are critical.

Here’s a good strategy to remember in order to improve your interpersonal skills: Talk less and listen more. Think of the 80/20 rule. 80% of your time should be spent listening. It is in these moments you will come to realize the true expectations of your partner or your boss, for example. Once their expectations are clearly understood, you are in a better position to meet them.

4. Continuous Learning

The minute you stop learning you start to lose, or go backwards. In my life, I’m still learning how to be an effective parent and a supportive spouse. Too often, we get in the trap of saying, “I have learned how to [fill in the blank],” instead of saying, “I’m still learning how to [fill in the blank].”

There is a significant difference in these statements. When we use words that end in ed, learned, accomplished, achieved, we are saying there is nothing else to learn; that we “got it.”

But life is dynamic and nothing is ever freeze-dried. Therefore, if we take the approach we are always in the process of learning, accomplishing and achieving, then we are in a much better position to adapt and to adjust when change and setbacks occur.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • J anderson

    Lovely post.  Thanks so much for sharing the information.  I work an an online high school.  Would you mind if I used your ideas in a homeroom presentation?  Each week we talk about different self-improvement and school success ideas.  janderson@k12insightks:disqus .org