Photo: Son's baseball team. Atlanta, 2016
Irrespective of field or profession, those who achieve at top levels have these 5 common characteristics:
1. Self-confidence – Winners have a deep seated believe in themselves, they are comfortable with who they are and they love themselves enough to believe that they are capable of completing any task they take on. Sure, no one is good at everything, however, self confidence is built over time by finding and recognizing your strengths, building on them, continuously self-developing and positioning yourself for success in your field. Whether you're an athlete, an entertainer, a network marketing distributor, a teacher, a lawyer, a stylist, etc … you can only excel and make a difference that others would like to emulate by first believing in yourself and your capabilities. This is a core characteristic of all who deliver results.
2. Risk-takers – Winners are generally unafraid of the unknown, or let's say they know how to move pass fear. Unlike most people, they dare to step into areas others would rather leave alone. You must be willing to embrace change and all the discomfort that comes with it; you notice this in leaders who tackle legislature that may be unpopular but which they believe to be right for their people, you see it in athletes who attempt moves that could cost them a win but offer a chance at scoring, in entrepreneurs who invest time and money into new 'risky' ventures, doctors who attempt new medical procedures, etc. Great things often lie just outside of our comfort zones and winners are always willing to go there. Backed by self-confidence and unafraid of 'failure', winners look forward to trying new things and conquering in new areas.
3. Unafraid of hard work – Winners tackle work head on. While most people would rather just get by and do just enough to get the paychecks coming in, winners go an extra mile. It takes hard work to truly make a difference in any area of our lives. Winners embrace hard work and stay focused until the job is done. For winners, hard work is a way of life … it's all they do and that's why they are known for being change-agents and pace-setters. There's absolutely nothing wrong with hard work if you like what you're doing and if you believe it is going to add value to someone else's life.
4. Determination – Winners do recognize failure as a possibility, however, they focus on achieving success. When an athlete steps on the court, he knows losing is a possibility but he is there to win and so he focuses on winning (losers focus on losing – consciously and/or unconsciously). It takes determination to stay on course and overcome challenges that others would buckle under. Winners are strong mentally, they see themselves as successful right from the very beginning. A winner does whatever it takes! You can always count on them to give it their best … and in life when you give it your best, chances are you will succeed. While some call it luck, the winner simply gives himself more of a chance to pull it off.
5. Patience – I believe this to be the foundation of winning. Most often in life, you have to put in the work long before you start to see results. Patience is a virtue of the winner. It takes years of consistent work to build up for greatness and positioned yourself for success … and a few more years to establish great successful empires. The price of success is often paid upfront – athletes start to be molded from a young age and they basically climb to national and international stages one step at a time, one year after the other, after the other; doctors and lawyers go through years of professional training, and so on. In looking at high achievers today, we're often presented with the "finished product", the years of hard work that have gone in leading up to this moment are often commonly overlooked. However, if you take the time to dig deeper, you will learn of years and years of preparation, of 'climbing', and then finally 'making it'. Most give up before the season to reap. Patience is fundamental in pulling off anything worthwhile. A seed when planted in fertile grounds, must be lovingly tended, and given time to sprout and then blossom.Same with the seeds that are your dreams.
Life to a winner is an adventure – he works hard, plays hard, lives on the edge and has fun all the way to the bank, while giving back in his own unique way. Life is always a little brighter because a winner got involved. Celebrate your life by developing these core characteristics. It is not that hard … go out and be the best of you!
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