25 Surprising Traits of the Happiest and Most Successful People I Know

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some inspirational people – from serial entrepreneurs to religious leaders. What gives them their mojo isn’t as obvious as you may think.

From a young age we’re told that if we work hard, get a good education, harness our talents and fight our way to the top, success will come our way and we’ll all live happily ever after.

But this ignores evidence to the contrary.

Often we see that the happiest people aren’t the richest, the most successful people haven’t followed the conventional path and the best leaders don’t shout the loudest.

And too many only realise they’ve climbed the wrong ladder when it’s too late.

Just because we’re good at something, it doesn’t mean we enjoy it.

So much for conforming.

In fact, trying to conform to the norms of society and what’s expected of us is something that comes back to haunt us when the chips are down. One of the top regrets of the dying is:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”

Through working closely with some inspirational people, leaders and communities over the last few years I’ve seen some common traits I see in those that have found a balance between personal happiness and career success.

  1. They are generous with their time
  2. They work on something they care about deeply
  3. They don’t compete, they collaborate
  4. They are learning machines
  5. They design their life to work for them and their needs
  6. They don’t talk about doing something, they just do it
  7. They take time out to look after themselves
  8. They don’t accept things the way they are
  9. They have a real sense of urgency
  10. They’ve eliminated the gap between who they are and what they do
  11. They believe anything is possible
  12. They don’t look to blame other people
  13. They don’t waste time with naysayers
  14. They don’t take failure personally
  15. They focus on the positives
  16. They look forward, not back
  17. They don’t worry about what other people think
  18. They don’t wait for opportunity, they engineer serendipity
  19. They do things their way
  20. They’re happy for others to take the credit
  21. They don’t read newspapers
  22. They surround themselves with people that inspire them
  23. They’re comfortable asking for help
  24. They value experiences more than things
  25. They don’t chase happiness… or success


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