Luck, they say is the determiner of success. And that God and destiny provide fair chances to those who can touch the pinnacles of accomplishment. This is partially true. Success is about being in the right place at the right time. Being in sync with the oscillations of the universe.

The fact is that while we only see the output in the form of success, the road these people traveled was never built. They had to rely on their strengths to carve each step. While on one hand we are motivated by their success, we crave to know what are some personality traits they possess.

What makes them click and succeed on the other hand? And what are the characteristics that lead to success?

Crave no more! We have discovered that there are a few personality traits of highly successful people that can be termed universal. And thoughtful contemplation and going through scores of researches done by esteemed authors, we have sieved down the 10 personality traits of highly successful people. These can be helpful reminders and motivation for those struggling with life on various fronts.

Successful people aim for the contentment of the heart:

Being successful is analogous to having the contentment of heart. But we inadvertently associate it with other things. And that’s where things become difficult. But be informed that the contentment of the heart is not a product of material wellbeing. It is a much greater and more comprehensive term.

When you are at peace with yourself and your surrounding people, places events, and most importantly your past, you are contented. Life does not allow you to reap without sowing but we spend so much time trying to reap tangibility that we even forget that we needed to sow first.

So the most important trait of successful people is that they understand this fact very well. For this reason, they try to reap the contentment of the heart first and all things fall in place secondarily. 

1. Outstanding personality trait-They work extra hard.

The life story of most successful people has been filled with tireless nights and hard days. These happy endings had to start with a lot of pain, patience, and hard work. After all these efforts, they feel glad that they persevered through the testing times because it makes the success even sweeter. They don’t say hard work is the key to success for nothing. It is!

To start with, it is the will that can lead anyone to achieve the smallest of success. Also, that first step after a resolute determination makes everyone the most nervous. But at the same time, it is that first step that is the start of something triumphant. To get better success you must work towards it. the harder you work the luckier you seem to get. In the words of Colin Powell

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” —Colin Powell. So, victorious people do challenge their own life and decide to move on a difficult path to find success. The list of good qualities of a person is not complete without the mention of their personality traits of diligence. Here is the importance of determination in our lives.

Hard work makes risk-taking a possibility

When a person is attuned to working day in and day out, it erases their fear of taking up a challenge. They feel invincible and look the risk in the eye. It is often said that successful people are less afraid to fail or are at least willing to make failure a possibility. Their belief in the power of hard work and sound judgment liberates them. All this is easy to understand. If you stayed snugly behind a closed door, someone else will step up and seize the day. Success would never knock on a closed door. Thus successful people choose to leave their comfort zone and see things from the summit.

For them, the guilt of never trying and taking the challenge up is bigger than never trying at all. Since their hard work trains them to steer around pitfall masterfully, they can steer any boat and tame many waves.

2. Persistence

Following swiftly on from the trait of not being afraid to fail is the fact that the majority of successful people are persistent. And it follows that if most successful people have failed in the past, then it was their willingness to try again that led to their ultimate success. St John in his book “8 to be Great” has listed persistence as the most important personality trait for a successful life.

John is a renowned TEDx speaker and has dedicated almost ten years of his life to trying to formulate the personality traits list of successful people from all walks of life. He interviewed 500 people who have a high standing in their fields like Bill Gate Buff, Warren Russel Crowe,  Martha Stewart, and many more. So his research can be equated to enclosing an ocean in a pint pot.

He says in his book that, the well-known scientist Louis Pasteur who discovered the germ theory said about his success, “My strength lies solely in my tenacity”. so let it be known to you that success takes time and focused effort to get by. Looking at the giant companies from Apple, blackberry, Google, Ali Express, and KFC faced multiple failures and setbacks but steered their way through adversaries. Had it not been for their hard work, we would have been deprived of several amenities and finger-licking good food.

3. Charitable

Just like the question of who came first- the chicken or the egg-it is difficult to make out whether being successful makes one charitable or success comes to those who are generous with their assets. For this very reason, one trait observed to be common among all successful people –without exception-is their generosity. You will not find stinginess and success coexisting. it is no myth that charity is a strong agent of social equality and stability.

CEOs of huge multinationals and owners of big businesses like mak Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Michael Dell and so many more, all donate major sums of their worth to social causes. Education, health care, research, natural disasters, poverty alleviation, and hunger eradication are some of the broad areas of contribution from these people. 

The motivation behind the charity is always thankfulness. It’s like pouring back into the glass that quenched your thirst.  The progress and upliftment of the very community and people that helped you flourish and reach the pinnacle of glory become a concern for you. And what better way is there to give than make a difference in the everyday lives of the underprivileged? The positive traits of successful people thrive a sense of purpose and the resulting contentment helps spin an ever-revolving wheel of bounty. 

4. Discipline

True discipline is the backbone of a successful life. And this is evident from the systematic lifestyles and management tactics employed by the big fish. They are successful for a reason. It means that they understand how to channel their best and most productive hours into first and most pressing objectives. 

The good news about being disciplined is that it is not an innate quality. Rather it is something that you can master with dedication and hard work. Nothing is easy but the good part is that nothing is impossible either. If you try to be organized in every habit of yours, be it related to time management, nutrition, physical wellbeing, or sleep-wake cycle, then rest assured you will never run short of time.  

This trait of a responsible person is doubly beneficial. Discipline automatically spreads like a positive vibe and magnetic field. The impact of one organized countenance transmits to the surrounding people who become automatically wired to be more organized in their disposition. So an overall environment of order and propriety breeds accuracy and precision. Both of which are precursors to success.

Therefore let’s get your house in order and master the art of putting things in their true place. Here you have subdued a big hurdle towards success. So get busy being disciplined to get busy being successful.

5. A positive personality trait: Well-meaning and truthful

Intending no harm to our fellows and being truthful are two of the intrinsic traits that every parent tries to embed in their child since early childhood. This trait comes to be more precious in today’s fast-paced and virtual world. For this reason, successful people believe that building trust is vital to success.

They understand that only a genuinely affable person who gives considerable significance to the interests of others naturally exudes an aura of pleasantness. This aura will enable him to spread positivity and form lasting accomplices. So they start true and think well of and for the people who surround them.

Think of it this way! A person in a position of power may use different techniques of human influence to get things done and climb the ladder of success. But if his actual personality traits and ethics are raft with insincerity and duplicity, then be informed that he will not go a long way.

A person who is not well-meaning and fundamentally truthful can run a 100 meter with ease but is unfit for a marathon. Be it in regards to decision making, association building, competition, career, family, or friends.

This principle applies to everyone irrespective of their stature and position.  Because of these negative personality traits, as soon as the slightest duplicity of a person is exposed, the truth hidden behind the smokescreen will become known. People will term him as manipulative and the scaffolding of the unfinished building will come down collapsing even before being erected.  This will cause more harm than can be fathomed. 

How to avoid negative personality traits

Modesty is what keeps success going. A person who is humble, willing to give an ear to every member of the team, ready to accept his own mistakes, and always striving to improve performance is bound to succeed. 

Somebody to whom success brings arrogance thinks less of his subordinates/team, thinks that he knows all to the point of perfection, leaves no room for improvement and his success is stagnant. 

In these ever-changing times, one should always be keen to accept new ideas, developments, and opinions, no matter how successful one is. Modesty earns him the respect of his peers also because he believes that others may be more capable than him.

6. Passion

One of the qualities required for success in life is a passion for your work. No doubt success is a culmination of many factors but passion conquers all. When you are passionate, you are ready to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Passion makes you resilient, you are more likely to bounce back after a failure if you love doing what you do.

Steve Jobs, who is considered one of the most successful people once said in an interview said that his first principle for success is ‘do what you love. 

When you pursue your passion, no amount of work wears you down. No magnitude of difficulty falters your spirit and the distinction between day and night becomes obscure. But all this happens so effortlessly that waking up every day excites you. Your passion takes your feet to the work you love.

Without passion, days will become monotonous and life will become drab. Do not consider this to be the distinguishing trait of famous entrepreneurs and rich celebrities, it is about you and me and all of us. Actualization. Here is how you can discover your passion.

7. The unique qualities of a person: New Ideas:

One trait that is observed in most successful people is that they come up with novel ideas to provide value to people. This point of view is applicable in our everyday life. In our house, office, or workplace. We face problems every day and so we need solutions. Especially in the age of chaotic digitization where we have access to everything right at our fingertips, this trait becomes all the more relevant.

We all look for cost-effective, easily accessible, and reliable solutions for our hitches. Looking at the people who are considered successful in their fields, one can clearly see that they offered novelty to the masses.  So if you are providing a service or even friendly assistance to anyone trying to incorporate out-of-the-box but practical ideas. Ideas that will strike a balance between servitude and reasonability are the ones that will stay and thrive.

This means that you are resourceful enough to give people the ability to adapt to any situation. Life often hits us with surprises and it’s what we do with what we have that determines how happy and successful we become.

8. One of the 10 personality traits of highly successful people is: They Prioritize objectives.

Every day we are faced with the dilemma of what to put first and what to put off till tomorrow. What quality is required for success in life? The strategy that transposes us towards our goal is the correct order to execute various objectives. To prioritize the most urgent short and long-term goals at the top of the list and work on them. Until they are achieved, nothing should distract you. Are personality traits inherited that might pop up in your mind? Good news again.

Like other qualities on our personality traits list, discipline can be acquired and practiced to perfection. Clearly, people who have been able to go into orbit have separated the less important and less rewarding things to the bottom of the list and be able to focus on the more pressing work. 

The way famous author and speaker Stephen Covey uses the analogy of pebbles, rocks, and sand in a jar sums up the whole argument. He argues that filling the jar with sand (our less important tasks), will leave us with little or no room for the rocks (the most important tasks). Contrarily, to be effective, start by putting the big rocks in place first, we can easily fill the pebbles in the cramped spaces and at the end even pour the sand on top. Tada!! Your perfectly smooth-edged and brimming with achievements jar is ready. Don’t forget to put water at the top to cement things in their place. 

9. Positive personality traits of Optimism:

Optimism is a predominant trait of success for many reasons. Firstly because, like perseverance- it helps you navigate through adversity. And secondly, it keeps you in a positive frame of mind. How? You may ask.

This becomes possible when you keep your eyes on the prize at all times. Temporary setbacks do not bother you and your positive outlook toward your goal propels you in the right direction at the right place.

Optimism somehow allows you to look past the hurdle and look toward a bright future. When your vision supersedes the problems and focuses on solving them, you automatically go into forwarding gear and emerge victoriously.

It even does more than this. Optimism distinguishes success from failure. Gives rise to leadership qualities. It enables you to carefully pick each thorn in your path and treasure it. For you know that these are a reminder of your courage and commitment to your dreams.

One of the 10 personality traits of highly successful people is that they consider the hurdles in their way as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. And in this way life for them becomes much larger than a missed opportunity or a lost chance.  Here are some amazing ways to stay optimistic.

10. Positive personality traits examples: Effective communication skills

Effective Communication skills are the mightiest of all personality traits for success. It is with these that you build your positive reputation. When you are clear about your requirements and expectations from the other person, you create an air of liberation. For both yourself and the other party. It mitigates the burden of interpretation and chances of manipulation. Thus ensuring a smooth flow of messages. 

Effective communication would also mean an even flow of ideas and mutual respect for each other’s opinions. As people know you by your demeanor and dealings, they soon form opinions based on their judgment. So if you are courteous, you have a better chance of going the whole hog and forming lasting ties. Both of which are precursors to success. 

One thing that needs special mention is the ability to listen to understand. Most of the time, we listen to responses or refute. Whereas our aim should be to carefully decode the message being transmitted and then react appropriately. A person who can nurture these positive personality traits can turn foes into friends and succeed by leaps and bounds. Here is how you can develop effective communication skills.


Success is peace of mind, contentment of heart, and stability of emotions. And to achieve all this, the above-discussed timeless traits need to be invested in.  These are rather principles laid down by researchers studying the mechanics and dynamics of highly successful people.

Hence the reason for their reach and acceptability. These selected guidelines are the essence of some most effective personality traits of highly successful people. Anyone trying to get a kickback from life to reach his goals can use these as a reminder of the basic ethics and philosophy for success.

Related: 10 keys to success in life

About the Author

Syed Sarmad Ali

Syed Sarmad Ali is a Writer, Poet, and a Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He aims to spread happiness and inspire people to Live, Love & Laugh wholeheartedly.

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