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Qualities of Successful People

People who get ahead in life often exhibit certain traits and characteristics.

Success: It’s a great feeling, knowing that you reached your goal. That you won the race. Earned the promotion. Passed the test. Climbed the mountain. We have all, at one point or another, succeeded at something. And most of us would like to keep succeeding in the future.

While different people in different professions and at different stages of their lives might measure success differently, those who are regularly successful tend to share certain characteristics with one another. If you want to be regularly successful too, it’s a good idea to cultivate those traits within yourself. The most significant of them include:

Qualities of Successful People


If you want to reach your goals, it helps to care a lot about what you’re doing. Passion can be energizing, and it can help push you through the more difficult moments. But passion can’t be faked. You have to truly feel that what you’re doing is necessary and/or deeply meaningful.


The biggest successes often start out as fantastical goals. In some cases, those goals have seemed so out there (such as landing a man on the moon) that others have called them impossible. Without a sense of optimism and a belief in themselves, those who have achieved the most might have achieved nothing.


Every successful person has experienced failure—multiple times, and in multiple ways. What separates them from the rest isn’t that they fail less; it’s that they persist more. When faced with a setback—even a large one—those who succeed don’t let it stop them from continuing forward.


From the arts to the sciences, those who have a capacity to think originally have a greater chance of success. When faced with an obstacle to your goal, don’t just go through a checklist of ways to solve the problem. Try thinking of the problem—and its possible solutions—in a way few, if any, ever have.


Everyone procrastinates. And everyone has a vice or two, however minor. But those who are continually successful never let distractions overtake them. Instead, they have the discipline to force themselves to keep at it, even when they feel the urge to do something less important.

A Desire to Improve

Successful people don’t consider themselves to be perfect. Even if they have great confidence in their abilities, they still work to improve, identifying where they have weaknesses and doing what they need to do to strengthen themselves.

A Commitment to Learning

One thing you’ll note if you talk to a highly successful person is they often have an amazingly detailed knowledge of their field. And many have an incredible knowledge of other fields as well. That’s because a good portion of success is understanding the ins and outs of what you’re trying to do, and the world at large.

While a few successful people learn in unconventional ways, most learn by studying at colleges and universities. For many, a college degree or a graduate degree is what put them in position to launch their successful career. And earning a degree can do the same for you.

Whether it’s a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, when you earn a degree from an accredited university you’ll come away with new knowledge that can help you attain and sustain success. In this way, higher education can be a true opportunity creator. And thanks to online learning, attending a good college is more possible than ever before.

As a student at an online university, you won’t have to worry about living close to a campus. In fact, you won’t have to worry about leaving home at all. If you have internet access, you can earn a degree online. And it’s quite convenient. Online classes have flexible scheduling, which gives you the freedom to complete your studies at whatever time of day makes most sense for you. That flexibility makes it possible to balance your online courses with your existing work—and life—schedule.

For working adults, online education opens up all kinds of possibilities, whether you need a college education to reach your goals or whether you simply want to learn something new. Whatever the case, earning a degree online can be part of your commitment to achieving success.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,