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Top 10 Differences Between Successful and Unsuccessful People

Have you ever wondered what makes your most successful friend so successful? What about your least successful friend? What’s their problem? What’s the difference between those that thrive and those that struggle?


There are several differences, and they’re quite obvious if one takes the time to look.


If you understand the differences, you can examine your own situation and gain insight into why you might not be as successful as you’d like to be.


See how successful people do things differently than unsuccessful people:


01)  Their lives are defined by their goals. Unsuccessful people’s lives are defined by their fears, which often keep them stuck even in uncomfortable situations. Most people live their life in a way that avoids their fears. Successful people learn to recognize fear as placeholders.  It defines where you are now, your comfort zone, and anything beyond that is growth and success.  They make decisions based on accomplishing their goals, not avoiding their fears.


02}  They apply their time toward long-term objectives. Unsuccessful people are motivated by day-to-day concerns. The average person is only concerned with making it through the next week. Their life feels like a hamster wheel of events and they are always in a reactive, as opposed to proactive, mode.  Successful people take action each day that will provide benefits months, years, or decades in the future.  Tiny actions done every day, consistently, lead them to success.


03)  They seek success. Unsuccessful people seek comfort and base their decisions accordingly. A successful person moves toward success, whether the route is comfortable or not.  Again, they recognize the discomfort as growth.


04)  They take responsibility.  This is my favorite!  I own EVERYTHING in my life.  Ho'oponopono.  Unsuccessful people have an endless list of excuses for their mediocrity. They blame circumstances, people, and even things. Successful people assume responsibility for everything that goes wrong in their lives. When you take responsibility, you have the power to change your situation. Blaming others is a form of powerlessness. This is huge.  Never be a victim.  Never give your power away.


05)  They continuously improve their results. A successful person wants to be better than they were yesterday. Average people maintain average results and are satisfied with this level of performance.  Successful people compete with themselves, striving to be better than they were the day before.  Average people place themselves in competition with everyone else.  This often allows them to feel like victims as their journey along the path may not be as far along as someone else's.  Recognize and embrace your path and your accomplishments.  Don't compete with anyone else but yourself.


06)  They read books. Unsuccessful people gravitate toward TV and other non-value-added forms of entertainment. Reading the right books is one of the most effective ways of boosting your knowledge. Would you rather learn something new or waste your time?  Successful people are reading and listening to books in all their cracks of time.


07)  They are comfortable with failure. Successful people might not like failure, but they can deal with it. Average people avoid failure at all costs. This is similar to the previous point on fear. An inability to deal with the fear of failure is one of the things that makes unsuccessful people unsuccessful.  Successful people realize that failure is a learning opportunity that makes them stronger and more capable.  You either get the result you wanted or the lesson you needed!  Failure is a much-needed LESSON moving us forward, instead of backwards, in our progress. 


08)  They set priorities and have a plan for the day. It’s not possible to get the most from each day unless you have a plan for it. Average people wake up and let the day decide for them what might happen. If you don’t plan your day, you’re avoiding success.  So many books talk about this that I feel I am being redundant even mentioning it but plan your day and block out your most productive hours for the most critical items on your list that must be done.


09)  They surround themselves with the right people. Successful people spend time with others that help them to become better. This could be a mentor, someone they could potentially do business deals with, or simply someone they believe has the right connections.  You become an average of the collective of your friends.  Make certain you have a great group of friends you look up to.


10)  They have positive, effective habits. Good brushing and flossing habits lead to healthy teeth. Good exercise and diet habits lead to health and fitness. Good success habits lead to high levels of success.  Atomic Habits is the best book on this subject.  Get it and read it!!  What do your habits lead you towards?


As you can see, there are clear-cut differences between successful and unsuccessful people.


How many of these items can you identify with?


What changes would you like to make?


Which one you decide to be is up to you. Are you committed to progress or comfort? Do you have a plan for your time that maximizes your effectiveness, or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants?


The choice between success and mediocrity is up to you.



Here are links to the books and products mentioned in this article.  Please use our Affiliate Links whenever possible and help support the show.  Thank you!



Combined authors with Michelle Russell  

© The Prosperity Process, LLC

February 2020

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