7 Winning Character Traits That Create A Lifetime Of Success

Note: This is a guest post by Shamelle Perera of The Enhance Life
I am an ardent fan of the TV series The Big Idea. For the benefit of those of you who haven’t watched it, it is an interview which features a person who has made an idea they once had, a success. Most of them have started with literally just the shirts on their backs but have later went to become great CEOs, property moguls, entrepreneurs, or media stars. Even with little or no money in their pockets – they STILL managed to have amazing success in their lives.
Winning character traitsThe show also interviews individuals who were written off as ‘too small’, ‘too slow’, or ‘not talented enough’ who went onto become Olympic champions, or top basketball, football, soccer, or baseball stars.
With each interview, I came to realize that it’s not really the talent, money, intelligence or the upbringing that enabled these people to become successful. (don’t misunderstand; I am not saying that these are not necessary!) There are other distinctive winning traits that enabled them achieve greater heights in life.
The list below is not an exhaustive list, of course””you could no doubt add to it. I hope that you’ll find it to be a helpful primer for how you can create a lifetime of success.
1.Driven by ambition (not fear of failure). How many times have you personally come across a business or an opportunity that you knew would be profitable and successful, but lacked the courage to invest the money or to step into the unknown?
Think about it, sometimes we need the courage to move forward without fear or doubt.
2. Winners are Doers. I know a lot of people who want greater things in life. They have the desire and the ambition but they are not willing to DO. Reality check: ‘I will get to it someday’ never works!
It is vital that you take affirmative action on an ongoing basis in order to fully achieve. Stop procrastinating and become an action taker.
3. Self-discipline to see it through. A co-worker put it very succinctly: Knowing how to lose weight is simple – fewer calories in, more calories out – but the discipline to do it is hard!
Regardless of whether you’re trying to stay on a diet, clean out the garage, or be more productive in your occupation, the secret to success revolves around your ability to recognize and deal with the part of you that offers resistance.
Self-discipline is NOT a personality trait that either you have or you don’t have. It is a skill that can be learned and developed.
The next time your self-discipline is about to go off track ask yourself, “How can I get myself to do what a part of me doesn’t want to do?”

4. Quitters never win and winners never quit (Persist, persist and persist). Calvin Coolidge couldn’t have said it better. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unrewarded talent. Education alone will not: The world is full of educated failures. Persistence alone is omnipotent.”
5. Do not sulk but learn. It’s impossible to get it right 100% of the time. It is because of your failure that you learn what works and what doesn’t. Criticizing yourself is not going to make any difference. Instead it would drain your energy and dissuade you.
While being determined is important, do not be so hard on yourself that you become critical of every move you make. Give yourself some room to make mistakes and be flexible. That does not mean you can miss goals but it does mean that if you do, find out how to avoid that from happening again.
6. Accept responsibility. You are responsible for what happens with your life. It’s not ok to blame the media, government or your parents for your mistakes and failures. If you keep blaming people you’ll soon learn that you let them control you, and when you realize this you’ll start taking responsibility for your own life and work towards your own success.
7. Adapt an “I can” attitude. The way you think, day in day out, affects all aspects of your life. Learning to listen to your “internal dialogue” will help you recognize your thought patterns and how they may be affecting the way you handle the stressful situations of daily living. Having a positive mental attitude will attract what you need to achieve your definite major purpose.
What’s your take on this? Why do you think others succeed where perhaps you haven’t (or at least to the degree that you wish you had)?
Shamelle Perera offers advice and tips on actionable personal development based on her incidental gleanings. Visit The Enhance Life and glimpse through The Enhance Life Archives.  You are bound to find an article that will suit your need.
This article is part of October 2008 theme: Winning Attitude
Photo by wili_hybrid


  1. Hi Shamelle! “The Big Idea” was one of my favorites, too! (I’ve since cut off my cable to be more frugal and use my free time with non-TV activities.) My favorite episode was the one with the “Billy Bob Teeth” guy. I loved that he broke the ice when he met his wife by using those things to crack her up! Too funny!
    I heartily agree with all your tips, but No. 4 really takes the cake. If you never quit, you never lose. Every “failure” is just a great learning experience that gets you closer to eventual success. Even if life, for some of us, ends up being a little too short to actually reach our biggest dreams, to die trying is the most exciting, most rewarding way to go! And, it’s never too late to start. See “The Bucket List” if you haven’t yet. ; )

  2. Shamelle,
    Thanks for your primer for success. I didn’t watch the Big Idea, but I get the gist of its message.
    Of all your points, #6 is most significant to me. I hear so many folks blaming their parents, the economy, their boss, etc. for whatever has happened or is happening to them. The moment we accept responsibility for our lives, we claim the power to change for the better.
    J.K. Rowling said it best in her commencement speech to the Harvard graduating class, “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”

  3. @Flora: I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the J.K Rowling quote, I have not come across it before.
    @Shanel: I have definitely had my share of failure and I have definitely learned and grown from those experiences.
    By the way, you can still be frugal and catch a glimpse of “The Big Idea” via You Tube :-0)

  4. Adapt an “I can” attitude. I do completely agree with that you have written in this post. Most importantly, I practice what I preach.

  5. profound stuff! thanks for the wisdom and inspiration…

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  8. I don’t watch Big Idea but your learnings from it are quite amazing. Judging from what you have said about the show, one more point to your list – Believe in your idea and do what you want (rather than what someone else might think you should do)

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  12. “Quitters never win and winners never quit”…if only everyone go that message

  13. When the going get tough only the strong keep going.

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