There are many personality traits which can contribute to ones ability to be successful in life and business, but these seven traits are the core drivers of success. Other factors will of course affect outcomes; good ideas and products are the genesis of successful business, but those are lost without the stewardship of people with these seven personality traits.
The seven traits are the green attributes described in Connecting the Tri-Sphere, the metal/emotional ones. They tie together in a chain, as each of them feed into the next.
An open mind is an agile and growing mind. An open mind will learn things and adapt more easily. New knowledge and fresh ideas will spark creativity and problem solving, and enable you to recognize when a course correction or a re-boot is needed. If you are too set in your ways and convinced that you know it all, you are much more likely to ride your mistakes out to failure. With an open mind, you will listen and learn from mistakes and small failures, turning them into learning experiences in stead of project ending collapses.
Open-mindedness will eventually lead to perceptiveness, which is the ability to connect your knowledge with your senses, quickly understand and cut to the core of the situation. In order to train your mind to be open in a professional setting, for the purpose of becoming successful, you must open your mind in all settings. Free yourself of pre-judgements, recognize that there might be other ways of living which are just as legitimate as yours. Study ideologies and belief systems you disagree with. Travel! Put yourself in new environments and situations. Try foods you never had the desire or courage to try.
An open mind will spark a love of learning
2. Love of learning
Love of learning is the driver of knowledge and skill, which sets the foundation for any achievement. You can only achieve within your knowledge and skill. It is true you can achieve anything you set your mind to, but only if your mindset drives you to acquire the needed knowledge and skill. It is not enough to simply think it to achieve it I am sorry to report 😉 With a love of learning in your core, the work of acquiring knowledge and skill becomes fun and effortless. You are learning for the sake of learning and enjoying the process. A love of learning is obviously best if developed in childhood, but adults can develop it even if they were never good students in school. It starts with open-mindedness and curiosity and is further promoted by the habit of reading non-fiction.
Cherish the opportunity to learn something new. It is so easy to learn something with all the knowledge available on the internet. Do follow up with authoritative books on your topic though. Try to convert some of your entertainment time to learning time. Quit watching empty TV programs and read an educational book on a topic related to your goals. Learn new skills: take a cooking class, take sport lessons, take art classes. Acquire skills even if they are not directly aimed at your specific goals. They will have a positive effect on you in many ways, will help grow your love of learning, and establish success patterns in you.
With knowledge and skill comes confidence.
3. Confidence (self)
Confidence is often the difference maker. Not only will the confident person be the first one to take initiative and roll the dice, but the lack of fear and stress will make them perform better than an equally skilled unconfident person. Confidence is attractive, sexy even. Even if the performance is essentially the same, the confident person’s performance will be perceived as being better. Confidence is having trust in ones own abilities. It is important though to actually have those abilities. Being over-confident can lead to epic failure or serious injury; do not attempt a jump on your first day of snowboarding, even if you think you’re doing great! Build your confidence by studying and practicing and by putting yourself out there in small steps to experience validation of your confidence.
Tap into your courage to make that first step.
Regardless of how skilled or confident you are, there will always be situations where you will need courage to overcome your fear, in order to make leaps forward and experience success. At some point after a lot of training to build confidence in your skills, you will have to attempt that jump on your snowboard, and you will need a lot of courage to do so.
We seem to be born with different levels of courage, and you can easily see the difference on the playground as some kids are very tentative while others zoom down the slide with no hesitation. Even with a low level of genetic courage, most people can develop it. Courage can be described as overcoming fear, and since fear is the most devastating of all negative emotions, courage is critical. Courage to live, courage to grow and courage to speak your mind are critical drivers of happiness and health. Practice courage on this basic level in your life, and it will spill over to your professional life and drive you towards success. Confront your fears! Start with the smallest ones, open your mind, try new things! As you prove to yourself that these small fears were unwarranted and that you can easily overcome them, you will train yourself to overcome more significant fears.
Courage will allow you to take initiative.
The one who takes initiative gets the opportunities to succeed, to get the glory. Initiators write history. It takes great self-confidence and courage to take the initiative on a historic scale, and it can be cripplingly difficult for some to take even small initiatives. If you never take the initiative, you will always follow and react. Not a recipe for success. Initiative is the proactive behavior the late great Steven Covey wrote about in his famous “7 habits of highly effective people”, which the title of this post is an homage to, in case you hadn’t figured that one out.
it is actually quite easy to practice initiative. Get in the habit of saying things like “I got it” or ” why don’t we…” or “wouldn’t it be nice if we…” Take small initiatives such as helping your loved ones with mundane tasks, suggesting fun things to do, or proposing improvements to your environments or systems. All these things will be greatly appreciated and will be positive boosters to your relationships, your self worth, and will train your initiative. Great exercise, with wonderful results! You will experience many little successes through this, thus training your success patterns and further boosting your confidence, adding more energy to this chain of personality traits.
Taking the initiative generates responsibility to fulfill
This is the CEO gig. If you want the big payday, you have to have responsibility. If you are responsible you can be counted upon to make the decisions and lead the way. You are the captain and will get everybody in the lifeboats and go down with the ship if needed. Responsibility doesn’t have to be on such a dramatic scale of course, it can be to your specific task within a greater team. It is duty to and respect of your fuction . Responsibility is often granted to someone by a superior after they have proven themselves over time, but you can grab responsibility by being courageous and showing initiative.
The best kind of responsibility is that of a parent to their child, or older sibling to younger. If you know this feeling, you know the feeling of responsibility and should be able to apply it to: Your project, your job, your community, your family, your species, and your planet.
I like the duality of the word. It is either: The one who has the duty to a situation, or the one who caused it, and often both!
We are all responsible, we just have to accept it and act accordingly!
If we all acted responsibly, teamwork would be a breeze. To reach optimal success you must be a team player. you cannot go it alone! It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are or how good your idea is, you will need many people to help you reach success, and you will need to exhibit great teamwork to keep them inspired, motivated and productive.
Teamwork is easy and fun. It can be very frustrating at times, especially if you are impatient, but it can be very rewarding and will result in a greater groundswell of good energy, which will lift the project up higher than you could have alone. We are pack animals and should embrace the fact that working together brings happiness and fulfillment. Hopefully you are part of a family, or group, or sports team or community where you can practice the joy and rewards of teamwork.
I admit that this one is a little bit of a cheat, since teamwork is more of a skill than a personality trait. It is skill acquired by exhibiting: great communication, patience, humility, humor, love and open-mindedness.