I’m going to let you know right off the bat, there isn’t a sure-fire formula for winning at life.

But that doesn’t matter …

People of great accomplishment do not follow some universal blueprint. What all winners do have in common, are some core characteristics and habits.

Winners Are Avid Consumers of Knowledge

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” ― Zig Ziglar

The most powerful resource that you can have in life is good literature. There is an infinite amount of wisdom available to be absorbed within the furling pages of a well-written book.

Every success guru will tell you that winners are readers and readers are winners. But why is it necessary to have a lifelong and continuous engagement with the written word?

Your dreams have already been dreamt.

The great plan that you thought was your unique masterpiece has already been thought out and executed.

The mistakes that you’re going to make have already been made.

The struggles that you’re going to face have already been overcome.

If there is truly nothing new under the sun, chances are there’s at least one mastermind who can be summoned to drop you some knowledge. All it takes is a commitment to being a disciple of your craft, an internet connection, and for the old souls, a library card.

Winners Understand The Value of People

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

You cannot achieve success without nurturing relationships and building a valuable network.

While it is quite the feat to have the ability to hold down a room with your intellectual prowess, it is equally impressive to be able to recognize and capitalize on the value of others.

Warren Buffet, the renowned billionaire investor, spent years trying to convince Charlie Munger to be his business partner. He was so resolute in his belief that Munger would be of instrumental value to his enterprise, that he stopped at nothing to bring him on board.

In your pursuit of success, you must never forget the value of human connection.

Winners Work For A Purpose That Is Greater Than Personal Gain

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit” – Nelson Henderson

Extremely successful people understand that the world is bigger than them and they strive to contribute to that grander narrative. You need to be dedicated to a cause that is greater than individual fulfillment.

When you surrender your gifts to an agenda that transcends your personal gain, there will be no need to pursue success. It will simply come as a ripple effect from the value and service that you provide to others.

Winners Run With Their Dreams & Ideas

“Stop waiting for the perfect day or the perfect moment… Take THIS day, THIS moment and lead it to perfection.”― Steve Maraboli

You do not need an arsenal of tools and resources at your disposal before you start working on your goals.

There will never be a time that is exactly right to begin. Work with what you have and improvements can be made as you advance.

In product development, this concept is referred to as the Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The MVP is “that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

The same concept can be applied to life. You simply do the bare minimum that is required to put out a functional version of what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.

Adam Braun, the founder of a hugely successful charitable organization, started with a dream and a $25 deposit in a savings account. To date, his charity, Pencils of Promise, has built over 300 schools and has served over 30 000 students. The founding story, The Promise of a Pencil is highly inspirational. Be sure to give it a read.

Winners Are Self-Confident

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.” – Bruce Barton

It is difficult to be self-assured in a very critical world.

But when you allow your progress to be hindered by the criticisms of others, you become a double victim of both their judgments and your own incapacity to see your self-worth.

All of us have greatness hidden in our depths, we only need the power of self-awareness to unleash it. When you build an unwavering sense of self-worth, you place a greater value on your time.

… and people who value their time tend to use it more productively.

This article on Shattering Self-Doubt offers some timeless tips to build your self-confidence.

Winners Are Risk-Takers

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ― Robert F. Kennedy

Successful people aren’t conformists. They dare to venture out into the dark, they aren’t concerned with the rules, and they don’t ever “play it safe”.

In fact, the only place where this phrase applies is on the field of mediocrity.

Now, let’s get it right …

Taking risks does not mean that you need to go out on a whim and make big, senseless moves without mastering the nature of the game.

The greatest risk takers are chess players.

They are incessant learners and students of their field.

They always know the best-case scenario, the worse scenario, the most likely scenario, and all the other variables.

They never operate from a place of fear or scarcity.

… and most of all, they stand against the odds boldly and proudly.

Winners Are Consistent

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. It is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”― Jim Rohn

Consistency allows you to:

Foster trust: This is particularly relevant for entrepreneurs. The people that you serve expect you to show up on the same day, at the same time, with consistently superior quality service. When you are trusted to make a dependable appearance, you build massive and lifelong brand loyalty.

Maximise your effectiveness and efficiency: If you want a seed to germinate and flourish into a healthy plant, nurturing it every single day with the optimal conditions will move you towards your goal much quicker and more effectively than taking care of it once a week. Small, precise and consistent moves will help you mobilize your plans more readily than big, random moves.

Build discipline and character: The things that you do on a daily basis become your habits and your habits shape your character. You are more likely to wake up, show up and get things done when you have engendered a culture of diligence and perseverance.

The list above is by no means exhaustive. What do you think are some of the essential characteristics that differentiate winners from the rest?

This post was first published on Conscious Livity