The Quick Report

5 Simple Traits of Successful People

People with enviable lives and careers generally have one big thing in common. In everything they do, they hold fast to a set of bedrock values that anyone can emulate. Here are 5 simple traits of successful people.


5 Simple Traits of Successful People

Is there a magic formula that makes some people more successful at work and in life? No. But there is a set of values that serve as the bedrock behind everything that successful people do. 

Here are 5 traits to adopt that successful people apply to their careers and life in general.

1. Lifelong Learning

“Knowledge is power.”

Sir Francis Bacon, Meditationes Sacrae (1597)

While this well-known quote certainly makes the point that knowledge will make you more powerful, in a sense, knowledge is merely “a knowing” or wisdom. 

Another quote gives us the true takeaway.

“Knowledge is not power until it is applied.”

Dale Carnegie

While gaining more knowledge will put more tools at your disposal, you need to utilize your knowledge to truly put its power to work.

That said, life isn’t static. Things are always evolving and advancing. Those who are lifelong learners won’t be left behind and stay continually prepared to be on the cutting edge.

2. Integrity

In a general sense, anyone can be trained to do just about anything. And sure, integrity can be preached, but an individual must take it upon themselves to root this key value within themselves. Integrity equals self-respect.


Watch the latest episode of 'A Swift Look' with host Zoe J!

Integrity is what allows people to trust and depend upon us, whether in life or the workplace. Talent and knowledge are one thing, but what allows many people to advance in their careers comes down to that factor of character known as integrity.

Today we are seeing many young people with a strong focus on integrity in the companies they choose to do business with or work for. Your values should align with the organization you work for when it comes to ethics and integrity.

3. Effectiveness

“Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good,”

– Buddha

People who go through the motions are rarely successful in life or their careers. By contrast, people who focus on being effective at every single thing they do in life tend to be more successful.

Success isn’t something that happens all at once. It occurs by being effective at all the little things, consistently, day by day. Success comes from building a robust body of work over time, through due diligence, and solid work.

4. Generosity

“Minds, nevertheless, are not conquered by arms, but by love and generosity.”

Baruch Spinoza

Generosity is best freely given with no expectations in return. However, more often than not, generosity is the gift that gives back and can take many forms. For example, by teaching and mentoring others, we in turn often learn much more ourselves. Helping others move forward in their careers can pay us to pay back dividends when we least expect it. At the very least, generosity pays us back immediately, in the feeling of gratitude from others that is often priceless.

5. Communication

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others,”

Tony Robbins, author, speaker, coach

How we communicate with others sets the tone for our identity and how others perceive us. Our communications speak volumes about who we are as a person and a professional.

Therefore, those who learn to improve their communication in both writing and speaking are likely to experience greater success in life and career. A vital part of communication that people often miss is that it also involves the art of listening.

Effective communication can open doors for many opportunities and collaboration with others.