The Success Indicator

2012 – I barely knew you.  Another year has passed and another one is ahead.  This is the single best of time year when you can begin to think about all the things you want to improve or achieve in the upcoming year.  Time management and goal achievement is all about planning.  If you’re not thinking ahead you’re falling behind.

Anyhow, I really liked this image I saw on Facebook about the difference between the way successful people view the world and the way unsuccessful people view the world. Obviously, there is no single indicator that is going lead to success and there’s certainly no holy grail to success, but I think this provides some pretty good general guidelines.  A lot of these are things I need to do some serious work on.  I hope you find it helpful and thought provoking as you plan the new year:

Successful people:

Compliment others

Forgive others

Accept responsibility for their failures

Keep a journal

Want others to succeed

Keep a “to be” list

Set goals and develop life plans

Continuously learn

Operate from a transformational perspective

Have a sense of gratitude

Give other people credit for their victories

Read every day

Talk about ideas

Share info and data

Exude joy

Embrace change

Keep a “to do” list.


Got a comment or question about this post? Feel free to use the Ask Cullen section, leave a comment in the forum or send me a message on Twitter.

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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  • larry Levin

    great article, what is “operate from a transactional perspective”


  • Alex H

    Since it’s christmas time=> Only give a gift if they think they’re getting a gift

  • Cowpoke

    Wheew…..Glad 24/7 internet use is not on there.

  • JB McMunn

    Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin, John Corzine, and a host of others – exuding joy, forgiving, thankful, etc. No, not twisted sociopathic dirt balls at all.

  • http://none Larry S

    How were these “indicators” compiled? Is this one person’s observation of attributes common among successful and unsuccessful individuals, or is a documented controlled study available?

  • Me

    Nice thoughts and things to strive for, but I am sure we have know successful people with more of the unseccessful traits and vice-versa.

  • Jon

    Interesting idea. One thing I would add is that successful people know how to spell “successful” (and ” unsuccessful”, for that matter).

  • JV

    Bland observations from a boy scout textbook. These are not attributes of ” successful ” people. They are a collection of observations that describe an ideal – and frankly a stale, uncreative and intellectually vapid society of clones.

  • Margy

    In what universe? I’d like to go there.

  • Mike Bell

    Very well said. Thank you for writing it – now I don’t have to. ;)

  • Conventional Wisdumb

    The comments are more revealing than the article.

  • Rich

    Agreed this is not a systematic study of what successful people (whoever they are) have in common that contributed to their success. You could add ruthlessness, hard driven, single-minded, and a host of other negative attributes.

    Similar to The Millionaires Code and Good To Great; a collection of observations that are not necessarily essential qualities resulting in great wealth of great companies.

  • KM

    Let’s leave the insipid comments for Yahoo! Finance, please. This site is for the exchange of ideas, not boasts of your superiority.

  • Dunce Cap Aficionado

    Exists solely in a quid pro quo paradigm.

  • Matt

    Success has a variety of meanings, so this is all just one person’s view. I believe I can fairly describe myself as successful, yet I have a mix of characteristics from both lists. This is all arbitrary.

  • New York Paul

    What’s with “keep a journal” or “say they keep a journal”? Really? That’s just dumb.

  • quark

    What this tells us about anyone who is successful and believes that these traits are common among all successful people proves that successful people are self delusional and truly are the embodiment of these cognitive dissonant times.

    The article also misspells ‘successful’.

  • Farleyagain

    I believe these traits identify the characteristics of a person who possesses what I’d call “satisfying success.” These people make a difference, not just to their own bottom line, but also in the lives of those around them, and they enjoy it. Accomplishing those things takes effort on more than just one level of life, and in some cases, requires the person to be ruthless with themselves or others, passionately real, courageous, and humble. These people do not define themselves by their financial bottom line. They have a different scale that includes long friendships and effective change. These people embody the line from Braveheart: “Everyman dies, not every man truly lives.”