10 Things Successful People Do

Life can sometimes feel like being on a treadmill. You are exercising hard, putting in effort, sweating it out… yet you are not going anywhere.

What differentiates a handful of successful people from the many who don`t make it? Life can sometimes feel like being on a treadmill. You are exercising hard, putting in effort, sweating it out… yet you are not going anywhere.

It is time to get out of your own way and into greatness.

Here are 10 things successful people do to turn their dreams into reality.

1. Stop Waiting 

Most of us believe we need to have something to do something. If I had more money, I could start a business. Only if I had more time, I would write a book. I could be more successful if I had a loving relationship. If I had a good manager, I could grow in my organization.

This need to have something or someone, is crippling. Therefore, it takes you away from your power. If you are falling the Have – Do – Be model, flip it around and make it Be-Do-Have. Release yourself from the mercies and actions of others and embrace the power that you have.

First you Be whoever you want to be – happy, successful. Loving, nurturing, motivated and then start doing things from the space you want to be and eventually you will have the things you want to have. Commit before you have any idea how it will work out. Leap and the net will appear.

2. Dream Big 

Successful people think Big! In Stanford the famous Marshmallow experiment was conducted. Young children were left alone for 15 minutes with a marshmallow in front of them. The child was offered a choice between eating the marshmallow in front of them immediately or waiting longer and getting more marshmallows.. The research showed that children who were able to wait longer for the greater reward attained better outcomes in life as they grew up.

Are you focusing too much on the marshmallow in front to forgo the longer term reward? Sometimes we cant see beyond our noses – the next salary, the next holiday, the next month in the relationship. In myopia, we sacrifice the big dreams because of the smaller gains that seduce us.

3. Make it Visual and Appealing 

Everything that happens to you is because of the thoughts and images you create in your head. However, our brain doesn’t get inspired by boring statements. Instead of just saying “I want to buy a 4 bedroom house in 2025” say “I want to save enough for the down payment for my dream house where I will be entertaining my friends, have a private movie theater and my children will be playing in the pool on giant flamingo floats”. Write it down. Every research on goal setting will validate that goals which are written down have a far higher change of getting achieved.

4. Mindset 

Martina Navratilova was once asked, “How do you maintain your focus, physique and sharp game even at the age of 43?”She gave a humble reply, “The ball doesn’t know how old I am”. You need to stop yourself from stopping yourself. Every game in life is actually played on a 6 inch ground – the space between your two ears.

We dwell in our minds. Did you know that 90% of long-term success is not predicted by the outside circumstances, but by what we think about ourselves?

The mind is not evil because all it wants to do is it just wants to protect you and keep you safe.

It might say:

  • “There are better qualified candidates” when you have applied for a job
  • “The economy is doing badly” when you are trying to find a new job
  • “Its hard to meet someone at your age” when you are trying to find a partner
  • “You look cute as you are” when you are trying to lose weight
  • “Most new businesses fail” when you are trying out a new venture.

The key factor to performing well in life and in every arena, is the ability to control the quality and quantity of your “internal dialogue”.

So say, “Mind…I know you are trying to keep me safe, but I have to go for it”. If you are finding this difficult to do on your own, hire a coach, work with a mentor who can bring about that shift in mindset.

5. Let the Leaves Fall

Me: Hello God. I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?

God: I’d rather not.

Me: Why?

God: Because you’re not a puzzle

Me: What about all the pieces of my life that fall to the ground?

God: Leave them there for a while. They fell for a reason. Let them be there for a while and then decide if you need to get any of those pieces back.

Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking up!

God: No, you don’t understand. You’re evolving. What you feel are growing pains. You’re getting rid of the things and people in your life that are holding you back. Relax. Take a deep breath and let those things you no longer need fall down. Stop clinging to pieces that are no longer for you. Let them fall.

Me: Once I start doing that, what will I have left?

God: Only the best pieces of yours.

Me: I’m afraid to change.


Me: Becoming Who?

God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light, love, hope, courage, joy, mercy, grace and compassion. I made you for so much more than those shallow pieces you decided to adorn yourself with and that you cling to with so much greed and fear. Let those things fall off you. Become who I want you to be, who I created. 

Unknown Author 

If you are not careful, its easy to find yourself carrying a great deal of emotional and mental baggage around you through the day…weighing you down.

These could be old memories, hurts, patterns of behaviour you know are not useful, self beliefs and judgments about others.Imagine putting all these bags down and sensing how much lighter and freer you feel. Just like a tree – drop the dead leaves down.

6. Taking Action

Two construction workers, Bernie and Pete, were preparing to eat lunch. Pete opened his lunch box, made a face, and said, “Olive loaf again. I Hate olive loaf!.” Bernie thought for a minute and said,” You know, Pete, I`ve been working with you for five years, and every single day you`ve said the same thing when you opened that box:”Olive loaf again.” If you don’t like olive loaf, Pete, why don’t you just ask your wife to make you something different? I bet she would.” Pete looked at Bernie , surprised and said: “I make my lunches.” Carl Jung, “ You are what you do, not what you say you`ll do”

While we may have these plans, the important things is to start taking action. Action that is going to take you where you want to go. Otherwise its pretty much being on the treadmill for hours and getting no where.

7. Put Your Skin in the Game

There is one common thread in successful people. They don’t hold back, they put their skin in the game. They are done with blaming the economy, the government, the manager, the spouse, the child, God.

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
― Albert Ellis 

When you put your skin in the game, then you declare your intent to the world. You put everything at stake, you don’t hold back. So whether you want to attract a new client, get that corner office, lose weight or find joy in your relationship, don’t let there be a scope where you say, “I wish I had put in more effort”. Being detached, being safe, being risk averse doesn’t serve you well.

8. Being Weak is Being Strong 

Think about people you have related to at work, in relationships. They were ones in whose stories, you saw yourself.Who could say, “I goofed up in this”, “I was too impulsive”, “ I am not very good at reading people”. As leaders, as family, drop the superhero cape. Let people know what you are not good at. According to Brené Brown, one of the hallmarks of being authentic in relationships i in orders being VULNERABLE.

Importantly, successful people understand that sharing vulnerability doesn’t make them weaker, it makes them more real and relatable. …in relationships, in leading others, in life.

You are not getting anywhere alone, you need others to rally around in order to support you. However, that`s only going to be possible when you open up your authentic self. When you know that being weak is actually being strong, then you display authentic candor.

9. Harvest Crisis 

For instance, as you march towards your ideal life, as you make choices to be the person that will make you fulfilled; you are going to fall face down a number of times. You will experience crisis.

Typically the word crisis brings about a negative connotation…almost like a disaster or a catastrophe. The word crisis came from the root word “krisis” in Greek. It meant the turning point of a disease where the actions of the patient and the doctor could either lead to saving of life or death. Importantly, view these testing times as crisis – a bed of possibilities, a point of discerning action rather than everything finished.

Exercise: Conjure up an image from a past incident where you were really on the backfoot with something you wanted to happen or get. Inspite of all challenges, you made it happen. Reflect …how did that happen?

10. Spend Time with Children 

Spend time with children not with an intention to teach but with an intention to learn and apply to your life. Even if it is an hour a day, just BE without trying to reprimand. Successful people do demonstrate a mindset of curiosity, they are present with the task at hand, question possibilities and of course…importantly, they make a choice to be happy in any given circumstance.

I hope now you have a roadmap of 10 things successful people do to achieve their vision, make their dreams come true. Above all, you have invested this time because you know you are unique,  because you know you can achieve anything you want, you know you have massive potential. 

Therefore remember, the first step into living your dream life … is to have a dream and a believe you can make it happen. Above all, I am very proud of you that you made this far

In conclusion, if you would like to find out more about you can be one of those successful people, leading a successful and fulfilled life, visit my website www.diamitraacademy.com or write to me at dia@diamitraacademy.com

Dia Mitra

Dia Mitra

Dia is a leading Executive and Leadership Coach helping leaders navigate business challenges, gain insights and design their path to achieving formidable goals. An alumnus of TISS Mumbai, Dia has 15 years of experience is unlocking human potential. She works with clients across the world and helps them discover their authentic self.

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About Dia

Leadership Coach I Wellbeing Practitioner I TISS, LSR Economics I ACC – ICF I Marshall Goldsmith Certified Coach

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