There’s no denying that successful people are hard workers. They’re often the ones who put in the long hours, do the jobs that no one else wants to do and hustle until they get rewarded for it.
However, successful people should not be confused with very successful people.
Some people are simply more successful than others. This success often comes from lifestyle choices and habits they’ve picked up over the years, while other reasons stem from the way they prioritize their lives.
It’s clear how these 10 major lifestyle choices serve to differentiate the successful from the very successful.
The Very Successful…
1. Commit to Their Ever-Evolving Goals
The most significant difference between the successful and the very successful is the nature of their commitment. Successful people often pursue their goals with an unwavering, iron-willed perseverance.
The very successful are equally as committed, but they recognize that their goals are constantly evolving. What you thought you wanted when you were a startup entrepreneur may be entirely different from what you want when you’re the CEO of a successful company. And that’s okay.
2. Say No, More Than They Say Yes
Successful people may agree to do everything, but very successful people are much more selective with their choices.
Very successful people see the value behind their time, and will choose what they do accordingly. They don’t haphazardly say no, but rather eliminate nonessential activities or actions that won’t help them achieve their goals.
3. Get Joy From Their Jobs
Though clichéd, the idea of loving what you do does hold merit.
If you’re committed to achieving a goal, you need to really want it. While you can’t avoid doing some things you don’t enjoy, very successful people get to where they are because they genuinely enjoy their jobs. You won’t hear the very successful bemoaning work-life balance, because their work is an essential part of their life.
4. Separate Work from Play
At the same time, very successful people know the importance of having down time. Many studies have already shown that working without taking a break can be detrimental to your health and your career.
Very successful people see this down time as essential. For example, taking a walk outside or reading a book can help boost their creativity and give them more ideas for future projects.
5. They Challenge Themselves to Learn More
Complacency is antithetical to success.
For the very successful, a day is wasted if they haven’t learned anything new. This doesn’t necessarily mean formal learning – some of the most innovative people don’t even have a bachelor’s degree. Rather, they’re constantly reading, learning from others around them and also learning from their own mistakes.
6. They Are Excellent Listeners
You don’t necessarily need to be the first person to answer a question in order to be very successful.
Very successful people will listen to the people around them, perhaps to bounce off ideas or – more importantly – to listen to what isn’t being said.
7. They Welcome Criticism
In addition to being excellent listeners, very successful people not only listen to criticism, they welcome it with open arms.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” Hearing only good things might make you feel better, but it won’t do much to help you grow and achieve your goals. Sometimes, you have to hear the criticisms to be able to make it to where you want to go.
8. They Take Care of Themselves
If you’re a very successful person, you know that you are the only person who can achieve the goals you have.
Very successful people have internalized this and know the importance of taking care of themselves. Among the very successful, you’ll find devout proponents of meditation, sleep, and reading.
9. They Focus On Themselves, Not the Competition
Keeping up with the Joneses is still a recurring theme for many people and companies. They focus on what the competition is doing and try to one-up them.
A very successful person isn’t worried about what the competition is doing – he’s worried about what he is doing. He’s thinking about what he can do better.
10. They Have Confidence in Themselves
If you’re going to achieve your goals, you have to be confident that what you’re doing is right. Very successful people don’t have time to be self-conscious. If you want to be very successful, you have to believe in yourself – after all, if you can’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
Very successful people are self-driven and don’t hold themselves back with excuses. They learn from their mistakes and aim to be the best they can be.