The 3 Abilities That Make Successful People Successful

When it comes to living a successful life, I believe that everyone who is reading this right now wants to be part of it. Everyone wants to be successful. Nobody wants to live in mediocrity or having a lousy life. However, how did successful people really become successful?

What makes successful people, well, successful? Have you ever thought about it?

Chances are, there are plenty of factors causing someone to become extraordinary, become the market leader, achieving outstanding results or accomplishing amazing feat in life.

After giving this question some thoughts, it comes to me that successful people possess these 3 key abilities, and they are:

1. The Ability To Envision A Meaningful Future

envision success

When it comes to envisioning the success future you want, you don’t have to compare your dreams with others. In other words, there’s no such thing as a big dream or a small dream. It’s just dreams and what you want in life.

Some people want to run and operate a saloon because they have an intense passion for it. While some people want to build a saloon franchise and earn million dollars of royalties from their brands.

Some people want to earn $10,000 a month. They want to drive a decent car, live in a decent house and having the opportunity to travel overseas with their families for holidays once or twice a year and still have some money left for savings.

On the other hand, some people want to be a multi-millionaire and they want to drive the most expensive car, living in the most prestigious castle and maybe even owning a private jet.

Whatever your dreams are, it doesn’t matter.

The most important key is that your dream must be something bigger and better than your current wants, and something that will make you feel excited to go for.

The key is not in the size, but in the meaning that your dreams are giving you.

Most people are influenced by the media and the society. They thought that being successful is about living big and earning all the money in the world.

After they set those as their goals, they feel motivated, but for a short period of time. Why? It is because their dreams are not giving them any meaning. It is not what they really want to achieve in the first place.

This is why most people fail and they give up halfway.

If you find it hard to get motivated for your dreams, probably the meaning your dream is giving you is not strong enough.

Or probably, your dreams may not be what you truly want to achieve in the bottom of your heart.

Successful people like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, etc, are all driven by the meaning that their dreams give them.

This is why extraordinary people always seem to have unlimited motivation and able to conquer whatever challenges that come to them.

They have a strong meaning and purpose behind their dreams. Their dreams mean something to them.

What about you? Why do you want to live your dreams? What do your dreams mean to you?

Remember, what everyone wants is different in life. And everyone’s dreams are different too.

Hence, you don’t have to compare your dreams with others.

Go for the dreams that means the most to you. Go for something that you truly want.

2. The Ability To Stick To The Schedule


One of the key secrets ordinary people are able to produce exceptional results and become extraordinary is their ability to stick to their schedule.

For example, if you want to lose weight and you decided to workout in the gym every day from 7am to 8am, your consistency will become the key to your weight loss success.

Successful people choose to do things that most people hate to do or do not want to do.

They choose to wake up early when everyone else is still sleeping. They choose to work when the rest are checking updates on Facebook. They choose to work longer when most people can’t wait to get away from their work. They choose to produce quality work when the rest are doing crappy work. They choose to work on their dreams no matter what happens.

Here is a great quote:

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

Apply the principle behind this quote above to every area in your life.

Success is about doing the work regardless of whether it is snowing or raining out there. Success is taking action no matter you feel like doing it or not.

Average people only take action when they feel motivated or when they feel like doing it. Successful people take action and stick to their schedule, no matter whether they like it or not.

Think about it, professional athletes who have made it to the top are those who stick to their training schedule no matter what happens.

This is why they are able to achieve outstanding results compare to most ordinary people.

Do you know what it takes to be successful now?

So stick to your schedule and take consistent action. It doesn’t matter where you are right now. Even if you made a big mistake, are in debt, or are not educated, life doesn’t end here.

Your past doesn’t determine your future. Where you are right now is just where it is right now.

You can still achieve what you want and live your dreams. As long as you stick to your schedule and be consistent with it.

Donald Trump was once $900 million in debt. However, that did not deter his commitment and he continued to stick to his schedule. He did what he does best, negotiating for better deals. As a result of his sheer determination, he managed to make a comeback and become even wealthier than before. He became a billionaire.

The Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami, said these in an interview:

“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m.

I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.

But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.”

If you want to learn the daily writing habits and schedules of writers, read this post from James Clear.

Now you know what it takes to be successful. Have you developed your routine and your schedule?

Do it now and stick to your schedule every day. Make it your habit and your habit will give you the results you want.

3. The Ability To Evolve From Change And Failure


First, successful people are always improving themselves. They learn, they read, they join groups, they discuss ideas with other successful people and they exchange views.

You have to do the same. If you are not improving and getting better each day, you are losing and eventually, you will become obsolete.

The competition is getting tougher and more and more people are achieving greater success in life each day.

Therefore, if you did not improve yourself, your knowledge and sharpen your skills, you will never stand out from your competitors.

So commit to improving yourself each day. Start by reading books and attending seminars provided by other successful people. Get along and network with other extraordinary people who have achieved greater success than you in your industry. Continuously learning is a great way to boost your career in the long-run and with the availability of the internet, one can advance their careers right at home with online courses such as an online bachelors degree in organizational leadership, which can greatly benefit those who wish to pursue higher positions in the industry.

This is how you can improve and get better.

Second, you need to possess the ability to evolve along with the change. In other words, you have to learn to embrace change.

Change is happening each day and if you did not change or improve yourself, you will get outdated. Look at the way technology has changed the world. Look at the size of your mobile phone.

Twenty years ago, if I want to pay my electricity bill, I need to go to the post office. Today, I can do it with my phone or computer in my house.

Change is inevitable and you must learn to harness it. You can be very successful today, but if you did not embrace and harness change, your success will never last long.

It may sound like a lot of work, but it is a truth that we all must accept.

If we are not willing to change and keep improving ourselves, eventually we will become outdated and others will overtake us.

Finally, learn to evolve from the failure and mistakes you made. If you have not made any mistake or go through failure yet, don’t worry, you will.

In fact, going through failure and making mistakes are necessary if you want to be extraordinary. This is because your failures and mistakes will build your characters and transform you into a better person.

Les Brown once said, “Don’t say that you are having a bad day. Say that you are having a character-building day.” And he is right.

There will be bumps, challenges, setbacks, frustrations, rejections and hard times throughout your journey in life. No matter if it is in your career, relationship or business, you will have to go through tough times to evolve.

I like the idea when one of Steve Jobs mentors, Mike Markkula, told Jobs in his early days that running a business is like going through metamorphosis. A business has to go through different stages to survive and to thrive. Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.

However, in order to go through metamorphosis, the business has to evolve and so with the people.

When it comes to life, the same principle applies. If you want to be successful, live your dreams and achieve all the goals you set, you must go through metamorphosis and evolve.

And you can evolve through the three keys I mentioned at this point.

First, you have to improve yourself consistently. Second, you embrace change. Instead of avoiding change, you harness it. You associate change with your business, your work, and your life. Finally, you go through metamorphosis through failures and mistakes.

Don’t give up when you fail or lose faith. Do you think that successful people never failed before? The more successful you are, the more failures and mistakes you are going to make.

The point is not that you shouldn’t make mistakes. The point is to learn from your mistakes and never lose hope.

Always remember this quote from Winston Churchill:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Without the loss of enthusiasm. Please read it three times.


Anyone can possess these abilities. Just like all the skills can be learned and unlearned. You just need to decide that you want to be successful and commit to taking massive action.

I have tried my best to explain these 3 abilities successful people possess as clear as possible from what I know.

So what do you think? Do you think this is true and do you think this article is helpful?

Share your thoughts with me in the comment section and if you like this article, remember to share to enlighten others.


Shawn Lim

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Shawn

    I like the way you put it… not just “Envision a future,” but a “meaningful future.” I think that a lot of people have lost the ability to envision themselves being in a better place down the road, and for some of those that actually do, its always a moving target, because its “just a dream” – something to keep on imagining, but not something worth the effort to make real.

    Hopefully, that will change…

    Thanks for the article 🙂

    1. Hey Alex, you are absolutely right. Anyone can dream but only those who associate passionate meanings into their dreams will actually take action and make things happen.

      Dreams alone are not going to motivate people into taking action. It is the meaning that people associate to achieving their dreams that drive them. 🙂

      Shawn Lim

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