Does the most successful people share characteristics? Yes, psychologist and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor George S. Everly Jr. With his 45 years of experience at leading universities, he had the opportunity, before they got that way, to see ultra-successful people. He wrote a recent blog post on Psychology Today, and not all these individuals were college undergraduates. “Instead, they were teachers, businessmen, managers of businesses, doctors, lawyers, vet and medical students–and yes, the wealthy and renowned.” Interestingly, writes he, people with great success all seem to share seven qualities that make them memorable, even before they’re so effective. The complete list of these features can be found here. These are some of the main ones.
All of us met people who are really hard at projecting an air of hope and positive attitude. This is usually as fake as your smiles. However, people who are genuinely optimistic usually can not help to spread that feeling to other people around them. Everly says, “We feel better that we are just around such people.” Think about the times you did when you were very optimistic and good. If you give presentations or pitches. I bet that the audience was more sensitive and engaged than other times in hearing from you. That was always my understanding, at least.
Research also shows that optimism can help you live a longer and more healthy life, making you unforgettable. There’s plenty of reason to try and become one if you’re already not an optimist. Fortunately, you can train your brain to be more optimistic by certain techniques. Give them a try, if you’re more pessimistic than you want to be.
As Everly states it is sad, but it is true that if you see when and where you say and do what you say you do, you will stand out of the crowd because few people are trustworthy, especially if they deal with strangers or if their stakes are high. If it turns out badly, particularly if you’re straight about whatever you’ve been wrong, instead of trying to cover up, you will get even more impression if you take responsibility for your actions and their consequences. Everly writes, people who do so “take away our breath.” “They’re memorable.”
Without this particular feature, it is difficult to be very successful. But that hate prevents us from getting ourselves out of our comfort zone and doing things which we really like, even if they don’t work out at first. Most of us hate to fail and hates to listen “no.”
Almost every account of a successful businessman describes how he persevere in the face of refusal or went beyond the norm to find out how his or her company can be made to work. After Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky had upgraded all the credit cards that they could start with Airbnb, they were not able to do so, but instead had a seemingly nonsense idea: they repurposed existing 500 cereal boxes for Obama Os and Cap’n McCains and sold them for 40 dollars per election in the middle of the 2008 election cycle. This helped with the immediate financing emergency, but they needed more, of course. Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, granted them an interview but couldn’t understand how people would pay for sleeping in the homes of others. However, as Gebbia and Chesky left, they gave Graham a box of Obama Os and showed how they had used it to help finance their business. On his way home, Graham called to offer them a slot, not for their idea but because he thought founders, who could also find a way to sell their website a cereal package for $40. He was right, of course.
There are many more qualities that make highly successful individuals memorable until they succeed. Nonetheless, these three are quite a good starting point.