6 “What It Takes” Traits To Be Successful

6 What It Takes Traits To Be Successful

Table of Contents

Do you have what it takes to be successful? When you set a goal for yourself, will you reach it? It’s the first day of new year and chances are that you’ve set some resolutions or goals for yourself. The question is …. Do you have what it takes to achieve these goals? In this post, you will find six most important traits you need to get what you want. By the way, if you haven’t set any goals, do it immediately. Goals are like your GPS. Without them, you are playing a lottery with your future. Get serious, develop the “what it takes” traits and take your destiny in your hands.


If there is anything that is applicable to all of us it is that without clear vision achieving any goal is almost a joke. It’s like trying to sail across the world without a map or GPS. You will either get lost, crash or die … Or all of them. The only way to avoid this unnecessary failure is to get absolutely clear about what do you want to achieve. Every person who can say he or she has what it takes starts with creating a crispy clear vision. These people see their future before it actually happens. Then, they will use reverse engineering to develop a plan how to get there. This is basically how successful goal setting works.

Some people reading this can argue that vision is not necessary to reach the point where you will feel successful. For example, what about Columbus? He had no clue about where America is when he left Spain. What’s more, he actually didn’t even want to get to America. He wanted to find India. By the way, that’s way native American are called Indians. Yes, Columbus though he arrived into India. Lucky guy, right? Still, he had much more luck than another explorer Fernão de Magalhães. Anyway, although Columbus didn’t arrive where he wanted he still had his clear vision he used to pitch his adventure to Spain queen.

The same thing applies to Roald Amundsen before he conquered the North pole. Wright’s brother and their airplane? Shackleton? John D. Rockefeller and Standard oil? Andrew Carnegie and United steel? Henry Ford and model K? The same thing! Wait couple years and we will be able to say the same about Elon Musk and Mars or Hyperloop. What am I trying to tell you is that without vision your chances to achieve your goals are close to zero. Even though you have what it takes (except vision) you will do better if you buy a lottery ticket and just hope. The probability of that happening is almost the same.

If you are serious about developing every trait to have all what it takes to succeed, creating a vision is the best place to start. Having said that, we are not talking about crap like New year’s resolutions. By the way, why do you think they don’t work for the majority of people? These people who are falling year after year to achieve their resolutions and goals are lacking clear vision. They are just like an inexperienced sailor on the sea without a map. Avoid doing the same mistake and take the map – create a clear vision of your goal. Imagine it like a real thing.

Meaning, use all your sense. Where are you? How old are you? What do you smell? How do you feel? How does it taste? Remember, the more realistic it will be the better. Your vision should be clear as a hi-res photography. Every detail matters. The goal of this vision is to spark and fuel that fire inside you. Whenever you will feel like getting off the track, this vision will work as a reminder of why are you doing what are you doing. Remember, you are the only person you can rely on.

A Note About Vision

Before going to second trait of people who have what it takes let’s make something clear. If you think that having a vision of your goal will somehow magically bring that goal to you without putting in the hard work, you got it wrong. Creating a clear vision has only two purposes. First, it helps you develop an action plan using reverse engineering. Meaning, you start with the end in mind and then move backwards thinking about what it takes to reach that target. Second, vision works as a fuel to keep you going while working your butt off. It is like hanging a carrot in front of a donkey to keep him moving.

You have to understand that without hard work and sweat your goals will remain only dreams. In this world, everything comes with certain price. So, not only you have to have what it takes, but you also must be willing to work for it. The brighter side is that we value more things we had to work hard for. This is backed by science. If your goals require gargantuan (what a nice word) amount of work, wait for the flood of endorphins and delight when you reach them.


Unfortunately, I don’t remember who said it, but it is true that without action your vision and goals are nothing more than a dream. World is full of people who like to dream. However, there is a big shortage of people who are also willing to take an action. Can you imagine how could the world look like if there would be more movers and shakers? We would be already traveling to Mars on holiday and humanoid robots would be taking care about people with health problems. In a short, movies such as Her and I, robot would probably be a reality. Unfortunately, we are where we are. If there is one thing to blame it is a lack of commitment.

Ask people on what their goals are and you will get so many answers you will not be able to comprehend it. Ask the same people on what they will do to reach those goals and … Quiet. In most cases, you will hear either couple of cheap excuses or nothing at all. The reality is that all of us have some dream or vision we would like to make real. Unfortunately, the majority of us lack that kind of hardcore commitment. It is this type of commitment, that missing piece of what it takes puzzle, many of us are short of. This is not an offense. In a fact, it was not so long ago when I was dreamer, but not doer, as well.

At that time, I could dream and fantasize about my goals professionally. Yeah, I was that good at it. Unfortunately, when was time to do the work I was pretty quick to come up with some cheap excuse. I don’t know whether it was ridiculous or sad. One thing I know for sure is that now, it makes me sick just to think about what a loser I was. Seriously. For those of you who recognize themselves in that, I have some good news. All what it takes to change who you are at this moment is just one decision and willingness to stick to it.

It may give you some motivation if I will tell you that many successful people had to face some serious challenge in order to make that life-changing decision. These challenges came in the form of a life-treating situations like becoming homeless, losing someone close to them or even facing the death by themselves. Having said that, I don’t suggest that you have to go through similar situation. However, when we are pushed to the wall and have nothing to lose, it is this moment when we have the courage to make that decision and stick to it like our life depends on it.

It is also in these situations when you can see whether someone really has what it takes or he just talks about it. When rubber hits the road, I would say that it is the commitment what distinguishes winners from losers. If there is one area you have to make bulletproof to be the person who have what it takes, it is commitment. The only way to strengthen your ability to commit and deliver is doing just that. You have to get used to making commitments to yourself and other people and then always fulfill it. And, remember that only perfect practice makes perfect.


If I would ask you about your stick–to–itiveness, or the ability to achieve your goals, what would be your answer? This is what tenacity is about. It is that willingness to do all what it takes to achieve your goals. For example, if you set your goal or goals for next day, will your list be clean in the evening? Do you even invest your time into writing down your daily goals? If your answer on one of these questions is “no”, then you have a problem to think about. In case you answered “no” on both of them, I suggest that you take some time and get your shit together. It is one thing to set, let’s say, three goals and accomplish only two or one. This can just mean you don’t have clear priorities, vision or you don’t really believe in it.

On the other hand, if you want to succeed in whatever you want … If you have some grand vision you want to make reality and you are not even setting daily goals, there is something fundamentally wrong. Let’s talk straight. I think that you are simply either lazy or satisfied with being where you are and being average. If you read previous sentence and your mind immediately came up with excuses, then you just proved me right. You don’t have what it takes. When you start using excuses as a defense, you are only showing that you think about yourself as a victim. You are saying that you are not the driver of your life, the master of your destiny.

From this position and with this mindset, it will be impossible for you to reach any bigger goal. You will give up very soon, possibly defending your failure with another cheap excuse. Am I too hard on you? Do you need a tissue or some shoulder to cry on? Well, you will not find any of these things here. Go and read Cosmopolitan instead. On the other hand, if you are willing to admit that there some problems that need to be fixed, you are on the right way. We just have to work out couple of things. The first step you have to do is to find out what these problems are, where they are rooted.

Think about it as gardening. You have to get rid of the weed. You have to clean it up before you seed something new. The same thing with fixing your tenacity. Only when you find and fix all the problems you will be able to build stable foundation. Otherwise, you are building a house of cards on the sand. Just a slight wind and everything will collapse. Meaning, you will back off when you will face any kind of obstacle, struggle or pressure. However, when the foundation for your tenacity is already strong, you can train it even more by setting more difficult goals.

With time, as you will put yourself under bigger pressure, your tenacity will grow so significantly that you will be able to literally go through hell in order to achieve your goals. What’s more, you will welcome every goal or task you set for yourself as a challenge. You will pursuit it with a big smile on your face. This will get you closer to the person that has what it takes to succeed.

Hunger & Hustle

The last but one trait, or traits, we are going to discuss are hunger and hustle. Since hunger is great fuel for your hustle, I decided to address them at the same time. Although you will be able to hustle day after day without hunger, you will depend mostly on momentum. Using momentum to move forward is not bad, rather the opposite. However, when momentum is the only thing that keeps you moving, that is when you are asking for troubles. Let me ask you one thing. What will happen when you will not “feel” like doing what it takes to achieve your goals?

In order to get what you want to you have to stay hungry. Not only that. You have to keep that hunger as high as your ambitions and goals are. So, the higher you want to go the stronger your hunger must be. Only then, you will be able to get your ability to hustle on level where you need it to be. When you think about it, this is the final missing piece of our what it takes puzzle. Meaning, clear and strong vision will is a fuel. Commitment and tenacity are like matchsticks. Put it all together and you will get the zest to wake up your hunger that will keep you moving and hustling.

Unfortunately, as great as this all may sound, it is also very fragile. Just one weak spot in the chain and the whole structure will collapse. Weak vision will not be sufficient fuel. Lack of commitment or tenacity will not get you through tougher days. You will not stick to goals you’ve set for yourself. Without hunger, your hustle will rely on momentum. In other words, you will stay on track as long as there will be someone to kick your butt. If this is enough for you, then go ahead. However, if you are serious about your goals, you have to make sure every piece of the puzzle is solid and reliable.


The last trait we are going to talk about today is humility. Although we are discussing this trait as last, it shouldn’t lower its importance. In a fact, I would say that without humility you will never reach real success. Take a look at examples of people who have what it takes and you will realize that they always have some humility. Whether they are showing it or not, they are still humble. The thing is that without being humble, you are not open to new things. You are not willing to listen to other people’s ideas, suggestions and feedback.

It is only through humility that you can see and admit your weaknesses and mistakes you do. Without it, there is no chance to keep growing. Albert Einstein said it the best:”’The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” This the best example of humility you can get – being able to admit and accept that no matter how much you try to learn “everything” you can, there will still be something else to add. Don’t let this discourage you from pursuing whatever you want to achieve. Just keep in mind that it is normal to feel that you don’t know everything.

It would be much worse if you think you already know everything there is to know. This short-sightedness could cause you problems and set you up to failure. Think about it. How would you know if you have what it takes unless you are willing to question and test your knowledge and abilities? Only through humility you will allow yourself to learn from people around you. However, don’t confuse humility with being a weakling. When you are a weakling, you don’t believe in yourself. Your self-confidence is the bottom.

When you are a weakling, coward or just not confident in yourself, you are often afraid to question what you know and practice. In most cases, you are also not able to accept feedback and constructive criticism. I know what am I talking about. As mentioned earlier, I had a huge issues with self-confidence. I was afraid of anything that would make me look bad, inadequate or stupid. This is basically sure way to failure. Honestly, I still have a lot of work to do in this area.

On the other hand, when you are humble you are confident enough to put your knowledge in skills under pressure and learn from results. The last part is important. You are open to learning new information or re-learning what you already know. You are not rigid, but adaptable. Although you are tenacious you remain flexible. Humility helps you maintain these seemingly contradictory traits in the same time. There will be people telling you that being humble is weakness. They will tell you that it will make you vulnerable.

They are wrong and also right. First, being humble is not weakness, but strength. Lack of humility leads to only one thing and that is arrogance. Remember, there is a difference between having healthy self-esteem and confidence (being humble) and being cocky and arrogant (read idiot). I suggest you stick with the first option. Second, yes being humble will make you vulnerable. However, being vulnerable is not bad either. It actually requires a lot of confidence and courage, the same kind of courage it requires to pursue your goals. Will you choose conceit or confidence?

Closing Thoughts on What it Takes

Here you have it. These are the six “what it takes” traits to get what you want and kill it in 2016. Start this year by taking charge of your life and create the future you want to live. It doesn’t matter what other people are saying you have or should do. You always have a choice. You can always man up (or woman up) and decide for yourself. Use this opportunity and leave the victim mentality behind you in the previous year. Start this year with a blank canvas and fill it the way you want it.

All you need is to make just one decision. That’s all it takes. Just one decision to finally get what do you want from life. Don’t sit on your butt waiting another year for some “right” conditions. They will never come. Use what you have at your disposal and put things in motion. Go all-in and burn the ships. Push yourself to the wall if you have to. This is your chance to play by your own rules and to make your life awesome!

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By Alex Devero

I'm Founder/CEO of DEVERO Corporation. Entrepreneur, designer, developer. My mission and MTP is to accelerate the development of humankind through technology.

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