How do you define a successful life? Is it by how much money or stuff you have amassed, or is it by the legacy you leave behind? All too often we equate a successful life with material possessions. Yet, there are millions of people out there who lead successful, fulfilled lives who may be of modest means. They may not be rich in the financial sense, but they are rich in life and values.
So what are the things we should strive for to make our lives successful and have a positive impact on those around us? Here is a list of traits that I think defines what true success in life is all about. Does your list differ?
- Sincerity. Be sincere in your actions. Don’t try to deceive or impress others. Be yourself, and do what you feel is right based on your values and beliefs. You will be surprised at how people accept you when you stop trying to be someone you aren’t.
- Unfeigned. Be genuine in what you do; your actions speak louder than your words. Don’t falsify or embellish events that may have happened. Don’t say one thing and do the other.
- Wholehearted. Be enthusiastic about what you do. Show it. Be committed to life and everything that you set out to accomplish in life. Devote yourself to your family, friends, and community and commit yourself to being the best father, husband, wife, mother, friend, and neighbor you can be.
- Honest. Be honest in your dealings with yourself and with others. When others interact with you, let them see someone who is reputable, respectable and genuine. Do what you say you will do and never use fraud or deception to get ahead in life. Let ethics, morals, and honor be your compass.
- Heartfelt. When you do something for someone, or they do something for you, let your thanks and emotion be openly and outwardly expressed towards them.
- Hearty. Be someone who displays an honest, warm, and exuberant personality to those around them. Let your feelings show and let them be genuine when they do.
- Humility. Don’t lead a life thinking you are better than others or are superior to those around you. Modesty and humbleness will leave a far more ever lasting impact on people than trying to show off.
- Personal integrity. Always follow your heartfelt values, and never let a situation or anyone steer you away from doing what you know is right. Be someone that people can look up to and respect and not someone who trades his or her moral values for material gains in life.
- Incorruptibility. Let it be known that you stand firm for what you believe in and that your morals, values and actions are not for sale. Don’t let outside forces corrupt the person you are.
- Sound. Show good judgment and sense in life. Don’t let prejudices or emotions cloud your judgment.
- Whole. Be focused on what you want to achieve in life. Give everyone you interact with your complete and undivided attention.
- Courtesy. Practice good manners even though others around you may not.
- Civility. Graciousness and respect go a long way in life. What is more, they are viral – when people see you doing it they are more apt to practice civility themselves. Be kind to others and extend courtesy towards them. Don’t interrupt people when they speak and don’t dominate the conversation.
- Wisdom. Gain from the wisdom that is inside you. Understand the inner qualities of people and learn how to understand situations that might be different than we are used to.
- Charity. Practice kind, gentle, and compassionate treatment of others – especially those who may be undeserving. Learn to extend a hand to help others, even though they themselves may not have helped you.
- Empathy. Be aware that each person is different and may have different values and beliefs than those that you hold. Be understanding of the feelings and thoughts of others without having to be told or reminded of them.
- Sympathy. Share your feelings with others and understand the emotional situations that people go through. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Compassion. When someone is in distress, reach out with a genuine interest in helping alleviate their suffering.
- Altruism. Think of others without thinking of yourself. Do good things for people without expecting something in return for yourself.
- Magnanimous. Be generous in life. Give of your time, money and wisdom. Share with others so they can see the true joy and adventures of life themselves.
There are the qualities I think helps lead a person to life a successful life. Clearly everyone’s views will differ, as they should. What are some qualities that you think define success in life?