It’s commonly misunderstood that the most successful people were born radiating confidence, thick skin, infectious charisma, and an unbreakable spirit.

But no, they weren’t plucked by destiny from the womb to do things no normal human being was ever able to accomplish.


Photo Credit: bruce mars on Unsplash

This misconception is not only annoying but harmful to those who have the proper motivation but only need a little push in the right direction.

The truth is much more scientific than that. What really makes someone successful is the right combination and quantity of traits, knowledge, the motivation to act, and a bit of luck.

Many of the most successful people on the planet learned most, if not all, of these critical lessons at an early age. This molded their mind into the perfect vehicle for producing outstanding results, the kind of results that can (and often does) propel them to the highest echelons of success.

Growing up on a dairy farm, you certainly learn discipline and a commitment to purpose.

– Mike Johanns

That’s all good and well, but what exactly are those things? What are the hard lessons the leaders we look up to internalize early on? Here are five of them to learn and apply to your own life:

1. They learn that where there’s a will there’s a way

Successful people, like most of us, tend to be dreamers from an early age. However, one of the most defining factors that separates them from other people is their action-oriented personality.

Whatever it is that they want, they put the work in to make it a reality. However, often lacking what they need at first to realize their goal, they learn early on that you have to do with what you have to make things happen.

In other words, they learn that where there’s a will to make something happen, there’s always a way– they just have to find it.

2. They learn to see failure as an opportunity for growthThomas Edison quotes - Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up

A big factor in how successful someone becomes is in how they respond to failure. The most successful people in the world learn from an early age that failure isn’t the end of the story but a chance to grow and actually make progress.

Early on, the most successful people are gifted with the realization that a particular failure would not hold them back forever and, coupled with the right amount of motivation they could, in fact, get back up stronger and smarter than before because of it.

3. They learn to visualize their desired outcome

Often as a way to escape from the challenges of their early life, those who eventually rise to great success will spend much of their time dreaming of what their life could be like in the future.

With a strong desire to rise up from their adversity, these dreams come to serve as their vision for the future and motivation to act. Often, the most successful people recount how vividly they’d come to visualize their desired outcome, so much that it felt real.

4. They learn the value of pursuing mastery in their craftJumpstart Your Journey: Oprah Winfrey quote on reaching your dream

From an early age, the most successful people begin working on their craft. Some take longer than others to discover what it is they love and have a passion for, however, once they do, it inspires their entire life.

This is inevitably difficult, as such a pursuit will consistently bring you face to face with forces that seek to steer you away from realizing your mastery. But the most successful  keep going because they’ve seen the value in developing themselves and their craft.

5. They push past the fear of what others think


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Easily one of the most crippling forms of adversity we experience throughout our life, the fear of what others may think has paralyzed many capable men and women, leading them to live out their life without ever realizing their potential.

However, many of the most successful people in the world learn early on that no matter what you do– whether it’s doing what someone wants or expects or dislikes and disapproves of– haters will always materialize and judge you. There is no escaping this barrage of judgment, so it’s their destiny to push past the fear of being judged.