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25 Character Traits to Cultivate for Lasting Happiness and Success
Happy man and woman looking at each other and smiling

25 Character Traits to Cultivate for Lasting Happiness and Success

Some people believe that you just happen upon happiness or success.

Others believe that you have to be lucky enough be born into wealth or opportunity.

I’ve never identified with either of those people. Maybe you’re the same.

There are several character traits that play an integral part in cultivating both happiness and success in people, traits you can develop to craft your own incredible life.


They take work, like anything else in life, however, if you look at it from a long-term effort point of view and work at it in chunks, always making sure to work on something at any given time, you’ll see great progress within a short period of time.

These are 25 character traits to cultivate for lasting happiness and success.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.

– Jim Rohn

1. Dependability

When you know you can be depended on, it gives you a constant confirmation of your self-worth. Your value is concrete and you know that not only can others count on you– but you can count on yourself.

2. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness gives us the ability to adapt to any situation. Life often hits us with surprises and it’s what we do with what we have that determines how happy and successful we become.

3. A sense of curiosity and wonder

The world has so much to explore and enjoy and by maintaining that sense of curiosity and wonder you can derive great joy from the world as you learn more about it.

4. Drive

Without drive, you’re not liable to accomplish anything of value. You need to have the ability to self-motivate, to get yourself up and move forward whether things are good or bad. No one can do this for you, so you must have the drive to do it for yourself.

5. Willpower

In life, you will be tempted by things like procrastination or distraction. So, you’ll need the willpower to say no when something doesn’t align with your major goals and the strength to pick yourself up if you ever do find yourself distracted.

6. Patience

Success isn’t going to come when you want it– in fact, most things typically don’t. So, you need patience. Be like Edwin C. Barnes and decide in your mind that, no matter how long it takes, you will realize your primary goals in life. Then, get to work.

7. Passion

Passion is critical to both happiness and success. In fact, it can hit two birds with one stone by being the focus of your professional success, making a living doing what you love. However, regardless, you need to follow your passion as that will give your life a sense of meaning and, without it, I’d argue you can never truly realize any measure of success.

8. Self-belief

You need to believe in yourself. This is one of the single most important traits for realizing success in anything. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you’re perfect or without flaws, but rather, that you know your worth and believe in your capability.

9. Humility

This world is big, scary, and unpredictable, no matter how big and bad you become. It’s important to stay humble and remember that we’re all just a small flicker in the scope of things. This will make it easy to remember what is most important and to prioritize those things.

10. Gratitude

As you climb your custom-made ladder of success ever higher, it’s important to remain grateful for what you have. In fact, Gary Vee has said it’s his ability to remember all the things he’s grateful for that has helped make him so successful.

11. Acceptance

This world is filled with all kinds of different people. Different shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds, personalities, orientations, and passions. In order to find happiness, you need to be accepting of all people. You can’t have happiness without peace and you can’t have peace without removing hatred.

12. Integritycs-lewis-quote-integrity-doing-right-thing-no-one-watching

Being a good, polite, considerate person isn’t just about being that way around others, it’s about being that way deep down, even when no one is watching. When you live this way, it gives you a sense of comfort and confirmation of your self-worth.

13. Honesty

When you lie, it eats away at your conscience and can make you miserable. It can become hard to remember what the truth is and, the more you lie, harder to get back up from the weight those lies place on you.

14. Loyalty

Loyalty is important solely because it has such an important role to play in your personal and professional relationships. Without loyalty, you’re a person who doesn’t understand the importance of your closest friends and confidants and who can easily lose their trust.

15. Responsibility

Following through on your responsibilities plays a big part in both your happiness and success because responsibilities are often tied to money and relationships, both of which play a big part in happiness and success in their own way.

16. Compassion

The power that caring for others can have on your own happiness and even your success isn’t very well documented yet, however, it’s no less true. To understand and feel for others allows you to make deeper connections with those you love and that deeper understanding helps you work with others more effectively as well.

17. Forgiveness

You can’t live the rest of your life blaming someone for your pain and expect to be happy. If something is hanging over your head, you’ve got to be able to forgive (even if you never forget) so you can move on.

18. Authenticity

One of the most important points on this list is to be yourself. Whether that means answering a personal question honestly that could make you feel exposed or following your heart when it comes to career choices, being your authentic self is critical for your happiness (and often helps you become more successful, too).

19. Bravery

Bravery is a hugely important quality. Life will bring you face-to-face with some very scary situations at times and you need to be willing to stand up to those things to get passed them.

20. Generosity

Most people still haven’t learned the power of giving. To give your time, effort, and resources to others– and to see the gratitude on their faces– has an incredibly powerful effect that can move you deeply and give you a great sense of joy.

21. Perseverance

Everything of value in life is a long game. Nothing truly valuable happens overnight.

That’s why perseverance is so important. You need to persevere through the crap– whatever your particular challenges may be– if you ever hope to realize happiness and success.

22. Kindnessloving-kindness-meditation

Another one of the most important qualities on this list. Similar to generosity, kindness is about taking action. It is about expressing warmth and offering a gesture that can help another human being and making them feel welcomed and accepted. Also similar to generosity, acts of kindness can make you feel spectacular.

23. Optimism

Optimism is one of the most critical qualities required for seeing your way through life’s most difficult challenges.

However, it's about more than just overcoming challenges, it’s also critical for realizing success, as you’ll be faced with challenges along the way that seek to thwart you and you’ll need to have the strength to stay positive despite them.

24. Reliability

Reliability is one of those indirect traits that you don’t realize is important– until you let someone down. It doesn’t just affect them, it affects you. Specifically, it makes you feel horrible when you let someone down and a lack of reliability can damage your relationships -- arguably the most important factor for happiness and success.

25. Self-discipline

Discipline is one of the most critical success traits, especially if your definition of success involves owning your own business or working on your own terms. As soon as you’re on your own, you’ll find that lots of self-discipline is necessary if you want to stay on track to realize your goals.

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