Most of us watch in awe as the world's most successful people seem to make deals effortlessly, building a portfolio of wealth that we can only dream of enjoying. What do they have that we don't? And, how can we attain their level of success?

How successful people get into the spotlight
Credit: iwd

Some of the most successful people may have had a bit of luck, or were born into wealth, but there are many of the world's elite who achieved success with hard work and a mix of the following character traits:

1. Know Their Place

Starting with one of the most little-known character traits, the world's most successful people know their place. They know what they have to contribute to the world. Successful business people know that they have a solution to a common problem; successful actors and actresses know that they bring a certain charisma to a certain type of movie or TV show.

Take Steve Jobs and Tom Cruise, for example. Steve Jobs knew he was an innovator who could predict and fulfill market trends with ground-breaking consumer electronics. Tom Cruise knows that his action-star intensity explodes on the big screen. Could you image Steve Jobs as an actor? Or Tom Cruise as the head of Apple? All successful people know exactly what they contribute and where their skills or personal brand are best used.

2. Focus

The world's most successful people have a very narrow focus on a specific goal and they are able to remain focused on that goal and work tirelessly on that goal until it's completed. They don't have more hours in the day or an ability to work harder than the rest of us. They have focus on a goal and they remain fixed on that goal, unwavering until they achieve it.

Take a headlining movie star as an example. It takes a lot of focus to break into acting and then a lot of focus to get into movies and then a lot of focus to get into the right movies and then a lot of focus to be noticed by others and then a lot of focus to hit the big time. They remain unwavering to get there and willingly sacrifice their spare time and the unnecessary parts of life to achieve their goal.

3. Optimism

The world's most successful people are optimistic. They believe in what they are doing and are fulfilled by it. They are fueled by the idea that they are not only achieving something that most people cannot but that they are contributing something bigger to the world.

Optimism – perhaps even over-optimism – is necessary to achieve success because the more successful you become, the bigger of a target you become and detractors and distractions come out of the woodwork in an attempt to pull you down.

4. Resilience

The most successful people in the world are resilient. They get knocked down by challenges and detractors. They become derailed by obstacles. But they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and press forward toward their goal.

They choose to view these challenges as only minor setbacks (instead of major dream-crushers) and they ignore the small hassles because they have the bigger picture in mind.

We all dream for greater things in life, so why do only a few people ever attain it? One reason is the character traits they possess. Fortunately, these character traits can be learned. So go out there and achieve your dreams!