DNA is the source code that determines who we are—it’s what makes us, us. So is there a “DNA” to top achievers? Is there a common “gene” that successful people all have?
If we could get to their DNA, there are things that would be at the core and fiber of all their beings. These are the genes we would find, the qualities successful people share:
1. They have a predisposition to setting high, lofty goals.
Top achievers are people who won’t and can’t settle for the status quo. They see average as a place they want to keep in the rearview mirror. Instead, they continually look for ways to stretch themselves—to get better, to do better, to be better. They set their sights on goals that others have never even thought of. They want to shoot so high that even if they miss, they go higher than everyone else.
2. They have an ability to focus intently on reaching those goals.
Many people can set goals, but just as many people can get sidetracked. High, lofty goals take a while to achieve, so there is plenty of time to be tempted to stray. Often, the things that sidetrack people can be good—but not the best. Successful people do not get sidetracked. They stay focused. They know where they are going. They have an ability to say no to the good things in order to get to the best things.
3. They have the willingness to sacrifice to succeed.
When the going gets tough, many people quit. When the going gets tough for top achievers, they remind themselves of the goals they have set. They remind themselves of what an accomplishment it will be for them and that the reward is worth pushing through temporary trials. They are willing to sacrifice personally in the short term in order to get the reward in the long term. Keeping their eyes on the big picture enables them to persevere through any pain on the way to the top.
4. They have tenacity.
Tenacity is the ability to “keep on going.” Successful people keep on going through tough times, through financial troubles, when people question them, when they are tired—even when they would rather quit. They keep on going because they know the prize is ahead, and they won’t quit before they get there.
5. They have a heightened self-awareness.
Successful people know they cannot be lone rangers on the way to the top. They know no one makes it by themselves. They recognize their weaknesses—they know where they need more work. They see the resources that can help them get ahead, and they don’t just use them—they utilize them.
6. They have a desire to help others achieve, too.
Top achievers know they can make a difference for others. They look at how they can bring people with them, not how they can leave them in the dust.
Your real DNA? You’re stuck with it. The good news about this DNA is that you can go out and work on it. You can get better. You can be successful. You can be a top achiever.