What leads to success? Most people would probably come up with similar qualities that are necessary for success – determination, fortitude, courage, a willingness to keep learning. These are but a few of the more common ones. But research has also revealed that there are other traits that many successful people have in common, ones that may not readily come to mind.

For instance, research has shown that successful people hang out with people who are happy. That could be because having a positive, upbeat attitude is contagious. So, when you are looking for people to spend your time with, consider how happy they tend to be.

Another quality successful people have is that they are able to maintain an even keel through both success and failure. Although naturally pleased when they succeed at something, they never let it go to their heads. They see it as just another step along the way. The same is true with failure. They never let failure knock them off balance, never letting it get them too down. Again, they look at it as just another step along the way, a learning experience. They realize that failure is an opportunity to learn, that we learn more from our mistakes than from out successes.

Successful people are also good communicators. They know how to express themselves succinctly and coherently. They know how to get to the heart of an issue, to build a consensus. They know the art of persuasion, and they know that persuading is just as often a matter of emotional connection as it is intellectual connection.

Successful people are also able to appreciate the everyday things of life. As they go through their daily routine, most people are oblivious to the beauty around them. They are unable to appreciate the little things in life that are just as important to happiness as the big things. The phrase “taking the time to smell the flowers” makes the point well. Without seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, our lives become just dull routines.

It is important to make a conscious effort as well. You cannot take a passive stance toward happiness; you have to make the effort to be happy. You have to take the initiative to be optimistic and joyful. It doesn’t just come to you. Optimism is a habit, and like any habit, it needs to be done over and over again to become part your behavior.

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