Every ambitious person asks him or herself the same question -- what will make me successful? What qualities, traits, or habits set those who achieve incredible things apart from those who merely dream about it?

Researchers and experts periodically turn out intriguing answers to this question (mindset matters hugely, for example, and apparently so does your network). But each of these findings seems like just one piece of the puzzle. If you could assemble all the pieces, what would you see?

The answer would probably look a lot like a recent blog post from Farnam Street. The piece pulls together wisdom from both science and thought leaders like Ryan Holiday, Ramit Sethi and Seth Godin to come up with an incredibly comprehensive list of the differences between elite performers and amateurs. Here are some of the most intriguing:

  1. Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is just the beginning.

  2. Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a process.

  3. Amateurs think they are good at everything. Professionals understand their circles of competence.

  4. Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them as a person. Professionals know they have weak spots and seek out thoughtful criticism.

  5. Amateurs value isolated performance. Think about the receiver who catches the ball once on a difficult throw. Professionals value consistency. Can I catch the ball in the same situation 9 times out of 10?

  6. Amateurs give up at the first sign of trouble and assume they're failures. Professionals see failure as part of the path to growth and mastery.

  7. Amateurs don't have any idea what improves the odds of achieving good outcomes. Professionals do.

  8. Amateurs focus on identifying their weaknesses and improving them. Professionals focus on their strengths and on finding people who are strong where they are weak.

  9. Amateurs focus on being right. Professionals focus on getting the best outcome.

  10. Amateurs think good outcomes are the result of their brilliance. Professionals understand when outcomes are the result of luck.

  11. Amateurs focus on the short term. Professionals focus on the long term.

  12. Amateurs focus on tearing other people down. Professionals focus on making everyone better.

  13. Amateurs make decisions in committees so there is no one person responsible if things go wrong. Professionals make decisions as individuals and accept responsibility.

  14. Amateurs show up inconsistently. Professionals show up every day.

  15. Amateurs believe that the world should work the way they want it to. Professionals realize that they have to work with the world as they find it.

What should you do with this information? Besides just being a valuable compendium of wisdom on achieving success, the massive run down of characteristics of the super accomplished could serve as a self-diagnostic checklist, allowing you to uncover areas to improve in order to increase your chances of making it big. So check out the complete post for more details if you're intrigued.

How many of these success predictors do you have?