Success is hard to define because it differs between people. Some define success through their paycheck, the German luxury model sitting in the garage, or the number of promotions received up the corporate ladder.
Others see "success" measured by how many lives have been impacted through a noble business venture, the parenting of Valedictorian children, or fulfilling a personal mission in life.
And sometimes success eludes us because we're not even aware of it. We go through life measuring ourselves by other people's standards of success. We wrongly assume that success is "out there," while it may actually be within our reach.
So where do you stand? If unsure, start applying the success habits of people who've experienced it. When you inspect these closer, you'll realize that you're closer to success than you think.
1. Be around other successful people.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has been practicing this habit since his earliest days, and he calls it one of his keys to success: "It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction."
When you soak up the knowledge and learn the behaviors of successful people, it will only make you better and elevate your own success.
2. Get your mind right.
What successful people clearly understand is themselves. This is the greatest form of knowledge you can have, which is key to success. And knowing yourself starts with knowing your thoughts.
Lee J. Colan, co-founder of The L Group, and author of The Power of Positive Coaching, says, "You draw into your life that which you constantly think about--good or bad." In other words, if you are always thinking about negative things, then you are programming your mind to turn these thoughts into your reality.
"Negative thoughts are landmines along the pathway to being your best," says Colan. Fortunately, the reverse is also true. If you consistently and intentionally nurture positive thoughts and expectations, you paint a picture of future success on the walls of your mind.
3. Do what you love.
All successful people have a purpose that they can't help but pursue. Perhaps for you, it's the thing you absolutely love to do and that makes you come alive.
If you know what that is for you, and you're good at it, you're probably on the fast track toward your ultimate goal, whatever that is for you. If so, you are successful. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "Do what you love, and put your whole heart into it, and then just have fun."
4. Make it about the journey, not the end goal.
Successful people have a keen understanding that life is about the journey, not the destination.
When they experience setbacks, it's all part of the journey of experimenting, learning, growing, and failing forward. The journey itself is a picture of success.
When they do stumble and fall (which will happen over and over again), they are able to see through the hard moments, bounce back from the discouragement, and accept the next challenge with determination and resolve.
So avoid looking at success only as a pass or fail once you reach the top of the mountain (or don't). Experience it along the path, with its many hard turns and bumps on your journey of life.
5. Have a support system.
Successful people have an undying support system of individuals who passionately believe in their conviction. They will walk alongside you in pursuit of the same things that make you try and try again.
With every win -- however small or large -- a strong and loving support system will help celebrate with you and party like it's 1999.
6. Do whatever it takes.
If you're stuck in any part of your life and don't see a way forward, your first step toward achieving your goals is commitment. Once your level of commitment reaches a "point of no return," do what most successful people do next: act on your commitments.
If you know why you continue to be frustrated and depressed at work, yet you do nothing about it, you'll continue to be frustrated and depressed. Life rewards action--not insight, not wisdom, not understanding. Action.
People who succeed take purposeful, meaningful action; they don't just think about it. They don't plan themselves to death; they don't have a meeting to plan a meeting to set up a meeting to decide what to do.
There comes a time when you have to pull the trigger. To have what you want, you have to do what it takes, and do it with purposeful action.