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Seven Things Successful People Do Differently

09/09/2014 17:30 BST | Updated 09/11/2014 10:59 GMT

What leads to success?

How do you explain when others are able to achieve great things that seem to defy all the assumptions?

Some people are better placed, much smarter, more academic, wittier, more connected, yet don't succeed...

I have spent a decade researching, interviewing and studying the psychology of successful people and here's seven things I learned that they do differently.

1. They invest in themselves.

Successful people feel worthy of investing time and energy in themselves. They don't punish and abuse themselves with self-sabotaging behaviours, putting themselves down, neglecting themselves, criticising themselves and allowing others to criticise them. They don't self-medicate by binge drinking, smoking, overeating, and whipping themselves for not being perfect. The difference with successful people is they don't say: 'I should have done this and I should have done that.' That word 'should' is toxic, negative, shaming and cruel. Successful people are aware enough not to use that word on themselves and don't allow anyone else to use it on them either.

2. They trust their intuition.

Throughout history, intuition has been a proven asset for successful people. For example, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Simon Cowell, Conrad Hilton and Donald Trump have all publicly acknowledged how much they are guided by their intuition. Steve Jobs reminded the employees at Apple to: 'Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition; everything else is secondary.'

3. They master the art of discipline.

Successful people will sacrifice their social life for a few months to achieve a goal, get up two hours earlier each morning to get to the gym, or say 'No' to cake when wanting to lose weight. They make decisions about what behaviour best reflects their goals and values and many even have a mission statement.

4. They connect to their values.

They are aware values are not set in stone, although they have a set of core values that remain the same, such as honesty, loyalty and integrity. They revise this list from time to time to check their priorities and whether they are staying on track. Successful people focus on their top three values above all else. Having clear values allows them to make decisions that work in their favour.

5. They believe in perception, not reality.

Successful people understand that no matter what is going on in their life or what isn't, it's their interpretation of the situation that matters, not anyone else's. They believe interpretation and perception belong to them. Please read this a few times. Successful, confident people understand that reality doesn't exist: it is all about perception.

6. They are resilient.

Many famous people suffered obstacles but it didn't stop any of them following their dreams. So many use setbacks as excuses. Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, George Bernard Shaw, George Eastman (creator of Kodak), Albert Einstein and Quentin Tarantino didn't do well at school, while Avril Lavigne and Hilary Swank both quit school.

7. They take responsibility for themselves.

Many deflect and create distractions by watching excess television, surfing the net, lazing around or gossiping. All of this stagnates our growth. Many people become so mired in these distractions they then blame others when things don't work out the way they want, or they don't move forward with something. This is immature behaviour, not emotionally sober behaviour. Successful people don't shirk their responsibilities by investing time and energy in other people's issues. They look at what they need to be getting on with.

I would like to hear your experience. What have you learned from successful people that they do differently to other people?