7 Scientifically-Proven Traits That Predict Future Success | campus.sg

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Who doesn’t want to be successful? Most of us think success is based on things like intelligence, luck, and connections – however, according to science, people are more likely to succeed in life if they have these personality traits that inspire perseverance.

If you have these 7 traits, then they’re scientifically proven to increase your chances of success.

You’re able to delay gratification

You may have heard of the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment in which children are offered a marshmallow, and told that they would get a second only if they’re patient enough to wait a while before eating it. The results were telling: those who waited for the second marshmallow ended up with higher academic achievements and better scores in a range of other life measures, including handling stress. In short, a strong impulse control means being able to deny immediate gratification for more important long-term pursuits.

You’re in an open network

Everyone knows that it’s good to be friends with many types of people of all social networks. However, many of us tend to end up in closed networks of like-minded people, which can have negative long-term effects. To put it simply: if you hang out with the same people all the time, you’ll have the same old ideas, but with an “open network”, you’re more likely to be exposed to new ideas.

You’re conscientious

Of all the traits, conscientious behaviors have “staggeringly” high correlation rates with success. Studies have shown that conscientiousness impacts everything from a person’s salary to their ability to find work and keep it, among other things. This is because conscientious people are organised and responsible, so they’re able to plan ahead and stick to them.

Studies have also shown that if a person has self-control and is organised, their cognitive functioning may withstand the effects of age and disease on the brain better than someone who lacks those qualities.

You love reading

People who love reading are often more empathetic, creative, and intelligent, since reading improves brain connectivity and function. Around 26% of those who read say they enjoy learning, gaining knowledge, and discovering information. Even the busiest people always find the time to read – Bill Gates and Barack Obama are voracious readers, and Warren Buffett recommends reading at least 500 pages a day. Elon Musk taught himself physics and rocket science simply by reading a lot of books.

You believe in free will

Do you believe that you have free will or that you’re bound by fate? According to studies, when people stop thinking that they’re in control of their lives, they act less responsibly and give into instincts more readily – they’re more likely to cheat, be less kind to others, and act aggressively. Lowering belief in free will also leads to conformity, which is a shirking of responsible autonomy; simply put, it’s a lazy way of avoiding the effort of thinking for oneself.

Conversely, a strong belief in free will is associated with positive attitudes, from better career performance to greater likelihood of overcoming addiction. This belief in free will makes an individual freely act to accomplish personal goals and improve life quality.

You thrive in adversity

The “adversity quotient” or AQ, refers to how people respond to challenges, and those who are primed to deal with adversity are more motivated to exceed beyond their current circumstances. Successful people don’t shy away from failure and adversity — they embrace it, because they recognise that overcoming challenges makes them more resilient and more bold to take on risks. A recent study found that those who take more risks ascend to CEO position in half the amount of time as the average person. 

Conversely, those who are content with their lives are typically less likely to rock the boat and challenge themselves, and possibly deny themselves future success. According to Paul Stoltz, author of the Adversity Quotient, “everyone faces adversity. The difference is how people handle it.” The Quitters are often bitter and resentful and the loudest whiners.

You’ve got grit

Grit is perseverance, and is sometimes referred to as mental toughness. It’s your capacity to dig deep and do whatever it takes — even sacrifice, struggle, and suffer — to achieve your goals. Research has shown that grit is a stronger predictor of success than talent. This is because grit is what turns talent into skill – how many people have you known to have certain talents but for some reason never did anything with it? On the flip side, we also know people who’re successful because of their hard work and perseverance.

You’ve definitely heard these lines: “falling down nine times and getting up ten” or “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. That is grit.

Cultivating good habits is the best predictor of success

Everyone has different ideas about how someone’s so successful, and yet, some of the most successful folks are often the last anyone would predict. If you want success, perhaps cultivating some of these good habits may be a step in the right direction.