Have you ever heard someone say, “I want to be successful today?”

I bet you’ve never heard someone say that (I certainly haven’t), but that is how every person wants to approach the day. No one wakes up and says, “I am going to be a total failure today.” No one wants to believe that they will not accomplish anything for the entire day.

Feeling successful is one of the best feelings in the world. Working in the entertainment industry has taught me that what “success” looks like usually involves money or status, but I’m not talking about just those. Success could mean accomplishing something you set out to do (make a sale, be a better spouse, and so on). For me, “success” means we completed a take with the actors delivering their lines with emotion. Sure, there are still hundreds of shots left, but we were successful with that one.

Even though the definition of success can change person to person, there are certain characteristics that all successful people share. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or what you are trying to accomplish – these characteristics allow for someone to be successful in whatever industry they are in – sales, hospitality, or parenting.


  1. They Take Everything in Moderation

There’s a cliché that you can only be successful if you “hustle” by working tirelessly pouring yourself into work and nothing else. It’s the idea that you will only be successful if you work 20-hour days, 7 days a week.

These are not true.

The most successful people I have ever met are also the most balanced in their work and home life. When they are at work, they are focused and driven towards doing the best they can, but they always take time to answer a call from a spouse or read a text from their children.

These people know the importance of having a balanced life, where work is not the most important thing. Being able to detach and spend time enjoying yourself (reading books, spending time with loved ones, etc.) is critical to your success. These times of relaxation and personal connections recharge your mind and body, so you don’t burn yourself out. Even a 5-minute phone call with a friend can instantly turn your mood around.


  1. They Embrace Change

Did you know the iPhone came out in 2007? Think about how much the world has changed in such a short time. The world will change, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. As a parent, my sons are teaching me the need for adaptation every day. I can’t expect to parent them the way I was – they are living in a completely different world than me. If I want a great relationship with my children, I must adapt to their world.

Every successful person I’ve worked with bursts with excitement whenever a change is occurring. They don’t stick to their old ways out of fear of the unknown – they welcome the chance to adapt to the new ways. This doesn’t mean they don’t experience setbacks – it just means they view setbacks as progress in learning how to approach the situation to succeed next time. Whenever a change occurs, welcome it as an opportunity to grow, because personal growth does not happen in a comfort zone.


  1. They Focus on Productivity instead of Activity

Everyone is busy – the barista who takes your coffee order, my sons when they’re on an online college Zoom Call, and the CEO of a major Hollywood studio. The challenge of being “busy” is when you think being “busy” means being “productive”.

  • “Busy” means you are doing something (activity).
  • “Productive” means you are doing something that matters and has value

I could be “busy” by sending 200 e-mails today. It would take a lot of time, but I would constantly be doing something.

I could be “productive” by getting 3 business people to close deals that will generate a substantial profit for my production company. There may not be as much “activity” as far as e-mails or phone calls, but the value from the 3 important conversations is much higher than sending 200 e-mails in a day.

For you, think about all the things you do on a normal day. How much of what you do is “activity” and how much of it is “productivity”? Are you staying “busy” without much value or results to show for it?

If so, you should re-evaluate how you approach your work to focus on the things that will help you become successful.


  1. They Meditate for Calm and Clarity

You would be shocked at how many people meditate. You may not see them doing it, but if you asked, you’d find there are a lot of people who meditate regularly.

In my case, most of the successful people I know meditate. When you think of “meditate”, you may think of half-day yoga sessions or fancy pillows to sit on. Meditation doesn’t have to be a whole production – most of the people I know who meditate do it for about 10 – 20 minutes a day.

It is just a way to calm yourself and clear your head. This allows you to think more intentionally about your actions and approach to the world, which will in turn help you understand where to focus your time and energy to be successful.

Meditation is not only for office professionals – many parents I know to meditate. They say this helps them learn how to communicate and connect with their families more, which leads to a happier life, which can lead to a more successful life.

Developing these characteristics as part of your personality will take time, so don’t feel you need to begin all of them at the same time. Pick one or two and practice them until they become a habit, then start practicing the next one. These characteristics all share the same theme – a healthy mind is a successful mind. Create a balanced life, embrace the changes, be productive, and take time to reflect on yourself. Your success depends on it.