Successful People Versus Unsuccessful People

I stumbled upon this list a few weeks ago in my Facebook newsfeed (thanks Lisa Franklin Hessel!). I’m not sure of the original author but it struck a chord and seems to be taking a nice little tour around the internet.

While the list is a bit black and white, it does paint an interesting picture.

Successful People versus Unsuccessful People










I’m in 94% agreement. (Is a little television each day is really so bad? And sometimes you have to scratch the perfectly planned to-do list.)

All in all, I find this a lovely set of reminders. In life and at work.

I would add a few more:

Successful People Unsuccessful People
Take the first step to mend a broken relationship Wait for someone else to apologize first
Seek the opinions of those who think differently Surround themselves with like-mindedness
Know when to say no Are addicted to busyness
Evolve Stay stuck where they are
Challenge the norms Are comfortable with sacred cows
Talk straight Spin the truth


The message in both lists is simple: Look beyond today. Look beyond yourself. 

What would you add?


Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. Connect with her on Twitter@MartaSteele or through email at

Image courtesy of ergodigital.


About Marta Steele

Partner and Community Manager at PeopleResults
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  • Heather Nelson

    Great post Marta! I would add:

    Successful people: Get comfortable dealing with ambiguity.

    Unsuccessful people: Seek control

  • Faith Fuqua-Purvis

    Love the list as well as your additions.

    I agree with Heather, with the expection that I believe successful people also seek to control. They don’t necessarily try to control a people or a situation but rather work to bring some structure, organization, and control to chaos and ambiguity.

  • Faith Fuqua-Purvis

    The addition I would make to the list is that “successful people” do not necessarily measure “success” in the same way.

    There are many who operate from the left side but have “business” and “title” success without having emotional, family, or whole-life success.

    There are many at the top in organizations who operate as found on the right… I just wish (hope and pray) that they move a bit to the left

  • Jim Lee

    I would add:
    Successful People: LISTEN
    Unsuccessful People: TALK TOO MUCH WITHOUT CONTEX

  • Marta Steele

    A great start to version 3.0 . . .
    I love these additions, Heather, Faith and Jim. Keep them coming!