12 universal traits of world-class winners anyone can use to dominate their field

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These 12 specific, unique traits are always found in the top performers of any field — art, sales, sports, writing, business, bodybuilding, entrepreneurship, whatever. 

1. They don’t compete with anyone; Everyone competes with them.

Competitors watch the winners. But winners just look forward.

The more you look at how much faster others are (or how much faster you are than others), the more likely you are to crash.

World-class winners are always focused entirely on their own development. They don’t compare themselves to how others are doing.

Study the game and its players all you can, but never compare yourself to them.

2. They will do whatever it takes to become the best in their field

Your level of success is determined by your level of investment.

If you are not seeing the results you want, it’s likely you’re still not willing to do whatever it takes yet.

3. They never stop improving

“How much you improve is up to you.” -Anders Ericcson

Research has shown as many as 50% of people haven’t read more than a handful of books after college. Less than half of people with gym memberships never go consistently!

These and many other telling studies point to a simple fact:

Most people stop improving.

But world-class winners never stop.

4. They’re always the hungriest person in the room

There will always be people with better genetics, more money, more powerful connections, a nicer car, better looks, more talent, and more luck.

But there is one thing you can always be the best at:

How hungry you are.

Many world-class winners were not expected to win. That’s why so many of them play with a chip on their shoulder — they were told their whole lives they were too short, not strong enough, or that they just “didn’t have what it took.”

5. They design their diet, body, and sleep cycle to produce greatness

“Your body is a business you have to take care of, or the business goes away.” -Tim Grover, personal trainer of Michael Jordan

If you want to produce world-class performance, you need to operate with a world-class engine.

Most people don’t take their health, diet, or sleep very seriously. They consume excessive caffeine for energy and excessive alcohol for relaxation. Most people don’t eat or sleep well; research has shown as many as 70 million Americans have sleep problems like insomnia.

World-class winners understand everything is connected. One area of your live affects every other area.

6. They don’t tolerate mediocrity

“Remember: we all get what we tolerate. So stop tolerating excuses within yourself, limiting beliefs of the past, or half-assed or fearful states.” -Tony Robbins

World-class winners have no tolerance for anything below world-class. Their choices, actions, diet, relationships, and how they spend their time align with how a world-class performer operates.

The higher your tolerance for mediocrity, the more off-track your life will become.

What you tolerate is what you get. Choose to accept nothing than the best option available.

7. They never make excuses and take full responsibility for everything

Most people who have never accomplished much in their lives are full of excuses and reasons why.

World-class winners take full responsibility for everything in their life. If they came up short, it was their fault. If they didn’t succeed, there was no one to blame but themselves.

8. They prize mental resilience more than anything

The higher you ascend, the more obstacles will try to pull you back down.

As David Schwartz once said, “All around you is an environment that is trying to pull you down to Second-Class street.” If you let it, you’ll always stay at ground-level.

Mental resilience is what keeps you going in the face of more and more obstacles. There’s an old Haitian proverb that goes, “Behind mountains are more mountains.” Difficulties will never stop.

But you can cultivate the mental resilience to progress despite any adversity.

9. They are extremely focused on only the most important priorities

Tim Ferriss once wrote that most people have an endless stream of worries that “bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.”

World-class winners are extremely focused on only that which is most important. They do not allow email, social media, the news, or a trending new app to make them lose focus.

10. They constantly operate in peak flow states

Most people never operate at their best levels. They have forgotten what it feels like to be so involved in a task, time seems to stand still as you move at the speed of light.

World-class winners constantly operate in flow states. They have set up routines and schedules so they enter flow states daily, and protect these periods of time viciously.

11. They turn every obstacle into an advantage

World-class winners understand obstacles and problems are advantages. The larger the task, the bigger the victory. The more difficult the problem, the more opportunity to learn and grow.

The world’s most successful people deal with incredibly difficult, trying, and complicated problems, every day. With more wealth and opportunity comes more responsibility. If you’re not equipped to handle the pressure, you’ll surely break.

Obstacles are not problems — they are opportunities to grow and learn. The bigger the obstacle, the more potential growth.

12. They surround themselves with people who hold extremely high standards

“All of us, more than we realize, are products of the thinking around us. And much of this thinking is small.” -David Schwartz

The people around you have huge influences on your life.

World-class winners are extremely attuned to the attitudes of others around them. They know winners become better by hanging out with other winners — and become worse when constantly pulled down by those with low standards.

World-class winners are always upgrading their personal standards, and they know the best way to do this is to hang around people with higher standards than their own.