Secrets To Success: 5 Traits Of The Most Influential

This article tempts to breakdown the most the much needed traits for one to master their own destiny using five of the most legendary, iconic figures in the world. These include Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey, Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball, and Walt Disney. Here are 5 must-have traits of the most influential:


Trait #1: Enthusiasm

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was” – Muhammad Ali


Enthusiasm can be best described as a vain confidence of divine favor or communication. Its confidence pushed outwards and it is a necessity for success. Enthusiasm allows you to communicate your dreams to the world and gives others the confidence to believe in you. Muhammad Ali’s famous quote “float like a butterfly sting like a bee” is still heard through the boxing hall of fame as a symbol of his enthusiastic aura. (here’s an in-depth article on enthusiasm)

Muhammad Ali was as good a speaker as he was a boxer, which in turn, made him an even better boxer. Crowds would gather to hear him speak and the press was always publishing his witty remarks. His opponents often thought of him as cocky or big-headed but it always came back to haunt them when the final bell rang and Ali was claimed the victor. Muhammad Ali was a very smart boxer and he used this enthusiasm to express his confidence in a way that made everyone around him believe he would win, even before the fight began. Even if Ali didn’t believe it himself at the time, he understood the fake it to make it attitude and expressed what he wanted to be rather than what he was. This enthusiasm is what made him one of the greatest and most well-known boxers of all time.

One of the greatest scientists, Emerson, once stated “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Enthusiasm sparks the minds of the people around you. No matter where you are or where you’re headed, you are going to have to bring some people along with you and the best way to spark the minds of these people is with the enthusiasm that comes from the inspiration you have to reach your dreams. So the next time you’re giving a speech, making a sale or just having a conversation over coffee, be passionate, be confident and most of all, be enthusiastic!



Trait #2: Overcome Adversity

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey


By definition, adversity is another word for difficulties. Everyone has them, but only few overcome them. Believe it or not, almost every successful person has faced some form of adversity; however, their perception of their difficulties is what determined their success. In any area of life, you will face adversity, it all depends on how you deal with it that will either lead to success or lead to failure.

Oprah did not let adversity stand in her way of achieving success. To put things in perspective, by the time she was only 14, she had been raped, abused, and even secretly pregnant. However, she did not focus on the many problems she faced; instead she read books that kept her mind off of poverty. Oprah Winfrey found her passion in public speaking and knew she wanted to be on TV interviewing people. Even though she’s an African American, she’s a woman, she didn’t have the “Hollywood image”, and she came from humble beginnings, she remained focused on what she wanted to become, and blocked out all of the reasons why she might not make it. In other words, although the odds were against her, she put her energy towards what life could be like, regardless of the odds. As a result, Oprah became the richest woman in the world, and is an inspiration, not only to women & African American’s, but to anyone in the world who has to face challenges, in other words, pretty much everyone!

On your road to success, when faced with adversity, don’t let it bring you down, instead change your perspective, focus on what’s going right and use those difficulties as motivation to help you move forward. Anytime the odds are against you, think of Oprah and all of the odds she went against to get to where she is today.


Trait #3: Face Fears

“I’m so nervous. I’ve always been nervous, ever since I was a kid.” – Elvis Presley

There is no question that letting your fears win the battle by not overcoming them is one of the most commonly traveled routes to a mediocre life that leaves anyone thinking what could have been. But when we become bold enough to face our fears and step out of our comfort zones, than we get the opportunity to rise out of our norm and do what others think is not possible. Elvis Presley, one of the most successful musicians of all time, was in fact, extremely shy and shockingly, he was fearful of performing on stage. Instead of let these fears rob him of his talents; he decided to square up and face his fears directly.

It all began to unfold for young Elvis when he realized his inner desire to play music in front of others. However, he knew he had to shake his shyness and that would require him to get into the state of being uncomfortable. Elvis would proceed forward and begin performing in front of others by competing in Humes’ Annual “Minstrel” show. This was a significant breakthrough for Elvis since he recalled that the performance did a lot for his reputation and he claims that it was amazing how popular he became after that. Facing his fear was arguably the single biggest factor in his massive success story!

Reflecting to your own life, next time you notice a fear or something you’re not comfortable doing, try and relate to how Elvis overcame his obstacle. Instead of always doing what feels normal, comfortable or easy to you, try and challenge yourself to do what makes you feel nervous, or what frightens and scares you. The more you can do this, the more you will change for the better as you expand yourself and your limits. Successful people in all walks of life learned to understand that facing your fears is required if you wish to lead a life of victory.


Trait #4: Ignore the Non-Believers

“I’m not funny. What I am is brave.” – Lucille Ball

If you wish to do anything in this world, conquer your dreams or create a ton of success, then you must learn to not care what other people think or say about you. In the end, if you let others affect you, you will give “them” all the power, there goal was to bring you back down to their level, and as a result you won’t succeed.

Lucille Ball, who was the famous comedic actress known for entertaining and making people laugh for decades, was not always the star she became. Even though she was longing to make it on stage, she was too nervous to draw much notice. Lucille Ball stated that “I was a tongue-tied teenager spellbound by the school’s star pupil, Bette Davis”. And the school wrote to her mother saying “Lucy’s wasting her time and ours. She’s too shy and reticent to put her best foot forward.” It took a while before she could clear out all the voices from her mind. There came a point where Lucy just had enough of it and had to make a real conscious decision to not care about anybody else and only what she felt was right in her heart. She made the right decision or we would never have known of her to this day.

It’s an extremely wise idea to choose not to listen to what others think, and to cut out any of their wrong thinking from altering your own thinking. If people can`t do something, they want to tell you that you can`t do it either. Next time you take notice of your mind trying to justify with what will be accepted by the people around you, think of Lucille Ball’s story and realize that you only need to listen to your own heart.



Trait #5: Never Give Up

“It is good to have a failure while you are young because it teaches you so much.” – Walt Disney

Failure is nothing but a detour on the road to success. Every time you fail, there’s a lesson to be learned. Start to see failure as a good thing, as a teacher trying to teach you something new, because when you see failure in this perspective, it will only aid you in achieving a better lifestyle. Walt Disney credits his failures for much of his success.

Walt Disney, one of the most innovative visionaries, failed many times before he reached his dream. He did not let failure hold him back from doing what he loved, in fact he saw it as an opportunity to adjust and try something new. Disney was even told he “lacked artistic integrity” when he tried to get a job for a newspaper company. After working at a company that went bankrupt called Pesman Rubin Art Studio, Disney began his own company with a friend. Their company eventually failed forcing the two to find jobs. They eventually worked at a film company where they learned to create cel-animation. Being inspired, Disney decided to create his own company called “Laugh-O-Grams” but once again, the company went under. It wasn’t until Disney teamed up with his brother and moved to Hollywood to open a studio in the film industry that he succeeded.

Next time you’re faced with failure, remember how some of the greatest visionaries in the world have also failed. Learn to use your failures as a “wakeup call” that you’re doing something wrong, so that you can adjust your work and move forward. Don’t allow failure to get the best of you and use it as an excuse to give up. Success may be just beyond your next failure.