Character traits play a crucial role in navigating a culture that idolizes the youth. We live in a culture that idolizes the youth. We are constantly being told about the latest, freshest YouTuber or influential person who has become extraordinarily wealthy in their early twenties or even before. And this can make those of us who didn’t achieve extraordinary success at a young age feel inadequate.
The truth is, there’s no limit to success, and character traits play a crucial role in this journey. Actor Samuel L. Jackson didn’t land a major film role until he was 46 – just like Ellen Rik Mains, who was 46 when she got her first successful role. Vera Wang didn’t start designing until the age of 40, and Colonel Sanders didn’t open his first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant until he was in his 60s.
But often, specific character traits are needed in later life to achieve success, different from those that can bring success early on.
If you want your success to be a long journey, here are some character traits you should cultivate:
1) Patience: The Virtue of Perseverance
At the forefront of the character traits that pave the way for success later in life is patience. It’s not a groundbreaking revelation, but its importance cannot be overstated. Pursuing long-term goals demands a substantial reservoir of patience because the landscape of life changes over extended periods.
Consider my own life—a testament to the power of patience. While I may not boast mega-success, I’ve achieved a fulfilling career as a writer. However, this journey wasn’t without its challenges. Patience became my guiding light as I navigated through undesirable jobs, periods of discouragement, and a seeming stagnation of my dreams. Patience, in this context, doesn’t equate to idleness; rather, it signifies the ability to persist in working towards your goals even when the path seems arduous.
2) Resilience: Turning Setbacks into Stepping Stones
No one traverses the journey of life without encountering obstacles. What distinguishes those who achieve success in later life is their resilience—the ability to transform setbacks into opportunities for growth. Resilient individuals view challenges as chances to enhance their character traits, theories and actions, rather than allowing them to derail their progress.
Psychology today defines resilience as a “psychological strength that allows some people to bounce back from life’s adversities at least as strong as before.” In simpler terms, resilience not only helps navigate life’s difficulties but also empowers individuals to use those difficulties to become better versions of themselves.
On the lengthy path to success, resilience ensures that failures are not roadblocks but rather stepping stones towards victory. Those who find success in later life harness the power of resilience to shape their failures into the foundation of their triumphs.
3) Perseverance: Enduring the Journey
Closely aligned with resilience, perseverance is another indispensable character traits on the road to success. The individuals we often admire for achieving success later in life are those who displayed unwavering perseverance during their journey. This trait allows individuals to persist through the highs and lows, keeping them on the path to success for years when it seems that nothing is progressing.
Perseverance becomes a critical factor when aiming for success later in life. It is the ability to endure, to keep going despite challenges, and to stay focused on the long-term goals.
4) Adaptability: Embracing Change
Change is a constant in life, and adaptability is one of the crucial character traits key to success in later years. The ability to embrace new possibilities and technologies sets apart those who succeed after facing setbacks. Consider the transformative impact of the internet, changing the dynamics of various industries. Those who adapted to the technological wave were the ones who showcased superior performance.
In a world that is ever-evolving, being adaptable becomes crucial for those who aspire to achieve success in later life. Embracing change and staying open to new possibilities is a prerequisite for navigating the complexities of an evolving landscape.
5) Lifelong Learning: The Fountain of Knowledge
Dr. Seuss once articulated the significance of learning: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” The importance of lifelong learning cannot be overstated when aiming for success later in life. It is the acknowledgment that there is always more to discover, and the willingness to explore diverse realms of knowledge.
People who achieve success later in life often attribute their accomplishments to a commitment to lifelong learning character traits. They understand that they don’t know everything, and they leverage every opportunity to learn, using knowledge as a catalyst for progression.
6) Self-awareness: The Key to Personal Evolution
One of the invaluable aspects of achieving success later in life is the time it provides for self-discovery character traits. Life teaches us not only about our strengths but also about our weaknesses. This self-awareness, gained through experiences and failures, becomes a shield against the pitfalls of fame and success.
Individuals who succeed later in life are mature, better-focused, and have a clearer understanding of themselves. This self-awareness helps them navigate the intricacies of personal and professional life, staying true to their desires rather than succumbing to the allure of celebrity.
7) Vision: Beyond the Horizon
Contrary to the notion that success is a sprint to the finish line, late bloomers emphasize the significance of a strong vision. Michael Hyatt, a renowned CEO and business expert, highlights the power of a robust vision. It allows individuals to pursue endeavors that may seem impossible to others. The strength of vision becomes the cornerstone for resilience, enabling individuals, like late-blooming entrepreneurs, to stand firm for years character traits.
8) Compassion: The Heartbeat of Success
Compassion is often a somewhat underrated aspect of success. However, many believe that to progress in life, you must be ruthless and ready to push anyone aside who comes in your way. In reality, it’s quite the opposite.
As this article reveals, compassion helps us understand others, leading to a better understanding of ourselves. It not only makes us better but also helps us impact others, a skill that is extremely valuable in leadership, sales, and all other facets of success character traits.
Compassion helps us understand the needs and desires of others. It not only makes us better but also assists in understanding ourselves better. People who achieve success later in life often excel at using their compassion to improve their own well-being and deeply understand the emotions of others.
9) Optimism: Navigating Life’s Challenges
Another highly underrated aspect of success in life is optimism. I don’t mean that you should be blind to the risks and challenges of the path you’re on—quite the opposite. Understanding the challenges thoroughly is necessary if you want to succeed.
However, you also need a considerable amount of optimism character traits to see past the difficulties of the past and keep your eyes on your goals. You have to believe that what you want to achieve is possible and that things can work out for the best.
Every theory about life differs, but optimism is a perspective that you can foster over time. A healthy level of optimism can help you navigate through tough times when you are working towards success later in life.
10) Risk-Taking: Illuminating Paths Less Traveled
Lastly, often overlooked character traits for success is one that not many recognize. Everyone values hard work. Still, very few understand that the real reward in this world comes from an individual’s capacity to take risks.
Certainly, you can stay in the same job or city for years or even decades. It may feel safe and familiar. However, the real rewards, whether you achieve success early or later in life, come to those who are willing to take risks.
This doesn’t mean being reckless. Instead, it means taking calculated risks that can expose you to the possibilities of failure, but at the same time, shed light on the greater possibilities of success.
Success later in life is about embracing character traits like patience, resilience, adaptability, and lifelong learning. Illustrated by figures like Samuel L. Jackson and Colonel Sanders, these Character traits help navigate challenges, turning setbacks into opportunities. The journey is enriched by self-awareness, compassion, optimism, and perseverance. Ultimately, success is a lifelong pursuit, with character traits serving as the guiding force.
More Info: Role of Self-Discipline