Psychologist Henry Cloud observed the behaviors and attitudes of successful people. The number of those traits suggested the title of his book, 9 Things You Simply Must Do.
Cloud does not list trait first, but I think humility is a particularly important factor to a successful and meaningful life. Being humble isn’t about putting oneself down; it is about having a proper perspective. We are all human beings with strengths, weaknesses, problems and opportunities. Humble people see the truth about themselves. They are willing to listen to others. Humility is an attitude for learning and growth.
Though it superficially seems opposed to humility, successful people are also brave. They do not let the reactions and feelings of others diver them from doing the right thing. They deal with problems right away. They know when to let things go. They take a stand and oppose what is wrong. They take responsibility for the lives and take action to make them better.
Another characteristic that I think is important is that successful people break down goals into small, doable tasks. Then they do those tasks diligently. Most big goals are achieved in this very manner.
Cloud illustrates each of the nine things with both positive and negative examples. These examples are drawn from people he has known, patients, and his own experiences. In each chapter, he describes someone who practiced the behavior and someone who did not. In several cases, the person who did not initially engage in successful behavior found a way, usually with support from others, to change their behavior and change their results.
Cloud’s message is that people can change their lives if they are willing to adopt behaviors that lead to success. This starts on the inside. The exterior life begins with the interior life. Successful people dig up what is in them, deal with the bad, and work diligently to bring the good things to fruition.
Henry Cloud also wrote