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Most successful people in the world and what they did right

To understand how some people have become more successful than the others one needs to first understand the definition of success. Does success mean amassing a lot of wealth? Or does it mean name, fame, recognition and money automatically comes when one has the former three. Let’s find out what success means in the material world, what success stands for successful people and how they handle success once they achieve it.

Famous successful people

Oprah Winfrey grew up in the church. She says a church recitation at the age of eight young years which read “I am the master of my fate.  At that young age she wrote these words down on her mirror and read them to herself every day. She gives credit to one’s own self, the energy that one puts out in the world coming back to them. Her career in television started at age 16 and by age 19 she launched her own talk show – the Oprah Winfrey Show – it was the top show for 21 years. She went on to launch her own network called OWN – the Oprah Winfrey Network, which was called a bold disaster by almost all news channels. That every incident is a learning from which we can be better people and achieve even greater things if we only learn to adjust our views of looking at things. OWN is still up and working today and was definitely not a failure.

Arnold Schwarzenegger born in 1947 in Austria, he wanted to get out of Austria as a young child. He wanted to do something unique and big with his life. He saw a documentary of America in school and was massively impressed. He wanted to be part of the high rise buildings and the six lane roads, the huge bridges in America and not the small houses and farming in Austria. He decided to become a body builder and an actor like Reg Park. He credits success to having a vision and in knowing where they are going. He had a vision and every time he was at the gym, every rep he did reminded him of the goal he was working hard for. A vision in the mind, plus hard work is the mantra for Arnold’s lifetime success. He won the Mr. Universe contest at the age of 20 in London – the youngest Mr. Universe ever. He says, no matter what we do in life, we should have a purpose, a reason and a burning desire for doing it. According to Arnold, if you do not have a goal and vision for yourself, you will end up settling for whatever comes along and that is not a successful life. This kind of a life is a drag. A person not following their passions is the biggest reason they end up in a wrong job and are unhappy for the rest of their lives. He went on to becoming the Governor of California. His second rule is not to listen to naysayers. When you share your dreams with others the first answer you will receive is that it’s impossible or it can’t be done. But it’s not up to others to decide what one does with their lives.

Jack Ma, founder and CEO of the Alibaba group, says if you want to be successful learn from the mistakes made by others and not from success stories. He also believes to be successful, don’t try to be the best, but try to be the first. Creating something new will automatically make you successful.

Successful people who failed before succeeding

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Michael Jordan had lost again and again, 300 games to be precise, missed more than 9,000 shots in his career in his own words, but never gave up. He says he succeeded only because he failed and learnt and got up and never gave up.

Sylvester Stallone one of the most successful Hollywood actors was homeless and had to sell his dog to buy food. He continued working on his movie script. He says the world is a nasty place and you will be beaten down to your knees and kept there if you allow that to happen to yourself.

Books recommended by successful people

Check out some of the books recommended by successful people after they went through hardships in life and climbed up the ladder to reach the top of the world. Some of these books are excellent motivators especially for those rainy days.

  • My experiments with truth by Mahatma Gandhi
  • Life is what you make of it by Peter Buffett, son of Warren Buffet.
  • Where good ideas come from by Steven Johnson
  • Moon walking with Einstein
  • Tap Dancing to work by Carol Loomis
  • Making the modern world by Vaclav Smil
  • The Sixth extension by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The man who fed the world by Leon Hesser
  • The Rosie Project: A novel by Graeme Simsion (a love story)


Most people do not become successful at what they do because they lack the vision. A clear vision is needed to achieve things in life. Then, having a vision itself is not enough, one needs to work hard and put in a lot of efforts and determination to achieve greatness. Successful people were once ordinary people like anyone else. It is through their vision, determination and hard work that they could change the way history spoke about them.

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