One personality trait that guarantees success – do you have it?

15 June 2020


Have you ever wondered why some people are so successful whilst others aren’t? Studies show that there is one personality trait that is the determining factor for career success, higher wages, better health and even longevity.

This winning human quality is called conscientiousness. It is our ability to exercise self-discipline and control our impulses. Successful people have the discipline and will to do the things that unsuccessful people find hard to do.

It is said that successful and unsuccessful people have one thing in common- they both hate to do the things that they have to do, successful people just do it regardless. Whether it is waking up early, going for a jog (or in lockdown situation doing daily exercise at home), showing up on time or meeting deadlines – these activities are mundane and tiresome for everyone, however successful people just do it anyway.

This sense of discipline as opposed to being easy-going and disorderly is the number 1 predictor for academic and career success. According to the research conscientious people earn higher wages in their career and have higher job satisfaction.  In personal life, conscientious people maintain long-term relationships and stay married longer. Studies reveal that healthwise, conscientious people smoke and drink less, have less chances of stroke and risk of Alzheimer disease and live longer.

Now how would you know if you are a conscientious person? Ask yourself:

These tedious tasks in one’s life play out in ways far more significant than one can expect. They could be a reliable predictor for your professional and personal success in your later life.

If you are someone who is disciplined, orderly and persistent, there is research-based evidence to suggest that you will enjoy greater occupational prestige and income in your later life.

However, if you feel there is room for improvement, now might be the time to re-evaluate your life choices. The good news is that personality traits can change and evolve over time. Be specific and start with one aspect of your life.

Orderliness is a hallmark of a conscientious person. Tidying your desk might be a good place to start with. Outer order creates inner calm whereas clutter creates stress and wastes time- by trying to find the things when we need them.  Tidy your desk and keep to a daily habit of taking a few minutes to clear your desk before you finish work every day. Consider monitoring your progress with an app such as stickK.

Success creates a ripple effect; success in one area of your life will lead to success in other areas of life. In short, increasing conscientiousness takes practice but it is worth the time and effort!

With thanks to Iqra Choudry, Employment Support Officer, The Big Life Group


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