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5 things successful people do



Want to be successful? Not just financially but in life in general – you know, good friends, positive relationships, close family and, naturally, a fulfilling career. It’s not a question many people in Dubai or anywhere else would greet with a shake of their head, but getting there isn’t going to just happen. We all need a nudge in the right direction every now again.

In his new book, 100 Things Successful People Do, Dubai-based author, mentor and leadership coach Nigel Cumberland offers some straightforward, actionable reminders on how to get on the right path. ShortList dug out five of our favourites that we’ll be trying to put into practice from now on.

1.  Remember people
The sell:
“If you remember people, they will remember you.”
The rationale:  It’s delightful when someone you haven’t met for a long time shows that they remember you. If you remember people, they will remember you and that’s essential if you want to be successful in life. So keep a notebook. Jot down names and a few personal details of everyone you meet and refresh your memory before you meet again.

2. Give reading your full attention
The sell:
 “Put simply, reading gives you a broader and deeper understanding of things.”
The rationale: It’s hard to imagine anyone who chooses not to read leading a genuinely successful life. It really doesn’t matter whether you read fiction or non-fiction, what matters is that you seek out writing that feeds your mind and soul and gives you inspiring and uplifting thoughts, insights and information. Reading gives you a new vantage point from which to view your own life.

3. Be more than your 9-5
The sell:
“Remember, work is only one aspect of who you are.”
The rationale: Does telling someone about your job really capture who you are? Are you happy to be defined as “that person in that role in that company”? Work is only one part of how you live your life. And even if you are successful in your job, is it really “success” if you’re not doing anything else?

4. Live within your means
The sell:
“To achieve your life goals, you’re going to need money.”
The rationale: No, you do not need to be a millionaire to be a “success” but no successful person has ever ignored their finances. A red light should go on when you’re borrowing to buy things for the house or go on holiday – that means you’re using your future income to consume more now.

5. Practise gratitude
The sell: “Be grateful and demonstrate sincere thanks.”
The rationale: If you’ve ever heard someone fresh out of hospital focus on the poor quality of the food rather than on being well again, you’ll understand this. Being thankful is good for your health. In a University of California study, those who exhibited higher levels of gratitude have better sleep, more positive moods and fewer symptoms of potential heart failure. Want to be successful? Be grateful.

100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living is AED63 (hardback) from

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