10 Most Valuable Human Attributes

Posted by Todd Smith

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Over the last 30 years, I have made a list of more than 1000 little things that influence who we become, what we achieve, and how we are viewed by others.

In reviewing this list, I selected what I believe to be the 10 most valuable human attributes. These are the 10 things that can have the greatest impact on your career advancements and earnings and are not listed in any specific order.

To learn more about any of the points, simply click the link to read more.

1. Desire – In his famous book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said “Desire is the starting point of all achievement.” For things in your life to get better, you must first have the desire for them to get better. For your income to grow, you must first have the desire for it to grow. But simply desiring a better life or higher level of income is not enough. Your desire must be strong enough that you will do what is required of you.

  • Is your desire to grow your income strong enough that you will do what is required of you each day to increase your value to the market?

2. Discipline – Self-discipline is a pattern of behavior where you choose to do what you know you should do, rather than what you want to do. It’s the inner drive that pushes you to get out of bed to exercise rather than sleep in. Simply put, it’s doing what you know you should do but don’t feel like doing and often requires that you push yourself outside your comfort zone.

  • Are you willing to do what you know you should do every day to increase your income, rather than what you want to do?

3. Accountability – Make no mistake about it: you cannot achieve any worthwhile goal if you don’t hold yourself accountable. The reason is simple: it’s your life!  No one is going to hold you accountable for doing what’s required of you to achieve your goals. If you have to be held accountable at work, don’t expect to be promoted or to experience any type of significant career advancement.

  • Are you willing to hold yourself accountable every day for your actions, responsibilities, and goals?

4. Integrity – While people without integrity may make it to the top, they seldom stay there. The news is full of examples every day. To me, there is no human quality more important than integrity. You can spend a lifetime building your reputation and destroy it in five seconds by crossing the line. Remember, the best way to keep from having someone question your integrity is to make sure your integrity is not questionable.

  • Will you make a commitment to build your life on a foundation of integrity and never cross the line?

5. Respect –Unless it’s your job, would you follow someone you don’t respect? Would you promote someone you don’t respect?  Would you recommend or endorse someone you don’t respect?  Would you want to be friends with someone you don’t respect?  Point made! There are hundreds of little things that influence people’s respect for you, but if I were to give you one tip, it would be to always treat others with respect.  People won’t respect you if you don’t respect them.

  • Are you willing to focus on doing the little things every day that will cause people’s respect for you to grow?

6. Responsibility – My definition of responsibility is doing what is expected of you. When people send you an email, SMS, or party invitation, they expect a response in a timely period. When you have appointments, people expect you will be on time. When you have a deadline, people expect you will be done on time. When a person hires you to do a job, they expect you will do the job to the best of your ability.

  • Will you commit to doing what is expected of you, even if it’s things you didn’t agree to do in advance (like returning a call, SMS, email, or party invitation), in a timely manner?

7. Humility – What type of attitude quickly wins respect? Humility—a modest view of one’s own importance or rank!  It’s about being open to the possibility of improvement. By its very nature, humility is not an attitude we ever perfect. It’s a practiced trait that requires constant monitoring, especially since arrogance—egotism, superiority, conceit— is always tugging at our human nature.

  • Will you begin to adopt an attitude of humility and be open to growing and getting better every day?

8. Communication – One of the key factors influencing how we are viewed is how we communicate. When listening to people, do we look them in the eyes, show an interest in what they are saying, and not interrupt? When typing emails, do we take pride in making sure they are clear, concise, friendly, and properly formatted? When we walk into the office, do we acknowledge people with a smile and warm greeting?

  • Are you willing to learn what you need to do to improve your communication skills? If so, click the link above.

9. Likability – If you were going to hire someone for a job and had two equally-qualified candidates, would you be more likely to hire the person you liked the most? If you were going to promote someone and had two great employees, would you be more likely to select the person you liked the most? If you were interviewing Realtors to sell your home, would you be more likely to select the one you liked the most? When you are friendly, pleasant, and demonstrate appealing qualities, you will gain an important edge in this competitive world.

  • Will you start demonstrating the qualities that make people likable?

10. Personal initiative – Personal initiative is your inner power that starts all action. It is the enemy of procrastination. It’s the spark that initiates your productive actions. It’s recognizing what needs to be done and doing it without being told. Napoleon Hill talked about personal initiative at length in his ninth principle of success. He said, “Success is something you must achieve without someone telling you what to do or why you should do it.”

  • Being honest with yourself, do you take the initiative to do the things that need to be done each day to advance your career? If not, will you start today?

When you focus on doing the things that increase your income, not only will doors of opportunity open, but more importantly, your self-respect will grow and you will be proud of the person you see in the mirror.  

About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.


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