15 Things Smart Tough People All Do

As a member of the Accelerators community, I know you’re always looking to improve how you look and feel.

I’ve been re-reading one of my all time favorite books, “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher. Yep, I’m a sucker for self-help books. But this book is different.

His writing is thought provoking and downright hysterical at times… and if you need a little “pep talk” about life, I highly recommend you check it out. And…

It got me thinking about the different factors that make some people are successful and reach their goals… while others fall by the wayside.

Here are the top 15 things smart tough people all do:

#1: Fail forward

Let’s talk failure first, since it is THE most important factor to success.

Here the thing…

The only way you make progress is to take action. The problem? Everything you try won’t work. In fact, most of the time you’ll stumble and fail.

How do I know this?

I’ve failed MORE times than I can remember. Truth is, most of the ventures I’ve started have failed. And while at first I was upset about failing. Now I’m cool with it. Why? It’s the only way to success.

You see, if you don’t try (and keep trying different things) – you’re not even in the game.

So don’t be afraid of failure. Sure. I know it’s really hard in the beginning and it doesn’t feel good. But it’s all part of the process – and the better you become at failing – the more likely you’ll succeed.


#2: Be Courageous

It takes guts to go out on a limb and try something new. You have to be tough. So it’s no surprise courage is a trait of smart and tough people.

What’s the difference between fear and courage?

Dan Sullivan sums it up perfectly in this quote…

“Fear is wetting your pants. Courage is what you do with wet pants.”

I couldn’t agree with this more!

#3: Investment minded – not opportunity minded

I’m not a fan of people who are also looking for the next “magic pill” or quick fix. It’s basically buying a solution. And known as having an opportunity mindset.

Now don’t get me wrong… it’s great to look for opportunities! But more often than not, promises of “instant weight loss” or “overnight riches” is a load of bull.

Nothing worth achieving happens overnight. That’s why people who win the lottery often go bankrupt pretty quickly.

And here’s a great analogy of this…


The truth is you need to think about investing – not only your money – but your time to apply what you learn and take action on it! (there it is again)

If you change your mindset to play the long game, you’re setting youtslef up for success from the get go.

#4: Eliminate negativity

Do you ever complain about a “friend” being a Debbie downer…. But you still hang out with them on a regular basis? Or a restaurant that has terrible service…. But you keep going anyway?

Stop it. Now.

Getting rid of negative trolls from your life is hands down the best thing you can ever do.

And not only should you eliminate negative people… but negative anything. Like the news, social media outlets or anything that makes you feel like crapiola.

Yes, it might sound extreme… however I challenge you to cut the negativity from your life and see the difference.

#5: Don’t let the small things get you down

Yep, you’ve gotta be tough to handle rejection. Especially if you’re trying lots of new things and failing forward on a regular basis.

And some days, it will feel like the entire world is against you and you’re spinning your wheels.

However… don’t let the small things get to you. By that, I mean only worry about the things YOU can control. For example, you can’t control what other people think of you – so don’t worry about it! And how other people react to your ideas – you can’t control it!

The truth is, it’s a waste of time and energy.

And when you look back on it, you’ll think “ha, that was silly”.

#6: Surround yourself with people better than you

You might have heard it’s always best to be the “dumbest person in the room” or you’re in the wrong room. It’s true….

And here’s why…

You will learn so much more, and it automatically makes you play up a level. Same goes for fitness and health. Hang with folks stronger or fitter than you – or with similar goals to what you want to achieve – and it will instantly happen for you through osmosis. Just kidding – remember point #3. Nothing will magically happen.

(Oh and ever watch the movie about the underdog team beating the champion and winning the game? That’s the power)

#7: Plan Your Day

Smart people know TIME is their greatest asset. And the only thing you can never get back. That’s why it’s so important to plan your day the night before.

Yes, the night before.

You see, if you wait until the morning to plan your day, you’ve already used up willpower and energy to think and create the list, when you oculd have hit the ground running.

I’ll be completely honest with you here. I never used to do this. And my days were long and chaotic. I couldn’t think clearly, and I was never as productive as I could have been.

However, once I made a point to get into the habit of planning my day the night before… it made a HUGE difference. It’s very simple, but extremely powerful.

Here’s how to do it:

List the 3 most important things you must accomplish that day to move yourself forward.

Then… do it. Boom!

See, now that wasn’t so hard right?

#8: Be kind to your soul

I don’t mean this in a woo-woo kinda way – even though the California life is definitely rubbing off on me…

You see, your body can take a physical beating and recover from it. But your “soul” is different. Negative self-talk and hating on yourself takes it’s toll after a while. So…

Be kind to yourself.

Practice self-compassion.

Sleep. Eat well. Avoid booze. Skip sugar. Be awesome. Repeat.

#9: Set MASSIVE goals and take action on it

The world’s most successful people don’t just set big goals…. They set MASSIVE goals. Goals that change the lives of billions of people.

Think about innovators like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Thomas Edison.

Setting a goal is only half the battle. The big part comes when you have to take action on it! Dreaming about achieving a goal doesn’t magically make it happen (but you probably know that already!)

If it going to take so much time and work to reach your goal, why not make it HUGE?

tough times

#10: Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s one of the worst habits ever – comparing yourself to other.

And this is something I’ve personally struggled with for years.

Here’s the thing…

You have no idea what “chapter” the other person is up to…

For example, if you’ve just started a working out and changing your diet, you can’t compare yourself to someone who has been following the program for 6 weeks already.

Do you think it’s fair to compare someone else’s chapter 5 to your chapter 1?

Of course not!

Smart people only compete against themselves.

#11: Read Every Day

Taking time to learn and grow your mind is an obvious thing that all smart people do.

I’m a fan of real books with actual pages. Especially right before bed.

#12: Accept responsibility for your failures

This could be the most important trait all smart people possess…Accepting responsibility. And heck, it’s not easy!

Here’s the cold harsh truth…

You can’t blame anyone but yourself for where you’re at right now.

When things go wrong, most people look to blame someone else… anything to avoid the pain of failure.

Yet the sooner you take responsibility, the faster you’ll be moving forward and making progress.

#13: Give FIRST

Feeling down in the dumps? Try helping someone else.

It doesn’t have to be giving money to charity. You can simply give your time, or go out of your way to help a friend who is struggling.

And when you give… don’t expect anything in return, either.

Smart people give to others freely, without attaching any expectations.

#14: Get Enough Sleep

Some people brag about being able to function on 4-5 hours sleep every night.

I call BS.

You see, smart and tough people know how important it is to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. And create healthy sleep habits – like no screens an hour before bed, and cutting out caffeinated beverages after 3pm (KV still needs to work on this one lol)

After all, when you get more sleep, you balance your hormones so you regulate your appetite, perform better in the gym plus you can recover faster.

Taking a quick nap in the afternoon is cool too. I usually try to sneak in 20-30 minutes, since I wake up at the crack of dawn everyday (5:09am to be precise). It’s relaxing. Try it if you can.

#15: Workout

This final one is a no brainer, don’t you think? ;)

Exercise has SO many health benefits. But did you know exercise boosts your brain health and how even just walking stimulates your brain?

Motion creates motion.

That’s why I LOVE exercising first thing in the morning. Even if it’s just a 10 minute bodyweight workout! Like this one at the link below:

=> FREE 10 minute Core Cardio Bodyweight Workout Video

So now for the million dollar question…

How many of these traits do you have? Let me know in the comments box below the post.

Here’s to your success!

Your Coach and Friend,


Kate Vidulich