Success is totally subjective.
I think that the vast majority would classify Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet as “successful”.
Is Bernie Madoff, who lived the vast majority of his life as a 0.1%-er until he got caught, successful?
Is the single mother, who works two jobs and raises her kids to learn respect and hard-work, leading them towards productive middle-class lives, successful?
Is the rich and famous person that commits suicide (take your pick) successful?
I would define success as someone who is generally happy and leading a fulfilling lifestyle for them. And my formula for happiness is the difference between one’s Reality and their Expectations (E.g., low reality Vs. high expectations = negative happiness; high reality Vs. low expectation = very happy).
You can accumulate all the financial wealth in the world, but if you are not happy at the end of the day, you are NOT successful.
All that said, here are the 3 personality attributes common to these “successful” people:
I think it takes gratitude to best appreciate what you have. Happy people are thankful for all the people/things that helped them achieve what they’ve achieved.
Successful people are consistently asking: “How can <this> be better?”; “How can I make <x> better?”; “How can I be better?”. They ask. They tinker. They explore. They embrace a growth mentality. They embrace change (but not just for the sake of change).
I believe persistence and follow-through, sub-attributes of dedication, are a critical towards the predictor of success. They show a sense of mission and show a passion to complete it.
It is absolutely possible to only have 2 of the 3 and find success, as long as the two are intense so that they make up for the lack of the third.