Have you ever wondered how to ensure personal and professional success?

According to Investor’s Business Daily, there are 10 traits that, when combined, can turn dreams into reality.

1. How you think is everything: Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment. Start with your goal in mind. If you know where you are going, and can explain that to others, they’ll be more likely to join you and even help you get there. Those who try to bring others along by force, intimidation or by using their “title” (i.e. parent, boss, teacher or shift-leader) will discover they are leaders without followers.

Spend your time supporting, training and consulting the top performing 20% of those around you (coincidentally the most positive group) rather than the 80% who haven’t yet caught the vision. If those around you tear down your ideas, you may have outgrown the group or organization. This could be a signal to either move on or be stuck at that level with the rest of the group, who will still be looking for what’s wrong with new ideas years from now.

2. Decide upon your true dreams and goals: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them. If you are serious about your goals, they must be written down. Share your goals only with those who will support you and give you honest input on how to achieve them. Give those people permission to hold you accountable for completing tasks and accomplishing your goal.

3. Take action: Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started. Just do it. Set specific dates to complete tasks that are needed to accomplish your goal. Since getting started is difficult, make the first step an easy one. Establish momentum early.

4. Never stop learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills. Put plainly, if you stop, you fall over. Find your strength area – what you do as well as or better than others around you. If you are weak in an area, find someone to help fill that role rather than to struggle learning more about something you aren’t very good at to begin with. Become an expert in your area of interest.

5. Be persistent and work hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up. True success happens when you consistently do a little for a long time. Have you ever known an “Overnight Success” that didn’t take years to develop? Most people want success to be at the speed of a microwave, when it really happens at the speed of a crock pot.

6. Learn to analyze details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes. Thomas Edison successfully found thousands of materials that didn’t work as a light bulb filament before he discovered a suitable substance. Use ‘unsuccess’ as a learning experience on your way to success. Discuss your goal with people who are successful in the field where you are seeking success.

7. Focus your time and money: Don’t let other people or things distract you. Never lose track of your goal. If your goal is career-related, get a picture of someone who is successful in that field. Look at that picture every day to remind yourself what you are working for.

8. Don’t be afraid to innovate: Be Different; following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity. Don’t be satisfied with the status-quo. Figure out a more efficient, more fun or more creative way to do something. Be open to suggestions for improvement, and actively ask others for their opinions.

9. Deal and communicate with people effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others. Effectively communicating with others requires us to seek out and truly value input from others. It is easier to motivate others, if we understand why they are interested in the first place and what rewards they are seeking. For some, the reward could be money, time off or public recognition among their peers. Others may be seeking a title or the opportunity to be involved with an effort that makes a difference in the lives of others. If unsure what motivates others, ask.

10. Be honest and dependable: Take responsibility. Otherwise, numbers 1-9 won’t matter. Expect more from yourself than you expect from others. If we all practice this final trait, there will likely be a dramatic increase in shared as well as personal success, as we contribute to the success of others and they respond in kind. Imagine what an impact that would have on our world.

List these “10 Secrets to Success” someplace where you will see and focus on them over the next ten days. Set out to integrate these tips into your life for greater success and satisfaction.