To be able to look back and say ‘I lived a successful life’ is a major achievement and something many of us all strive for.

But what do you need to do in order to be successful? What does success look like to you? Nigel Cumberland, a Dubai-based leadership and executive coach and author of 100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises For Successful Living reveals his top 10 tips for a successful life in Dubai

1. Create Your Own Future

It is not enough simply to have dreams and a plan of how to achieve them. Putting a plan into action involves telling yourself that you will create your own future. You need the right mindset and you need to take control. Starting today be ready to persist, work hard, sacrifice, and take risks, and to simply do what it takes.

2. Be Emotionally Intelligent

Have you been guilty of overreacting without thinking, getting angry too quickly, acting jealous? Losing control of your emotions can damage your chances of living a successful life. It can easily be the difference between success and failure. Starting now act mature and be restrained in how you react to things around you. Count to 10 before speaking when feeling upset or angry.


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3. Focus on things you can control

Stop worrying about what you cannot control. It’s a total waste of your energy, energy that could otherwise be used to help you focus on what you can influence. I spend large parts of my coaching sessions helping people to sift through their challenges and concerns – helping them to determine what they can change and what they have no control over. Start focusing your time and energy on what is under your own control and influence.

4. Live within your means

You do not need to be a millionaire to feel successful or be successful. Financial wealth is only one of many possible indicators of success. However, to achieve your dreams and life goals you’re going to need money. And making it requires financial planning and goal-setting. One key is to avoid getting into too much debt except if it is to invest in a house or apartment that will hopefully increase in value over time and can also generate rental income.

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Learning to live within your means will help you achieve bigger goals like buying your own home

5. Stay Healthy

Where is the sense in working too hard, getting over-stressed and burning out, just to earn enough money to pay for your future healthcare? I see this play out all too often in the lives of people I have worked with. So many of us, it seems, plan to focus on our health only when we’ve retired. Well, don’t hold your breath: a 2013 IEA study in the UK concluded that “being retired decreases physical, mental and self-assessed health.”

6. Forgive Others

To create a successful life you must forgive others who have hurt or offended you. Not because they were right or because you can forget what they have done, but because forgiving them frees you up to live a more full and positive life. By forgiving, you allow yourself to move on. This is very important to understand – you must forgive others for the sake of your own wellbeing.

7. Be Both an Extrovert and an Introvert

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? A true extrovert is someone who likes to talk through what they are thinking, likes to spend time with others and to learn through doing things. A true introvert likes to think before speaking, listens well, is happy in their own space and reflects on ideas before acting. The key to your success is to consciously adopt the style that’s right for the situation you are in – sometimes be extrovert and at other times be an introvert.

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Don’t be fooled. When Marilyn Monroe wasn’t being her alter ego she was quite the introvert

8. Leave Your Comfort Zone

Success will not come to you, you have to go and find it. Ready yourself and build up courage to step out of what you always do.

9. Have the Courage to Fail

When did you last fail at something? Or, perhaps more tellingly, when is the last time you held yourself back from doing something for fear of failure? Worrying about failure must rank as the number-one reason why we do not realise more of our dreams. I am tired of coaching people who are scared of having a go at making changes in their lives. Too often, our fear of failing far exceeds any possible reality. Recognise those moments when it’s time to move forward.


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10. Say Goodbye to Toxic People

Avoid people who fill the air around you with negativity or jealousy, who are always moaning and wanting but never giving. We can all have moments like this but what makes someone toxic is the persistence in how they act with and around you. You will almost certainly have experienced several of these scenarios: the colleague who insists on always being right; the parent who constantly puts you down, tramples on your dreams and ambitions and tells you what you are not capable of achieving in your life.

Isn’t it time that you bid such people goodbye?

You download the e-book version of 100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living now

100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living