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The DNA of Top Achievers

By Chris Widener


Of course by now we are all becoming aware of DNA. It is the source code

that determines who we are. When we look at DNA we can see what a person

will look like, what diseases they may come down with, etc. This has been a

tremendous breakthrough for scientists and will continue to be so for some

time, I think.

This got me to thinking about what makes up those who are top achievers. Is

there a “DNA” to them? Obviously, all top achievers wouldn’t have the same

literal DNA but what about a figurative DNA? Is there a common “gene” that

they all have? Are there common “genes” perhaps? I think so!


If we could get right down to it, I think these are the genes we would find

in the DNA of top achievers:


A predisposition to setting high, lofty goals. Top achievers are people who

won’t and can’t settle for the status quo. They see average as a place they

want to keep in the rear-view mirror. Instead, they continually look for

ways to stretch themselves, to get better, to do better, to be better! They

set their sights on goals that others have never even thought of. They want

to shoot so high that even if they miss, they go higher than everyone else.

This is what makes them top achievers.


An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination. Many

people can set high goals, but just as many people get sidetracked by one

thing or another on their way to those goals. High, lofty goals usually take

a while to get there so there will always be plenty of time to be tempted to

stray away from the road that is taking you to those goals. Often, those

things that sidetrack people are good things, but not the best things. Top

achievers do not get sidetracked. They stay focused. They know where they

are going. They have an ability to say “no” to the good things in order to

get to the best things.


The willingness to personally sacrifice in order to get to their goal. When

the going gets tough, many people quit. When the going get tough personally,

most people quit. When the going gets tough for top achievers, they remind

themselves of the high. lofty goals they have set for themselves. They

remind themselves of what an accomplishment it will be for them and that the

reward is worth pushing through the momentary trials. They are willing to

sacrifice personally in the short-term in order to get the reward and the

prize long-term. Keeping their eyes on the big picture enables them to

persevere through any personal pain they may experience.


A predisposition to tenacity. Tenacity is the ability to “keep on going.”

Tough times? Keep on going! Financial troubles? Keep on going! People are

suspect? Keep on going! You look like a dreamer? Keep on going! Tired? Keep

on going! Want to quit and take it easy? Keep on going! Just remember this:

Keep on going! The prize is ahead! Many people quit just before they were to

get the reward, so keep on going!


The ability to see available resources and to use them accordingly. Those

who are top achievers know that they cannot be lone-rangers on the way to

the top. No one makes it by himself or herself. Top achievers recognize

their weaknesses – the weaknesses that if they don’t cover will keep them

from becoming a top achiever! They see their resources and they work to get

them into a helping position so they can continue the route to becoming a

top achiever. And they don’t use them, they utilize them. There is a big

difference!  People, finances, etc are all brought in to help by the top



A desire to help others achieve more for themselves as well.  The top

achiever knows that they can make a difference for others by becoming a top

achiever. They know that the wealth they make can feed the hungry. They know

that the position of influence they achieve can open a door for someone who

may not normally get a chance. True top achievers look at how they can bring

many with them, not how they can leave many in the dust. People are helped

by the top achiever, not trampled upon!


I think if we could get to the DNA of top achievers, the things we talked

about above would be at the core and fiber of their beings. What about you?

Did you recognize yourself at all? I hope so! The good news about the DNA we

are talking about today as opposed to real DNA is that you can go out and

work on top achiever DNA whereas you are stuck with real DNA. So if you lack

a little in the above-mentioned areas, take heart – you can get better and

work on them so that you can become a top achiever!




Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of

Made for Success and Extraordinary Leaders, two companies helping

individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed

in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams. Join subscribers in

over 100 countries around the world! Get Chris' FREE weekly Made for Success

Ezine by sending a blank email to Get his FREE

daily SuccessQuote™ with action point by sending a blank email to Get his FREE monthly Extraordinary Leaders Ezine,

one of the world's most widely distributed leadership newsletters, by

sending a blank email to or visit his websites at and

Copyright 2002 Made for Success. Used by permission. All rights reserved