We all know who Leonardo Da Vinci was and we also know who Pablo Picasso was, if not all of us, at least most of us know who these men were. They were the outstanding artists of their times. No one comes close to the greatness of these greats in their field. However, we don’t know the names of the artists living in our city or in our nearby area. Why is that? Why do we know the names of few and consider them as the greatest, while we don’t know other people doing the same thing? The answer is simple, that the two great names are the names of the giants, but the point is, what makes them giants? Why do we know them and why don’t we know the others doing the same thing? The reason is the successful people don’t do different things, but they do things differently as the great Shiv Khera describes it.

In this blog, I will discuss some properties that successful people have which unsuccessful people don’t. Anyone who has these properties will become extraordinary and will move on the top of the ladder of success. Let’s look at those properties:


The greatest minds and the most successful individuals don’t blame others, they take absolute responsibility of their success. When they fail, they don’t look outside and blame the other factors, they don’t blame the government, their family, their friends, and external factors. In fact they believe that the failure is due to their fault. They have done something wrong that makes them a failure.

I read a story of a coach once in a book by Earl Nightingale, that after his team lost, the interviewer asked him, “Why did your team lose?” The coach replied, “It rained”. The interviewer asked, “Just on your team?” This is a classic example of blame game, this coach didn’t take responsibility and blamed the circumstances for his failure. If he were a responsible person, he would have said, “We didn’t play well, we will improve next time.” Or simply, “The other team played better”.

What happens when we don’t blame outside circumstances and take responsibility. We simply understand the fact that we have a problem and we can solve this problem. The person who blames others tries to see the fault outside and never improves himself. This is what differentiates extraordinary from ordinary people.


The second quality the extraordinary individuals have is the quality of integrity. It means they are 100 percent honest with others and with themselves. They always do the right thing; whether being right goes against them. Leonardo and Picasso didn’t steal anyone’s ideas, they used their own mind and presented something to the world. It is not easy to steal and plagiarize in today’s world because of media and internet, but in those days it was not easy to get caught. Yet they didn’t steal anyone’s ideas or copy anyone. Instead they used their own mind and worked hard and created their original piece of art. Integrity is the key to success, and it differentiates extraordinary from ordinary people.

Have you wondered why many movie directors remain ordinary? Because they steal ideas from other movies from the past or copy and plagiarize other countries movies and TV shows, yet they complain that why they remain ordinary? Remember, by cheating and stealing you cannot become extraordinary. The people immediately figure it out that this material, the story, or song is copied from somewhere else. In the eyes of the people, they lose respect permanently. Now even if they try to be honest next time, they cannot regain the lost respect.


The extraordinary people believe in Kaizen. What is Kaizen? Kaizen means improvement. The successful people know that they cannot be stagnant, they know the importance of improvement. That is why they try to produce better and better product or service the next time. That is why you will notice the quality of the artistic work by Picasso and Leonardo both improved as they aged. Because they learned from their mistakes and kept improving their paintings and work. They were never satisfied even at their best work, and wanted to produce something better the next time. Thus, they kept learning and improving and eventually became the giants.

Unfortunately, the ordinary people think they are the best and there is no room for improvement in their work; they kept producing the same kind of work and kept stagnant. Do you know what it means if you are stagnant? It means you are refusing to grow. In our “Be a Published Author Program” and the “Statistical Data Analysis Program”, we always teach our students that after you have produced a great article, try to improve it and produce a better article than the first version.
Let me tell you about my own self, when I see my previous work; I feel I have improved drastically. I am no way near the best or perfect, and I know that I have room for improvement. In fact I still consider myself as a student of writing. Because we cannot be perfect at anything, we can just be students. I also know that if I keep working on my improvement, I will be a way better writer than I am today. I know that there is no perfection, but excellence. I keep improving myself every day and keep learning in an effort to become extraordinary. You should do the same, always consider yourself a student.


All of us can become extraordinary in our fields, we just need to model the extraordinary people. It will not be overnight; it may take a lot of years, but in the end, it will be worth it. Decide to be extraordinary in your field, even if it takes many years. Go achieve the greatness now. Don’t waste time on reading this blog, if you like it, then share it to help others.

Dr. Hassaan Tohid

Hassaan Tohid


Dr. Hassaan Tohid MBBS, CCATP, CSOTP is a TEDx Speaker, Entrepreneur, Neuroscientist, Motivational speaker, Trainer, Certified Life Coach, and a Published author.

He has a career with three domains. An entrepreneur, an academic (neuroscientist, and a teacher), and a clinician (Addiction treatment).

As an entrepreneur, he is the founder of California Institute of Behavioral Neurosciences and Psychology. Where he leads the organization as the CEO. He is a trainer, a coach, and a teacher. His training includes Public Speaking, Research Writing and Research Data Analysis, Business training and coaching, life coaching, and Sales.

An academic he is a Neuroscientist and delivered a TED talk on his specialty Mirror Neurons and Dissociative Identity Disorder at TEDx UCDavissf and TEDxUAlberta. He has published over 40 scientific articles and written 3 books.

A clinician with substance use disorder treatment specialty. Dr. Tohid graduated as a medical doctor and chose mental health and substance use disorder as a domain of his clinical career.

Dr. Tohid has delivered lectures on the subjects of success, motivation, business, sales, and research writing and publishing in different languages to thousands of medical and non-medical students.

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