What separates the high achievers from the also-ran? We looked to prominent figures, past and present, for their perspectives on success and how ordinary people can use those lessons in their own lives.

One way to start becoming successful is simply to emulate a successful person so that their habits become your everyday actions. Whether you are in a creative field, like a writer, or in a fast-moving technological field, you can learn something from the individuals below:

  1. Dream Big and Prepare for Success – Elon Musk isn’t shy about his ultimate goal of having humans live on multiple planets. His imagination has created programs, like SpaceX, challenging the conventional aerospace industry. He wants to get rockets to land back on earth and be reused. His partner in SpaceX, Jim Cantrell, said of Elon: “He can’t imagine NOT succeeding.” That’s the same thinking that got his Tesla company, a world famous manufacturer of electric cars, to be a resounding success too.
  2. Work Daily Towards Your GoalsE.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web, explains that a writer can’t wait for ideal conditions to start work or he might expire before even a single word is written. That’s why even taking a few minutes to take any action towards your goals is going to yield results. Break down your big goal into small tasks that help you create momentum daily.
  3. Take RisksBeyonce has been known to say: “I can never be safe; I always try to go against the grain.” Unlike people who try to play it safe, the successful people often challenge themselves in areas that lead to greater rewards. Take a few risks to stretch your abilities and you may surprise yourself at what you can accomplish.
  4. Establish Credibility – If you want to have others backing your big dreams, no matter how unconventional, you need to establish credibility in your field. This will help you hire the best talent and keep the fires of innovation burning. It can also help you create a personal brand, like Walter Cronkite, a newscaster who could influence public opinion on his credibility alone.