We could all use an inspiration recharge every now and then, and given how busy everyone is, I find that bite-sized inspiration snacks can help a great deal throughout the day.

When you don’t have time for a multi-day mindfulness retreat or even a ten-minute meditation session, inspiration can come from remembering the words and advice of others. The quotes that stick with me the most come from people who have experienced things I’ve never been through, or from those who maintain perspectives that I aspire to.

The thought-provoking lessons in this post come from a diverse group of people with distinctive backgrounds. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these leaders, I hope you’ll take a moment to look into them and their work! They’re certainly worth your time.

Here are five lessons about success, I think you’ll appreciate as much as I do.

Success requires personal transformation.

“To achieve what you have not, you must become what you are not. You have to grow into your goals.” – Darren Hardy

Darren Hardy is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and advisor. With books like The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, Living Your Best Year Ever and The Compound Effect under his belt, he understands the mindset of success like few others.

What I love most about this quote is that it highlights the need for changing one’s whole self, not merely one’s circumstances. This is the crux of self-improvement.

Going from rags to riches is possible only for people who tackle the hard task of full-on reinvention – complete with updated skills, healthier habits, better thought processes and newfound optimism. If you don’t feel you’re the type of person who has what it takes to achieve greatness, become that person and grow into your goals and dreams.

Successful people are true to themselves.

“If you’re trying to be like everyone else, then who will be you?”

– Daniel Ally

I like Daniel Ally, the author, business coach, speaker and online teacher, because his advice is both refreshing and counterintuitive.

Almost everybody looks at successful people and asks, “How do I become more like them?” While it’s always good to transform and improve yourself, Ally reminds us in a recent interview with the Kajabi knowledge commerce platform, where the above quote comes from, that we shouldn’t strive to “be like” anyone else – no matter how successful they are.

You should be who you are called to be, strengths and weaknesses included. Why? Because the world already has the people you’re trying to imitate. What the world needs is the uniqueness that only you can bring to the table. So rather than asking how you can be like others, ask how you can be the most successful version of yourself.

Knowledge is as important for success as motivation.

“Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”

– Jim Rohn

Many people believe that motivation, passion and excitement are all that’s needed to be successful. But as the late, great author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn points out, these things aren’t enough.

Yes, motivation is a driving force. But a driving force needs something to drive in the first place! This is why knowledge is so important.

The most successful people in the world strive to be more knowledgeable today than they were yesterday. They learn from failures, consider valuable advice when it’s offered, and observe the actions and results of others. They also make time to read, listen to podcasts and consume other types of media imparting wisdom.

The bottom line is that motivation without knowledge results in bad decisions. But knowledge combined with motivation leads to greatness.

Thankfulness feeds the spirit and breeds success.

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”
– Eckhart Tolle

Many successful people recognize the importance of nurturing the mind, body and spirit. And while we may assume that gratitude is the result of a fulfilling life, Eckhart Tolle teaches that mindfulness and gratitude actually lead us to a more complete and spiritual life.

Tolle is an amazing author and inspirational teacher. He reminds us that in our journey toward success, we should make every effort to be thankful right now, in this very moment. Gratitude gives us a healthy perspective. It directs us toward what’s truly important and stops us from worrying about things that don’t matter.

Whether you’re thankful for your health, family, friends or fortunate circumstances, the key is to focus on these things and let them guide you in the moment.

Excitement is a success catalyst.

“Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.”
– Tim Ferriss

Think of the top three to five people who have influenced you over the years. Chances are, their list of character traits includes excitement and passion. Tim Ferriss, the entrepreneur and author who’s famous for The 4-Hour Workweek, expresses this well. Excitement is a driving force that’s worthy of pursuing.

Excitement is a “cure-all” because it gives us the grit and resolve we need to continue on. It’s what powers those almost-mythical people (Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, for example) to achieve the “impossible.”

Do you lack excitement? Discover what it is that electrifies you and moves you toward your goals. When you gain awareness of what you’re passionate about, your energy will push you to new heights.