I believe we all want our lives to mean something, to be successful. Exactly what this means varies for each person. What I would call a successful and meaningful life is probably different than your definition. Yet I think we can all benefit from reminders about just what it takes to accomplish that success—however we define it.

My friend Buzz Williams, currently head coach of the Virginia Tech basketball team, knows a thing or two about winning and being successful. He recently shared his thoughts about 5 things that successful people do that most people don’t. It’s worth sharing. (Disclaimer: the list was created by Buzz; the comments are a combination of his insight and mine.)

  1. Go to work to prosper, not just to work. When you can identify the purpose in what you do at work, your whole approach and attitude changes. When you approach your job with the goal to prosper, you will react differently to those obstacles and setbacks. No matter what your role is, adopt the mindset that what you do is worthwhile. Think about how you are contributing to the greater good.
  2. Exercise incredible drive. It will be hard to develop that sense of accomplishment if you don’t focus on getting results. Keep going until you have achieved what you set out to do. This means that you will stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. That’s okay—and that’s how greatness is developed. Think of your drive as a muscle that you develop.
  3. Never make excuses. Although there will be setbacks, don’t allow these to thwart your accomplishments. There will always be obstacles to overcome. View these as opportunities. You may be surprised at what you can learn from your failures.
  4. Focus on daily goals. Although you do need to have both long-term and short-term goals, you need to keep in mind what you need to accomplish today. That’s how you become successful—one step at a time. Use your goals to help you stay on track. Believe in what you can accomplish—and you will.
  5. Be willing to fail. Less successful people are satisfied with playing it safe. Successful people never are. That means that you will make mistakes. Expect them and see these as learning opportunities. If you’re not making mistakes, then you are not stretching yourself. You’re keeping yourself from being less than you can be.

I agree with Williams that if you implement these 5 things, you’ll see positive results in business and in life. Don’t settle for being ordinary. Be the best you can be. It’s all based on your mindset. Believe in yourself that you can achieve what you set out to do—and then do it.