When I see these lists I think of a book that was written a few years ago by Herminia Ibarra called Working Identity. In it she advised people to take an experimental approach to career change. Rather than spending a lot of time searching your soul and taking psychological assessments, try doing some of the activities of the job that you think you would like to have. You may discover that the activities really aren't for you. Influencing Ibarra's approach is her view that people are comprised of several different selves. A person may have an ambitious self that wants to get ahead and a more laid back self that wants to spend more time at home. So you may want to try taking on some aspects of the job before you take the leap to see if it rubs some of your "selves" the wrong way.
The idea that we have different parts of our psyches probably fuels our interest in lists. Most of us likely wish at times that we had taken a different path in life, perhaps been more adventurous or spent more time doing certain activities. We'll respond to lists that present actions consistent with goals different than the ones we pursued. Knowing that we have different and perhaps conflicting selves can help us to be a little more skeptical of advice that offers quick solutions. There aren't 5 success tips that will work for everyone. Perhaps Shakespeare quote, "This above all--to thine own self be true" comes close to being a universal piece of advice, as long as you change "self" to "selves."