The Reason So Many People Fail to Succeed
One of the most common questions that I am asked is: Why do so many people fail to succeed? Another question that is becoming increasingly more common is: Why do so many people live defeated lives? In essence, both of these questions get down to the heart of the matter. While there are numerous stories about people who have achieved remarkable success, there are far too many people who have failed to reach any level of success, and the aforementioned questions seek to identify the common denominator for those who struggle to succeed.
Is it that some people don’t understand the basic principles associated with becoming successful? This is definitely likely for some of the people who are struggling in life. Knowledge is a key element in the process of becoming successful, but it is not the primary element. Another cause for the common and repetitive failure of many people is a proclivity to give too much gravity to the random opinions others. Everyone has an opinion about something, and many people allow the opinions of others to shape their paradigms and the belief systems that determine how they approach life.
Another way that listening to others can be counterproductive, is becoming fixated on the shortcut methods being spewed by self-proclaimed gurus and their followers. We live in a microwave society in which everyone wants everything right now. Far too many people are looking for immediate results produced by shortcuts and foolproof methods. The person who is looking for results through shortcuts, or foolproof remedies, will eventually become disappointed and deterred when things don’t go their way. There are no shortcuts, only detours.
Success is not about circumventing the struggles and vicissitudes of life, it is about being prepared to face those struggles with confidence and a specific plan for overcoming them. Success is the fruit of perseverance and determination. It is not the person with the greatest potential and skill that is successful, but the person who is most committed to their success.
For far too many people, the price of success is more than they are willing to pay. They have bought into the life-of-ease philosophy that teaches that if you simply believe you can transform your life into a progressive utopia, but that could not be further from the truth. Success requires sacrifice and commitment. Success requires the establishment of a list of priorities that determine the value system through which you will approach your vision.
Something that I often see when people enroll in one of my courses or hire me as a consultant or counselor, are those who have spent a significant portion of their life simply wandering around aimlessly without any real sense of purpose. Others are suffering from the pain of past failures and past beliefs concerning their ability to succeed. Without an understanding of what your purpose is, you will remain lost — often leading to indiscriminate dream chasing. The indiscriminate dream chaser is the person that is always chasing a cause or scheme, with a tendency to jump on the next cause before finishing what they started. What they have not learned is that without the passion associated with purpose, they will never experience consistent success because they will never become committed until they discover their passion.
Purpose is that thing that comes when a person becomes aware of their identity. It is purpose that fuels passion, and passion is that thing that drives a person towards their destiny, and finally, destiny cannot be denied, because its very definition demands that it be fulfilled when passionately pursued. You see, purpose is never satisfied with mediocrity, dwarfed goals or colorless dreams. Purpose demands that you step over the line that has been drawn by fear and seize your moment. Purpose does not consider failure, for failure is a necessary part of success. Purpose does not allow for tamed visions that fit nicely into the box that has been designed by the minimal minded.
Ironically, purpose is a force that drives you to do things on purpose, with specific goals and expectation associated with your actions. Success does not happen by accident; it is not an arbitrary occurrence. Success is always the result of highly specified intentions, intelligent direction, sincere effort and skilled execution, but most importantly, it is the culmination of a committed mindset that will not be deterred by delay.
When I examine my life to determine what allows me to win, the thing that stands out the most is I always answer the bell. The circumstances have not always been in my favor. In fact, there have been some times in which the odds were stacked heavily against me, but I answered the bell. There have even been times that I have been flat on my back, but I got up each and every time to continue the fight. Success is elusive to those who expect it to come with ease. It is elusive to those who listen to the random opinions of naysayers. It is elusive to the person who finds mediocrity to be acceptable.
Finally, far too many people have absolutely no idea of what defines success in their life. They have spent their entire lives chasing what others have declared to be representative of success. The way that I define success is the absolute optimization and the actualization of full potential. While a person may achieve many things, success is not achieved when potential is left untapped. Because I believe in purpose so strongly, I believe that each person’s potential is directly related to their purpose, and when potential is not actualized, purpose is not fulfilled. Find yourself, find your purpose and commit to fulfilling that purpose at all cost. When you commit to your purpose, you will not have to chase success, it will find you! ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.