I would like to take you on a journey, a futuristic journey – it’s the journey of your life.
Let’s imagine for a moment – we have a telescope, a powerful telescope, a telescope that can peer into your future. With this telescope you can see the last day of your life on earth. It is your dying day, you have lived a full life and are lying on your bed reflecting, waiting to die.
As you reflect upon your life, every action you’ve ever taken comes back to you. As clear as daylight, everything you did or didn’t do, comes haunting you. Your successes, your failures, your joys and sorrows they all reel before you like a 3D movie.
You take stock of the 70, 80, or 90 years you’ve lived on earth. What will be your life’s accomplishments? Will you be proud of the kind of life you lived in this world?
It doesn’t matter at what stage in life you are right now. You need to take stock of your daily activities. What do you do on a daily basis? The trajectory of your life is the sum total of all these activities.
This article is about why you are unsuccessful in life. It’s about what you need to do differently to succeed. It is a pointer to what isn’t right in your life that you must change if you want to succeed.
In his book ‘Understanding your Potential’ Myles Munroe writes; “The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold fields, oil fields, diamond mines, or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery.”
Going to your grave with all your potential is robbing the world. These seventeen reasons are why you aren’t unsuccessful:
You lack self-control and Self discipline
Having Fun and seeking pleasure is more attractive than work. Let’s face it, all of us would rather engage in a favorite past time than work. Merrymaking and enjoyment unfortunately isn’t the right recipe for success.
If you cannot resist every invitation to the next party, or ticket to the next game or a desire to just go out and loaf. If you would rather sit on your couch flipping through channel after channel on your TV or watching movie after movie on Netflix, sorry, but you are setting yourself up for failure.
People who succeed aren’t different from everybody else, except that they love things that make everybody else squirm, hard work, sacrifice, paying the price – are some of the little things that they do every day of their lives.
Self-discipline is progressive, it grows on you, if you are not self-disciplined you can’t suddenly wake one morning and become disciplined. American cognitive psychologist Daniel Goldstein, said this about self-discipline “I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.”
If this muscle isn’t strongly developed in your life, it’s a good indicator of why you aren’t successful.
You are lazy
Laziness and failure are like Siamese twins. But I’m not talking about loafing and shunning work. I’m talking about laziness of the mind.
We live in a world that is powered by information, having inadequate information about the things you are interested in is a good sign that your life is primed to fail.
If you find it boring and tedious to sit down and read, to research, to sieve and analyze information, you’ll really be lucky to succeed in life.
“Often, psychological laziness will have you switch your life over to autopilot and fall asleep at the wheel rather than stay awake to what will fulfill your heart’s deepest desires and your soul’s purpose.” Debbie Ford Author of the New York Times bestselling book – The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.
You have a low emotional intelligence
Emotional IQ is just as important as Brain IQ to succeed in life. Successful people have a high emotional IQ. They have self-awareness about their emotions, and over time have developed an ability to harness their emotions, keep them in check and control them.
Throwing tantrums, or letting people have ‘a piece of your mind’ might gratify your ego, but it will deny you what you need most – success.
If you are easily agitated when things aren’t going your way, if you have a problem keeping your emotions in check, then you don’t need to look far at why you are unsuccessful, check your emotional IQ.
You fail to persist
It doesn’t matter what you are doing you will face obstacles. Obstacles are those high walls and deep crevices that are thrown in our path. They can be as scary as being declared bankrupt, or a life threatening diagnosis.
Obstacles are what everyone faces on the road to success. Are you the kind of person who throws your hands in the air, throws in the towel and declares, “this isn’t for me?” at the sight of any little obstacle?
Persistence is the ability to bite hard on your teeth, put your nose on the grindstone and grind, while ignoring the pain, tears and sweat.
If you are the kind of person who does not persist but gives in to that burning sensation of fatigued muscles that tells you ‘quit’ If you are always looking for something else to do that looks easier than what you are doing, look no further at why you aren’t successful.
You want acceptance
Popular opinion isn’t always right. Successful people have a habit of going against the grain. Albert Einstein was a recluse, Henry Ford wanted to make cheap cars, Bill Gates wanted computers for everyone, Steve Jobs wanted a computer in the palm of your hand.
All visionaries have one thing in common, they went against the popular beliefs of their time. You aren’t a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Henry Ford that’s for sure. But If all you want to do is to belong and fit in, then success isn’t your cup of tea.
You do not set goals
Goals are those little markers on the road to success that tell you how far you have come and how much more ground you need to cover. Goals direct the course of your life.
Do you live a life without goals? What do you intend to achieve in the next six months, one year, two years or five years? If you do not have vivid clear answers to these questions, check the road you are on, it’s marked ‘unsuccessful.’
I should have started with this point, but it is the most talked about reason of why most people are unsuccessful in life.
Napoleon Hill had this to say about Procrastination, “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”
Are you in the habit of putting off what should be done right away and hoping to come back to it later? Do you wonder why your life seems to have come to a dead end? Well wonder no more, the reason you are failing can be said in one word – “Procrastination”
You aim too high
This may sound counter intuitive, but aiming to high is setting yourself up for failure, to take your business, your career, your life to the next level you’ve got set realistic goals.
For example, you can’t earn zero and suddenly jump to earning a hundred thousand dollars without having to build and lay down the right structures and systems that will allow a natural progression towards earning a hundred-thousand-dollar income.
Aiming for one hundred thousand dollars a month from zero will be counter intuitive. Success will elude you, if you are always reaching out beyond your natural limits.
You fail to see opportunities in challenges
To quote Thomas Edison, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Every time you run away from a challenge you miss out on a great opportunity to succeed in life. Difficulties and tough situations are what pushes us to find creative solutions.
If you are constantly ducking challenges and failing to analyze situations to find out hidden opportunities in the challenge, you do not need to look far why you aren’t successful.
You blame others for your failures
Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the United States of America had a sign fashion and placed on his desk. The sign simply read, “the buck stops here”
If you always shift blame to others, and find excuses of why you aren’t successful. If you refuse to take charge of your life regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen to you, you set yourself up to fail.
Your school, your family, your environment, the society, are not reasons as to why you have failed. Take charge of your life, and like President Harry Truman let the buck of your life stop at your desk.
You do not invest in relationships
‘Me, myself and I’ is not an idiom you want to live by if you want to succeed in life. Relationships and networks are what grows net worth.
When you do not take time to invest in relationships, in the marketplace, in your community, in society; if you fail to build a profitable network of people from diverse backgrounds and tap into their skills and resources your life will be unsuccessful.
You quit easily
Vince Lombardi the iconic American football player turned coach, turned NFL executive knew enough about winning and losing to say, “winners never quit and quitters never win”
If you are harbour phantasmagorical ideas of succeeding without facing hardships, and quit every time the ‘kitchen gets too hot’. If you want to count wins and never see loses you are a quitter, and as a quitter you do not need to worry about your future, you will be unsuccessful.
You don’t get on your feet when you fail
There is no one single successful person who has never been down. Every successful person has a tale of being hit hard by life, falling down rising up, dusting off the dust and going back in there for another grueling round.
Since everybody is guaranteed to fall down in life, what separates successful people from everyone else is the ability to rise up again. If every time life throws a nasty punch at you, you cry foul and refuse to get up, you are a loser.
Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.
You lack a mentor
Everybody who has succeeded in life will tell you that they had a mentor, a role model, someone they looked up to, somebody who took time to share life’s experiences with them.
When you lack a mentor somebody you can be accountable to, somebody who can help direct the course of your life, you deny yourself valuable feedback that could have helped you to succeed faster.
A Mentors will challenge you to better yourself. If you do not have a mentor, you can easily sit on your haunches and savor the little successes you may have achieved in life.
You fail to get rid of negative habits
Habits, good or bad we all have them. Negative habits like eating too much or too little, not exercising enough, drinking too much, smoking, sleeping too much, watching too many movies are a red flag to success.
In the beginning of every year most of us make resolutions about certain habits that we need to get rid of in order to live a healthier more productive life. Very few people actually succeed in seeing these resolutions through, even fewer succeed in getting rid of bad habits.
If you are a hostage of bad habits and are enslaved by a weak character, if you have surrendered you power to choose, and are easily captured by bad habits, then, you have chosen a path to failure.
You are easily distracted
Informational technology has come with a curse, the curse of distraction. Too many people are easily distracted by emails, messages, pop ups, chats, videos, Gifs, podcast and a myriad of other applications that compete for their attention.
Are you easily distracted? Drawn away from the task at hand and pulled into an informational vortex? Being easily distracted is a pointer to an unsuccessful life.
You will never succeed at anything that you don’t give your full attention to.
You talk too much and do too little
Talk, talk, and no action, somebody said, “talk is cheap.” Successful people do not talk much they go out there and simply do it.
It may give you a sense of bravado to talk about your goals and plans, but according to psychologists, it’s counterproductive.
Talking about what you will do lulls your mind into thinking that you have already acted. Talk less act more should be your principle in life. Put a ‘bit’ in your mouth if you are given to talking too much.
Doing too little and speaking of grandiose futuristic plans won’t make you successful. Success is in the doing, not the talk.
Now that you know the reasons why you aren’t successful, strive to get rid or change your approach to life; take charge of these bad traits if you are to succeed in life.