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13 Reasons Why You Will Never Be Successful

13 Reasons Why You Will Never Be Successful

Do you know why the odds of becoming a huge success is so low? Because it’s insanely tough. But at the same time, the changes you can make in your life to exponentially increase the odds are actually very simple. Simple, but not easy. It’s all in your mind. Are you ready to make major changes in your life? Let’s get to it. Here are the 13 reasons why you will never be successful in life.

1. You push off responsibility

Accept full responsibility for every single thing that happens in your life. Don’t blame others. Don’t blame circumstances. Don’t blame what you lack. And definitely don’t blame your luck. You will always have choices to make in every situation, and these choices will always have consequences.

Take responsibility. Make the right choices, because they will either steer you that bit closer to your goals, or away from them. Success is nothing but a series of all the right choices you make. If you want something, got get it yourself. You’re in charge. Period.

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. ~ William Ernest Henley

2. You procrastinate

Understand the cost of being a procrastinator. It is like a credit card. You have a lot of fun while at it, but wait until you get the bill. Procrastination is deadly.

I don’t care what your reason for procrastinating is. The Law of Diminishing Intent states that if you don’t take action soon after the idea strikes you and the emotion is high, fairly soon the urgency starts to diminish. And the longer you wait, the less likely you will ever get the job done.

Start off by making the decision to declare war on your procrastination devil. By just being aware that you need to be at an endless battle with this devil, you are already ahead of the majority.

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. ~ Wayne Gretzky

3. You are a perfectionist

Perfection does not exist. It is only a great excuse not to get started. Do your best; strive to be good; strive to become better than you were yesterday; but forget perfection. Because if your work truly matters to you, you will never ever reach that state anyway.

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And stop waiting for the ideal moment or the ideal plan. It will never happen. If it does, something is bound to go haywire along the way. You just need to get started. And then again tomorrow. And again the day after.

Your dreams will never come to fruition if you are preparing and waiting around. They will if you apply and take massive action.

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. ~ Napoleon Hill

4. You are afraid of criticism

If you are going to be achieving anything great, expect tons of criticism and haters. Learn to handle them. Learn the kind of criticism you should accept and the kind that you should discard. Not all criticism is of use.

In any case, do not let the fear of criticism stop you from doing what you have to do. You do not have to please everyone. That’s a sure route to failure. This is your mission. This is your life. Let’s do this.

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. ~ Aristotle

5. You are afraid of failure

Do things for success, but expect failure along the way. Failure is absolutely necessary. Failure is a life lesson designed to bring out the best in you. If you are too afraid to fail, then don’t start.

It’s okay to have some fear, but don’t be too discouraged when you do fail. Because it’s not about how many times or how big you fall, it’s about how many times you’re willing to get up and try again. And I hope you answered that with, “as many times as it takes.”

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. ~ J.K. Rowling

6. You are darn lazy

If you’re putting in the same amount of work as the people around you, consider yourself lazy. It’s a competitive world, and if you want to stand out at all, then prepare yourself mentally and work two times harder than everyone else. If others work five hours, you work seven. Work your butt off. It pays. And forget all your partying.

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil. ~ J. Paul Getty

7. You lack originality and creativity

You are already lazy. It’s not any better that you are doing the same thing everyone else is doing. You need to be unique if you want to stand out as well.

Be original and get those creative juices flowing. Dare to be different from the crowd. You can get ideas and inspiration from others. You can even copy to a certain extent. But in the end, be your authentic and genuine self. People are dying to see the unique you, and not another copycat.

Trusting your individual uniqueness challenges you to lay yourself open. ~ James Broughton

8. You play it solo

We humans were biologically designed to flourish together. Success does not come by our self. There’s a reason why we like to say we “could not have done it without you” in the Oscars Academy Awards. It’s true.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Learn to genuinely connect with others and work together. Support one another. Likewise, help and offer value to others. You cannot expect to receive when you don’t give.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a progress; working together is a success. ~ Henry Ford

9. You are ungrateful

Being grateful increases your level of happiness dramatically. You will be much better equipped to face life’s challenges when your natural state is full of joy, happiness, and gratitude. Happiness leads to success, and not the other way round.

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Start adopting an attitude of gratitude and if need be, keep a gratitude journal. Look around as you read this. I bet there’s at least one thing that would make life very different for you if you lost it. And make no mistake, this is not a chance for you to settle with what you have. Being grateful and settling are two very different things.

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. ~ Brian Tracy

10. You fail to learn from your mistakes

Along the way, you’re going to make a ton of mistakes. Accept them with humility. Those are some free life lessons. Approach every mistake you make as a special learning experience sent to teach you something valuable and necessary for your success in the future.

Einstein says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.

Learning from your mistakes is an essential skill that enables you to develop the resilience to be a master of change rather than a victim of change. ~ Brian Tracy

11. You don’t believe in yourself

“He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right” (Confucius). Drop all your self-limiting beliefs. If you want something with a strong enough passion, you will find ways to make the impossible happen. The only limits you ever set up for yourself are all in the mind. Change them.

You are unstoppable. Dream big because you are destined for greatness. Believe that you will be a big success. You already have everything it takes to crush life. All you have to do right now is succeed.

When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve. ~ Napoleon Hill

12. You lack consistency

Consistency is crucial to your success. Develop the habit of showing up all the time, whether you feel like it or not. The pro doesn’t give himself excuses. He just gets the work done. Short bursts of fiery enthusiasm will not cut it.

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Come up with a system for yourself and make sure you stick with it. Deciding and succeeding to hit the gym four times a week is far more superior than deciding to hit the gym seven times a week and failing to execute three times. Yes, even when the outcome is the same, because you are training your mind to be weak by not doing what you say you will do. That weakness will rub off negatively on other areas of your life.

Long-term consistency will always trump short-term intensity.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

13. You have stopped growing

Successful people understand that they need to sharpen their skills all the time. They understand that once they stop, they will fall behind the competition. They’ve made the decision early in the game to become excellent and the top in their field.

The moment you stop growing and learning is the moment you truly fail. That includes your personal development and all other areas of your life. In fact, the moment you decide your level of personal development is enough, that’s when you become a failure of life.

Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development. ~ Jim Rohn

I don’t write articles just to entertain. My work on this planet is to serve and inspire others. To inspire action. I’ve learned along the way that if you truly want to succeed, you have to focus on one thing at a time and master it. Don’t multitask. It is true that all 13 are essential for your success, but you are setting yourself up for failure if you try to master all 13 life changes simultaneously. Slow and steady wins the race. Pick just one and focus all your energies on it. If I were you, I’d choose consistency.

Good luck, and to your success!

Featured photo credit: Erik Moberg via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard. Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

Curiosity

Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

Patience

Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

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When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

A Feeling for Connectedness

This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

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1. Research

Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

Learning the Basics

Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

Hitting the Books

Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

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Long-Term Reference

While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

2. Practice

Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

3. Network

One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

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These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

4. Schedule

For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

Final Thoughts

In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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