6 Steps To Failure

Yesterday, I wrote about the 4 steps to success. The steps are not easy but they’re not incredibly hard either. In fact, they’re so simple that success seems like a given. Yet, time after time, we heard about people who fail. Not just that they try something and fail at it. But that they are failures. That they get into a rut and never get out of it. That they find themselves in a bad situation and never escape it. That they stop trying. That they give up and quit. That they lose their job and go on public assistance and never stop waiting for those weekly rations of bread and milk. That they lose their homes and take to the streets and spend the rest of their days asking for two coins to rub together to keep warm.

Why do some people fail but then rise up to success while others fail and just slide into becoming failures? 

In reading Napoleon Hill’s book Think And Grow Rich, I came across a list he says contains the 30 major causes of failure.

  1. Genetic deficiency that is not easily corrected.
  2. Lack of purpose
  3. No desire to succeed
  4. Inadequate education
  5. No self discipline
  6. Poor health – ill health can result from disease or poor habits.
  7. Improperly trained as a child. Our parents exert the most lasting influence on their children’s character. It can take years to unlearn negative lessons learned during those formative years.
  8. Procrastination
  9. Lack of persistence
  10. Negative personality traits
  11. Lack of controlled sexual urges
  12. Desire to get something for nothing
  13. Lack of decisiveness
  14. Fear
  15. Incompatible spouse. The wrong choice of life partner, Hill says, is the most common cause of failure.
  16. Overcautiousness. Some risk-taking is implicit in success. The eagle has to leave the safety of the nest to fly.
  17. Incompatible business partners
  18. Superstition or prejudice
  19. Lack of passion for the business
  20. Lack of concentration
  21. Uncontrolled spending habits
  22. Lack of enthusiasm
  23. Intolerance
  24. Intemperance
  25. Uncooperativeness
  26. Inherited power. Not having earned it themselves, children of wealthy parents often lose their fortunes. Hill says, quick riches are more dangerous than poverty.
  27. Intentional dishonesty
  28. Egotism and vanity
  29. Guessing instead of thinking
  30. Lack of capital

In reading through the list, I realized there are several that seem to repeat the same theme. In grouping them together, I realized all 30 causes fall into just 6 categories:

  • physical limitations
  • lack of discipline
  • lack of desire
  • bad decisions
  • fear
  • poor attitude

The above 6 factors are the reason some people fail and then succeed and others just become failures. However, the list gets even simpler because we know of people who have overcome physical limitations and go on to be successful. Helen Keller was born blind and deaf and mute yet the world knows her name. Amputees have become blade runners and won Olympic medals. So we could probably take physical limitations off the list. Being born to neglectful parents didn’t stop Oprah. Having an unsupportive spouse didn’t keep Les Brown from gaining international fame.

There is really only one reason some people fail and never recover – a poor attitude toward change. Proverbs 24:16 says, A just man falls seven times and rises up again but the wicked will fall into mischiefAs long as you never let yourself be defeated, you’re still poised for success. As long as you’re still trying, you’re not a failure. A good attitude means you never accept failure as the status quo so you do whatever it takes to rise up again. Learn whatever you need to learn. Change what you need to change. Let go of whatever negative influence has been causing you to fail. Train away your bad habits. Practice self discipline.

Moving Forward

  • Are there any characteristics on the list of 30 that describe you?
  • How is your attitude towards change?
  • How can you start working to correct it so you can be more successful? 
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Very insightful post! I’d heard discussions in the past about reasons for failure from a workplace perspective, but the same theories certainly apply to working out and to many other aspects of our lives. My biggest challenge is fear. I’ve been trying to think about things from the perspective of “what’s the worst that can happen, and how would you deal with it?” and that has helped to a certain extent. But if it were easy to overcome fear, we’d all be millionaires and Olympic athletes, right? It’s an ongoing challenge and an ongoing learning process, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks so much for the comment, Emily. You’re absolutely right. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But if you want it enough, you’ll do it.
      Procrastination is my biggest challenge. I try to work to overcome it constantly. I am still a far way from where I want to be but I won’t ever stop trying.

      Like

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