“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” — Og Mandino
No matter where we live on this earth, no matter what we do for a living, nor what opportunities are presented or handed to us, the large majority of the global populous finds it excruciatingly difficult to succeed in life. Gathering the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical capacities to get ahead and exit this rat race we call life has always been difficult, but will only increase in difficulty as the years press on.
With so many people vying for success, and with so many others trying to convince us that some system is going to solve all of our money problems or afford us with the life of our dreams, it becomes even more complex to navigate the murky waters of life while trying to evade these potential landmines of unscrupulous individuals looking more to extract money from us rather than to assist us in making it.
That might be why so many people ask themselves why it’s so hard to succeed in life. Why is it so difficult to push through and achieve our goals and attain all of the things that we secretly desire in our minds? We gaze on at others who’ve reached the proverbial top of the mountain and we wonder how they did it. We ask ourselves, why them and not us? What are we doing so wrong that’s making it so difficult to taste sweet victory in life?
However, these questions aren’t new. They’ve plagued modern society and humans since the dawn of time. We have always gazed on at others that have accumulated wealth or have succeeded to a higher degree than ourselves. It might have something to do with the fact that we’re often not sated with the status quo or not happy with the things we’ve accumulated in life, always reaching higher, looking to attain more things.
That might simply be the nature of the beast. Our consumer-driven society and tendencies towards consumptionism have turned us into hedonistic animals hellbent on buying things at all costs. It’s become the source of our happiness, the driver in the seat of our lives, moving from one point to the next, never really satisfied on this Hedonic Treadmill of dissatisfaction. That might be one of the reasons it’s so hard to accomplish anything worthwhile, because we’re so busy satisfying our basal and sudden urges for instant gratification.
Still, there are some people out there who seem to have figured it out, so to speak. They have succeeded at the highest level and attained every man and woman’s dreams of being successful beyond measure and beyond belief. So how is it that those people seem to succeed almost effortlessly while the rest of the world is left to wallow in a sea of debt, unable to extricate themselves from the shackles of a 9-to-5 job that has them pinned down with seemingly no place to turn.
Why Is It So Hard To Succeed?
Success is tough no matter how you slice it. With so many people vying and competing in what many label as a zero-sum game, achieving any semblance of grand-scale success has become monumentally difficult. And it will only get harder as the years wear on. As the world’s population swells, so does the fiercely-competitive corporate and business environment, making it more and more difficult to succeed.
While there are likely hundreds or thousands of possible reasons for why we might fail, success is far more limited in its scope. In order to achieve success, there are certain principles and ways of thinking that help to embolden us rather than allow us to give in and throw in the proverbial towel.
Obviously, things can get in the way of our pathways to success. Certain events, which might be out of our control, can cause us to veer substantially off track, hurtling violently in one tangent or another. But, your ability to succeed has very much to do with, not what happens to you in life, but rather, how you respond to the things that happen to you.
Many people tend to blame society, friends, their bosses, corporations, how much money they have, how many people they know, where they live, how tall they are, and everything in between, on their ability to succeed. The truth? You need nothing to succeed aside from clarity of mind and soundness of spirit that’s afforded to most of the people that are living and breathing on this earth.
However, below, I’ve outlined 5 of the most common things that seem to set us back in life. When we fail to address these things, we find it hard to move forward and reach our goals. We find it hard to achieve any semblance of success when these things get in our way. After you read the below list, do an audit. Be honest with yourself and take inventory of the things you do and don’t do on a regular basis. Then commit to making a change. That’s all it takes.
#1 — We set goals the wrong way
There is a right way and a wrong way to set goals. Plain and simple. If you’re serious about succeeding at anything, you need to set goals the right way. It’s called the SMARTER goal setting method. This will take you through the process of setting and achieving your goals, no matter how big they might be. It involves the institution of massive amounts of planning and action, but also in analyzing your progress.
The better you become at analyzing your progress, and the more meticulous you are in this approach, the better your chances for success. By tracking things down to the very fundamental intricate details of what you do, such as by the day, by the hour, by the penny, by the pound or by some similar metric, then you’ll be far more likely to succeed. Set goals the right way and you won’t have such a hard time following through and achieving them.
#2 — We don’t manage our time effectively
Most of us are not effective managers of our time. In fact, we’re poor time managers for the most part. We tend to cave to peer pressure and fold into the comforts and lazinesses that invoke some of our bad habits. But that’s also a big reason why we don’t tend to succeed in life. Considering that in our present reality, time can never be created or reused, what we do with our time is incredibly important.
While money can be spent and saved and earned, time cannot. That’s what makes time so important. You can’t get it back once you’ve lost it, no matter what you try to do. When it’s gone, it’s gone forever. When you think about things that way, and you realize the sense of urgency that abounds in life, then you’ll govern yourself differently. Time is definitely running out, no matter how you look at it. So use your time wisely.
#3 — We allow bad habits to consume us
No one is perfect. However, some of us have a way of allowing our bad habits to get ahold of us more than others. You know who you are out there. And you know what? It’s okay. As long as you devote your life to improving and making things better. You can’t simply expect to do the same things over and over again and achieve different results. If you have some bad habits, make sure that you work to extricate yourself from them.
The biggest problem that we face when trying to rid our lives of bad habits that might get in the way of our chances for success is that we try to go from zero to hero overnight. It doesn’t work. Like a rubber band, we snap back, eventually reverting to our old selves and quite possibly even worse. Use the micro-changes approach to eliminate bad habits slowly over time. Reduce the behaviors associated with your bad habits slowly, day by day, week by week and month by month until you’re free from their grips.
#4 — We listen to what other people say
It’s easy to allow what other people say, to dictate the sway and outcome of our lives. When enough people tell us we can’t do something, it eventually sinks in. But for people that know, deep down inside, that they were destined for success, to achieve their dreams at all costs, other peoples’ opinions simply don’t matter. It’s hard to free yourself from that negativity that seems to pervade our closest friendships and family bonds, but it’s important to rise above.
When the people around us don’t love and support us, no matter how outlandish our goals might be, it’s definitely hard to succeed. But, whatever the mind focuses on, the mind gets. If you focus on the things that others say, not only will you find it hard to succeed, but you’ll also be miserable. Don’t allow someone’s opinion to dictate your mood or your chances to succeed. You have it inside you. No matter what it is, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
#5 — We fail to stay persistent and we give up
Bluntly speaking, failure sucks. It’s the worst possible feeling in the world. There’s no other way to put it. It’s one of the defeating, disheartening and ego-killing feelings on earth. But the thing about failure is that it either drives you or it stifles you. So many of the world’s most famous people have failed the most times. But they didn’t give up. That’s the difference. If you allow yourself to give up, then all of that work was effectively wasted.
Henry Ford once said that failure was a chance to start again, but this time more intelligibly. If you want to succeed at things, then don’t give up. Stay persistent. Big goals are not easy to achieve. No matter what way you slice it, they take time and they take massive amounts of energy. Small actions every single day without fail will move you closer and closer to your goals, whatever they might be.