The Seven Causes of Failure in Business and in Life

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Henry Ford

Most people understand the need to set goals. And many resolve to set them. They challenge themselves to quit smoking, lose weight or build up a retirement fund, but often fall short of their goals. Enthusiasm wanes under the pressure of maintaining a false standard of living that keeps them from getting started. Ambition takes a back seat to keeping up with bills and resolving immediate conflicts.

The failure to reach goals can’t be entirely blamed on a lack of resolve. Picking yourself up by the bootstraps, reading self-help books and inspirational videos can help to keep you motivated. But the lack of progress so many experience often has its routes in their adopted lifestyle. If you hope to achieve any measure of success, you need to look at how you run your life and make corrections that bring more of the success you desire.

Staying Positive Every Day. All self-help books mention the need to stay positive and look on the bright side of life. Of course, a positive outlook does help. But staying positive every minute of every day is unrealistic. Everyone is a creature of emotion. Sickness, personal tragedy and a number of factors can put a dent in anyone’s cheery smile. Rather than try to put that smile on your face while you’re suffering inside, you should accept your negative feelings and let them run their course. Unless you are severely depressed, negative feelings will pass.

Living in Negative Relationships. Some relationships can never work. And staying in them increases misery. While you can avoid naysaying friends to keep you from getting depressed, it’s harder to end an intimate relationship. If you are in such a relationship that is dragging you down, you may need to end it after you’ve tried everything else.

Accepting Advice from the Wrong Sources. Good advice is hard to come by. There are many who will readily give you advice that goes contrary to your goals. Since we live in a society that emphasizes the negatives of life, you need to be vigilant and filter out what is useful and what can be ignored. Before you accept advice, whether from a well-meaning friend or even a self-proclaimed financial guru, get a second opinion. It can save you a great deal of hardship.

Following the Status Quo without Question. Everyone wants to belong to some group, church or association. And millions readily accept what society projects as “normal”. But being “normal” can keep you from being the success you are meant to be. Media advertising is effective in convincing the consumer on what success is measured by. How much material wealth you possess does not mean you are successful. Unfortunately, the “follow the herd” mentality produces more failures than those who question society’s definition of success and happiness and act on what they believe to be correct.

Poor Decision Making. Making poor choices can affect performance and affect future prosperity. Irrational decisions are made solely on reason and impulse, rather than logic or reality. Thinking through a problem may seem too time consuming in today’s age of hustle and bustle, but the time spent to think things through before taking action will pay off.

Dulling the Mind Through Frivolous Activity. Television and entertainment have their uses. But for some, they become an escape from reality. Those who see no hope in their future try to dull their senses through alcohol, overeating, drugs or sex. But such activities are self-destructive. Those who have no idea of what they want from life are destined to live in a perpetual dream state. Success demands an alert and intuitive mind and using it to its full capacity. If something isn’t being done to work toward a goal every day, life stands meaningless.

Procrastination. For some, procrastination is a chronic activity. Fear of making mistakes, fear of an unknown future holds people immobile. Life never guarantees a 100% success rate. At some point you need to simply act, no matter how much information you’ve acquired to make a decision. Corporate executives must make decisions every day, even though their decisions could impact the bottom line of their company. But fear does not keep them from taking action once they have established a reasonable assurance of success.

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