You’ll Probably Succeed In Life, Unless You’re One Of These Types
Don’t count them out just yet.
Having been an underdog for most of my life, I’d never underestimate anyone’s ability to succeed.
Lazy people can succeed if they work just hard (or smart) enough at the right time.
Unhappy people can succeed even if it makes them unhappier.
People-pleasing people can succeed because sometimes nice guys do finish first.
Impractical people succeed surprisingly often. They’re inventors, artists and entrepreneurs.
Even negative people can succeed if their pessimistic, fear-mongering ways can get them votes.
With that out of the way, are there any kinds of people at all who will not succeed in life?
Everyone’s definition of success in life varies. Let’s go with something most people can agree with: Success is reaching and living your dreams.
I can think of two kinds of people who will not succeed in life.
Type 1: Those who have no hunger for success
Tony Robbins has said that hunger is more important than intelligence.
Paul Arden had famously said: “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.”
Everyone wants to be successful. Some just want it a whole lot more than others.
As Eric Thomas puts it, “If you want to succeed as much as you want to breath — you will succeed.”
Those who do are the few who actually succeed.
The rest? They fall into three groups:
a) The Talented
Stanford University Professor and author of “Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential” Carol Dweck believes that people with great natural talent can easily slip into a fixed mindset.
The type of mindset that short-circuits growth and success in life.
Talent is a gift if it is built upon and shared, a curse if it leads to laziness and mental weakness.
b) The Settler
Most people want to be good at what they do, but too few are brave enough to want to be great at it.
Instead of stretching their ambitions and abilities, they settle for small goals. Easily sated by illusions of security, They are unwilling to take the risk of failure to taste the reward of real success.
What The Settler doesn’t realize is, being good is no longer good enough. Greatness happens only to those who want to be great.
As Les Brown would say in his booming voice, “You have to be unreasonable with yourself, to achieve an unreasonable amount of success!”
c) The Self-Doubter
Philosopher and poet Suzy Kassem absolutely nailed it when she said: “Doubts kill more dreams than failure ever will.”
In their book “The Confidence Code”, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman shared studies that showed how self-doubt is the number one dream-killer for both men and women.
The sad thing about self-doubters is, nobody is in their way — only themselves. They already have a Plan B in place, even before they fully believe in and commit to Plan A.
Type 2: Those who cannot bounce back from setbacks
Who is most likely to pass one of the most grueling military initiation programs in the US? The cadet with the most intelligence, leadership or physical fitness?
The answer? None of them.
Researcher Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study at the famed West Point military academy. She found that the cadets with the most mental toughness were 60 percent more likely than their peers to complete the hellish program.
Difficult conditions are what separates the winners from the wannabes.
We are built to survive and even thrive under difficult conditions. Look at the human body. Our muscles grow when load stress breaks down their fibers. They are then repaired through a natural cellular process, becoming thicker and stronger than before.
Adversity is life’s very own workout session. Yes, we will feel the aches and pains. But after that, we will also feel stronger, more resilient, even more alive.
One thing we can be sure about life is, s*** happens. People get fired, sick, divorced, sued — it comes in different forms, often through no fault of ours.
When you’re working on your life’s dreams, setback and failures will hit you. Likely with a sucker punch.
If you throw the towel after the wind has been knocked out from your stomach, you won’t get to the success you want.
a) The Lamenter
Can you drive a car just by looking in the rear-view mirror?
How can you expect to move forward when you’re looking backward at past setbacks, failures, or mistakes?
Look forward. Step on the gas. The more you move forward, the further you’ll be away from the disappointment of past failures.
True failure is when you fail once and give up. True success is when you fail many times and give your best shot again.
Stop thinking about the past. Start doing something about the future. It ain’t over till you give up.
b) The Lone Ranger
Too many people go about pursuing their dreams like they are allergic to other humans. Nobody said you have to do this alone. We need others to succeed in life.
If you’re pursuing success for yourself and by yourself, you will stop when you run into obstacles that are bigger and tougher than you.
If you’re also doing it for someone who needs you to succeed, for someone who has faith in you, for someone who is rooting for you — you’ll have a team. You will be able to kick things up another gear to overcome the obstacle.
c) The Fatalist
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- If my luck was better, I could’ve done so much more in life.
- Of course my boss promoted his yes-man, nothing I could do about that.
- Maybe someday it’ll be my turn.
Successful people never blame their luck, point fingers at others or wait for things to go their way.
They make things happen for themselves. They make people want to help them. They make their own luck.
Never surrender the power you have over your life, career and dreams. Take control of your life. For if you don’t, life will always find a way to control you.
I wrote about this in greater detail in my blog post “How To Find Success Through A Positive Attitude (Talent Not Required)”. It also includes a third condition that many people lack to succeed in life.
To recap, success is within the reach of almost anyone, as long as they have a deep hunger to be successful and aren’t afraid to get back up after adversity knocks them down.
Sounds like you?
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