There has been much written, and said, about why and how people succeed. The contention being that, in order to succeed, you must learn, and then apply, the principles and techniques used by others who have gained success.
But, knowing the principles and techniques used by others who have gained success doesn’t qualify a person to succeed. If it did, all of those who have read and studied the various, and many, books, booklets, plans, and programs on the subject of SUCCESS would, by virtue of their knowledge thereof, be successful.
Statistically, 98% of the people in this country never reach a level of anything more than sustained mediocrity; only 2% ever really achieve success. – WHY?
The answer is simple. – They have never “qualified” for success, because they refuse to “pay their dues.”
These people (the 98%) are so wrapped-up in “protecting” and “maintaining” the level of mediocrity they have achieved that they will not risk one iota of what they have.
It’s like the young boy who, at long last, got his first pair of really fine shoes.
Now, these shoes were exceptionally fine. So fine, in fact, that the boy spent many hours wiping and shining them – while keeping them safe from scuffs, neatly wrapped in paper, in their box under his bed.
A number of opportunities presented themselves for the boy to wear the shoes, but he chose to safe-guard them and wore his older shoes instead. After all, if he wore them, he would run the risk of scuffing them or dulling their glittering shine.
When the day finally arrived, when the occasion was most important, the boy learned, to his disappointment, that his feet had grown and the shoes no longer fit him. (I gave that pair of shoes to a more needy neighbor – and, from that day forward, I have never again been afraid to lose anything.)
Unfortunately, most people are like that boy. – They read all of the books, booklets, plans, and programs about the principles and techniques used by others to gain success. As the boy did with the shoes, they let the opportunities to use what they have learned pass them by – or, they make a half-hearted start, but never continue past their first small and futile attempts.
Why do they hold back? – Because they fear losing what little they have. They “protect” their meager and mediocre position so well that they never lose it.
At retirement age, those people look back with pride at the fact that they have ventured little and lost nothing. But, not unlike the boy and his shoes, they learn, to their disappointment, that that which they protected so well will not sustain them after their retirement and they are forced to seek aid and assistance from their government, family and friends.
Those people have never “qualified” for anything better, because they have never “paid their dues.”
If you haven’t, yet, gained success, look around you. What are you protecting? If you lost it all tomorrow, would you really lose anything of great value?
Why People (And Businesses) Fail
People fail, not because they cannot succeed, but because they are unwilling to risk what they have. They “protect” their mediocrity until it is all they have left.
The struggle to achieve success is not unlike any great battle in any war. The victorious army is always the one that gives-up the position it has won in order to advance against a better, more advantageous position. Only the losing army stands and defends a mediocre position.
A young Lieutenant once asked a wise General, “Why should we try so hard to reach a position at the top of the hill? As we charge up the hill, our enemies will surely take the positions behind us, and we will lose what we have gained; even if we take the hill.”
The General, a very wise man, replied, “Yes – but, it is much easier to charge down-hill. When we have taken the higher position, we will charge back down the hill and recover all that we have lost. Then, we will charge down the other side of the hill.”
The people who make up the 2% that achieve success are forever charging up the hill – losing all behind them – and then charging back down the hill, on both sides, to regain anything they may have lost and achieve even more success.
Not unlike the losing army, most people will never succeed, because it would mean that they would have to give-up the mediocre position they have protected for so long.