Question: What is the main thing that holds people back from true success in life?
Answer – In a word, apathy.
Apathy is absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. When we are apathetic, we lack interest in or concern for things that others can find moving or exciting… Summed up, we become lame duck, couch sitting, TV junkies, Cheetos eating bottom feeders. (Was that too strong?)
“One of the first and most important steps toward any accomplishment is to find out what is holding us back,” Sterling Sill.
There are many reasons why people give up on their dreams of financial and personal success. However, few people wake up one day and say, “I’m done with my dreams, I’m not going to do what it takes to succeed any more.”
Statistics tell us that few people ever reach the top positions within any organization. It does not matter if the top position is in traditional business companies or in network marketing. Few people truly achieve greatness in anything. However, there are a lot of people that skate through life having never really done anything truly spectacular. Why is that? We already discussed that most people don’t consciously turn off their dreams over night. So what makes people apathetic toward success?
People slip into apathy in three ways: ignorance, indecision, and indifference.
These three I’s are what I like to call “Success Sins.” The problem with these three sins is that they are sins of omission, not commission. This means that you commit them by doing nothing. It is not big things that cause you to fail, it is the small things. The small shrub is much more likely to trip you up than the giant oak.
Doers are almost never colossal failures.
- Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
- Babe Ruth hit 714 career home runs, but he struck out 1,360 times.
- Abraham Lincoln was defeated in 1832 for the Illinois State Legislature, and in 1858 for the US Senate before he was elected to be President of the United States.
- Forbes says Donald Trump is worth $2.7 billion, but Trump’s business entities have used bankruptcy at least twice (that we know of) to regain financial health.
Potential success stories have been interrupted far more by failure to understand success principles and dedication to understand success principles than outside influences creating opposition. That means that people trip themselves up far more often than someone or something getting in their way. Ignorance is what stands between most people and their dreams.
So why don’t more people study success principles and become inspired by the success of icons such as Abraham Lincoln? If we were to only take time each day to study other success stories we would see that are heroes are just people; flawed, scared and initially incompetent individuals who are willing to improve and seek answers through doing or studying the actions of a mentor. The answers to success are right in front of us. Inspirational stories surround us, but we are often just unwilling to look for the obvious answers to success.
Decision making is crucial to success and some people just can’t make a decision. Guess what, if you never decide to act you are in deep trouble if you want to be successful. If you are committing the Success Sin of indecision you can strengthen your decision making muscles. I am not saying that you look before you leap, but doing nothing until you have a perfect knowledge of what is going to happen will just not happen.
Good intentions will not make you a success. Good intentions acted upon will sometimes cause failure. However, good intentions acted upon on a regular basis will propel you to new heights. Procrastinating is simply delaying the inevitable and if you continue to postpone your future and you will lose interest in your dreams propelling you into couch potato mediocrity.
After too much procrastination and vacillation, some actually lose the power to make a decision. I know of one man whose mind is so perfectly balanced between the positive and the negative that he has great difficulty forming an opinion either one way or the other. His mind resembles a teeter-totter in perfect balance. There is as much weight pressing down on the negative end as on the positive. He has difficulty getting enough of a majority on either side to get a conviction. It is the old story of the donkey starving to death midway between two piles of hay. – Sterling Sill
Stop delaying your future, get out of your own way and make a darn decision.
The biggest Success Sin is not that people disbelieve in success principles or that they can succeed, it is far worse when people just don’t care one way or the other. It is one thing to broke, but it is much worse to lack interest and enthusiasm.
When you are indifferent, you inner fire remains unlit and eventually is snubbed out permanently.
No one deliberately decides to be ignorant. Ignorance is indifference to learning. Sloth is indifference to industry. Weakness is indifference to strength. – Sterling Sill
Find something to care about. Indifference will sap you of more strength than anything outside of you.
These three success sins probably rob more people of personal success than any thing else.
Thomas A. Edison said, “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the real labor of thinking.” If we are not actively thinking and planning our future, TV and those around us will plan our future for us. I personally believe that NBC and HBO should not be planning my future. James Allen and Proverbs tell us that we become think about. We are so close to success if we just do our best each day to avoid apathy towards the things that are most likely to bring us our dreams. It requires diligence and passion to succeed but isn’t our future worth it? For many people success is far less important than clinging desperately to the mind numbing comfort of ignorance, indecision and indifference; just stop being one of them.
The three I’s have always been our biggest problem. We remain stricken with ignorance and poisoned by a continuous succession of small thoughts. We become centers of indifference. This prevents our progress. The three I’s develop a sort of “idleness and inactivity in perpetuity.” Sterling Sill
So what are you going to do about it? Break the bad habits you have formed by the Success Sins. Go out and make a decision quickly even if it is where you are going to lunch. Read something positive everyday, even if it is only for a couple minutes. Find a mentor, eat something healthy, write down a goal and do some exercise. Get excited about something now to feel some energy pumping through your veins again. Start now and change someting, even if it is small. Make something out of your life by escaping apathy and you will find something in you that has always been there, maybe it has just been hiding.