“Work hard and you’ll become successful.” How many of us have heard that advice and followed it hoping that it’d work? You work overtime and you put in extra hours to get some extra cash. You’re tired and stressed from working hard day after day, yet nothing seems to change. “Why am I not successful yet” you ask? While hard work and serious effort is indeed important, reality is far more complex. Here are seven reasons why you still haven’t made it.
“Why should we work hard when you’ll give us free stuff anyway?” Buckle down for a moment as this might be a painful lesson if you’re already financially successful (or on the way there). Even though wealth and financial success allows you to help others (family, friends, and beggars) more easily, too much of it can backfire. Instead of giving them wings to fly, you might make them dependent on your handouts.
“In general, I am opposed to giveaways and handouts. They take away initiative and responsibility from people. If people know that things can be received ‘free,’ they tend to spend their energy and skill chasing the ‘free’ things rather than using the same energy and skill to accomplish things on their own. Handouts encourage dependence rather than self-help and self-confidence.” – Muhammad Yunus, Creating a World Without Poverty
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We’ve all asked ourselves “how can I get rich?” and started searching books and articles for answers. Most likely, we found “save a little money every paycheck and invest it” and how investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds over time can someday make you wealthy (I teach that in several of my articles as well). The question now however, is that are those the only things you can or should invest on?
To take things further, did most, if not all wealthy people earn their wealth through them alone? Well, one bestselling author and researcher who surveyed and interviewed hundreds of millionaires say they didn’t.
Some time ago I climbed Mount Pinatubo, one of the most famous volcanoes in the Philippines. It was a simple and enjoyable hike along the rivers and the canyons and the crater lake at the end was beautiful. Around the crater near the rest stop is a set of stairs, and it’s rather tiring to climb unless you exercise often. Of course, a lot of us tourists get tired there.
One of the guides, a local who is used to the mountain landscape remarked “Anak mayaman” (rich person’s offspring, or “rich kid”) in a disparaging tone. It’s a common mindset: Rich kids are weak, mean, and spoiled. I mean, that’s how they all are on TV, right?
There’s an old Filipino saying “libre lang ang mangarap” and it translates to “it’s free to dream.” While it sounds nice on paper, these days it implies that while you can dream big all you want, achieving your dreams is too difficult or impossible so you should never even try. While we wish we were rich and successful, it won’t happen and we’ll have to settle for an “ordinary” life instead. If we were born poor, we’ll just have to accept it and STAY poor.
Well what if you really DO want to become successful? Well then you need to have BIG dreams in order to achieve it! It’s free to dream… and it’s also free to think, plan, and find the way to achieve those dreams!
“If you limit your choice only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that’s left is a compromise.”-Robert Fritz
“Diligence is the mother of good luck.” – Benjamin Franklin
You see lucky people everywhere. They have rich parents, they are good at sports, and they nearly always get good grades in school. Most of us, however, are just ordinary. We don’t have rich parents, we’re not very good at sports, and we barely pass our exams. For a lot more of us, it’s even worse as we’re often saddled with disadvantages and life often feels like an uphill climb.
You probably know what it’s like. You study hard for your exams and you barely pass that test. You work hard at your job and you still don’t get promoted. You try to improve your business yet sales don’t increase one bit. While you’re doing all that, other people seem to just glide through life. Some people just have all the luck, right?
You know, I wish luck will give me a billion-dollar business tomorrow. I also want to get lucky and become a world champion athlete as well. I mean, that how most people think luck works right? You wake up one day and you suddenly built a multinational corporation from thin air, you suddenly won the world title fight without ever leaving your couch, or you go from fast food worker to a real estate billionaire in a day because you got “lucky.”
Sadly, that doesn’t happen. So what can we do about it?
Many of us dream of living in a big beautiful mansion, earning a lot of money, having lots of friends, and a loving family… but one main reason why we don’t achieve it is because many of us are subconsciously afraid of success.
To be more specific, many of us are afraid of what we need to do in order to become successful. We are afraid of giving up the comfortable things that we have now and we are afraid of trying new things in order to earn something better.
Whenever we think about the good life, doubts also cloud our mind and we can only think of the reasons why we CAN’T do it. The mansion, the riches, and the happy family all seem like an IMPOSSIBILITY for us and we think to ourselves “What if I fail in business? What if I invest and lose money? What if I don’t like that new job or I get fired? What if those people hate me? Why can’t I tell my family directly that I love them? What if I lose everything I have now?” Thus, we stay as we are, do what we’ve always done, and keep earning what we’ve always gotten.
Aside from all that, many want positive changes, but few want to MAKE those changes. Many want to be rich and successful, but few are actually willing to do the work required. Millions of people fail because they’re too scared to try.
What do you do? How do you resolve that fear? How do you earn the life you want?
The Philippine presidential elections will happen VERY soon and I remember some people thinking “if the government wasn’t corrupt we’d be rich!” or “we are poor because the government is terrible!” During these times, some candidates are hailed by the their supporters as the “savior” who will change the Philippines and that all of the country’s problems will be solved instantly once they’re elected. As a side effect of this, some people appear to think that when their candidates win and the government changes, all their own personal problems (financial or otherwise) will be solved as well.
While it’s true that government corruption and irresponsibility can destroy the lives and welfare of an entire nation or, at the minimum, make everything more difficult, it’s a terrible mistake to think that having a better government will magically turn you from a simple laborer into a billionaire without you doing anything. The country might change for the better (or it might also change for the worse), but none of that will mean anything to any one of us unless we do something about our own personal situations.
We all dream of becoming successful: Earn a lot of money, travel the world, provide the best home and education for our family, help the poor and underprivileged, eat great food, change the world, or attain whatever “success” means for us. The only problem is simply finding out how we can achieve it.
You’re likely good at your job, you do your duties better than most of your peers, and you probably know more about the specifics better than your own boss. You work hard to earn money, but you still can’t afford everything you dream of. You’re already tried doing more by working harder, but you still get paid the same. What’s missing? Why aren’t you as successful as you’d like?
We all face difficulties in life and sometimes we come across certain problems that seem far too difficult to handle. Fortunately, there are multiple ways out of any tough situation and infinite ways through and around every obstacle. The trick is simply learning how to find it.
So what ails you?
Your job is too stressful or boring and you want to get out of it… but you can’t find anything better.
You want to travel, help the poor to rise above poverty, or follow your life’s dream… but you’re too tied down by your responsibilities.
“How do I get a better job? How can I get rich? How can I follow my dreams?” If you asked Robert H. Schuller the pastor, motivational speaker, and author of books like “Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People do!”, he’ll answer you with a strange question: