“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