Many times we read rules on success. Five rules of success. Ten things you must do to be successful and so on. Business people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey are people we admire and want to emulate. We read books about them to get tips on how to succeed. There is ample information on what to do to succeed. But there are so many things that young people do that will lead to the opposite- failure. They do them repeatedly without thinking. And of course they don’t enjoy the success they really want. I thought we should talk about the things people do that lead to failure.

  • Young people are careless relative to details. They don’t pay enough attention to detail. What I like to call crossing your ‘t’s and dotting your ‘i’s. Things just don’t get well done. I read articles written by young people and I shudder at the level of careless writing. Excellence is far from their thoughts. I drill my children to do things properly. To clean the kitchen after dinner, to tidy their rooms, to wash the car, to do their homework with an attitude of excellence. That is where it starts-at home with the little things. Then it will translate to a way of life that affects your relationships and work life.
  • Young people are not courteous. Politeness is no longer part of our culture, is it? I think young people have just put themselves up there. Isn’t that what we call pride? The big I am, especially when they have achieved a little. The Western way of doing things does not give too much consideration to courtesy. As long as your work gets done. But that is not true. I have seen young and brilliant people lose good opportunities for growth because of lack of courtesy. They were rude and the people around could not handle it any more. This is bad for anyone who wants to succeed.
  • Another reason young people fail is that they are either unwilling to take advice or too dependent on advice. I think both situations are extreme and you need to find the place of balance where you take advice from the right people but are also able to make good decisions for yourself. In our culture where parents don’t necessarily let you grow up, and people are at home a little longer than necessary, this is so important. Everyone needs to be mentored, but just enough to be strong on their own.
  • Another reason that people fail is that they lack self-mastery. They are unable to control their thought patterns and emotions. You could call this self discipline or control. When you have good self-mastery, you have the ability to control yourself in all situations, and move forward consciously and steadily toward your goals. You know your purpose, and you’re disciplined enough to do things in a deliberate, focused, and honorable way. That is the only way you can begin to believe in yourself, no matter what life throws at you. I have seen people lose in life because of anger, greed, jealousy, laziness, etc- they lack self discipline to live successful lives. It need not be so, if people will just learn to control themselves.
  • One major phenomenon that leads to failure is living in fear. What are you afraid of? You must kill the power of fear over your life and live fearlessly. Or else, success will be difficult to attain. Fear is a powerful force. It cripples. It discourages. It drains you of your inner strength. It paralyses. It makes it impossible for you to reach out to your dreams. That is why you must defeat the power of fear. However, many times, people hide behind it, or ignore it, or deal with it in a light hearted manner. The fact is that it gains grounds in our lives. It will deprive you of something small today, then tomorrow it goes for the kill. Eventually it will rob you of the life of your dreams. Kill fear in your life before it kills you.
  • The last and most important thing is that young people don’t want to embrace the God factor in their lives. They are told that they can do whatever they want to do- which is not a lie. However, the real winner or successful person is the one who has submitted the right to choose what he wants against the background of what God wants, knowing He created him with a good plan. It means that you have committed you life to the One who gives enablement to attain wealth. So you are guaranteed of success. It is no longer a trial and error thing but deliberate steps in the loving arms of a Loving Father. That in my opinion is real success. CK