If you’re wondering where these came from, there’s a book called Think and Grow Rich which is one of my first topics of the year that we usually talk about or the last topic of the year. Because it gets us ready for the upcoming year. They have 31 causes of failure outlined in this book. I’m not going to go through all 31 because you’d be spending your entire Saturday with me and I don’t know if you want to do that so let’s just pick 10 of them and go from there. 5 of them are covered in this post. And the other 5 causes of failure are listed below. I just chose these ones because they resonated with me the most, and in the past when I’ve done this group, people were able to kind of have a different perspective from it.
1. Uncontrolled Desire to get Something for Nothing
Once in a while it’s okay to get something for nothing. Like it’s your birthday, you didn’t do anything but breathe and eat and go to sleep and do all the other things human beings do for 365 days and people come and say “Happy Birthday, here’s something for nothing.” But outside of that we only get what we put in. In life you only get out what you put in. If you want something for nothing what you’re gonna have to do is you’re gonna have to lie, influence, manipulate people to get it from them. That might work for a little bit but if you do that over time you’re going to look at yourself in the mirror one day and say who the heck have I become? So we have to curb our appetite to get something for nothing.
Things like the microwave screwed us up. Why? It tells us, I don’t have time to eat, I need something quick, I don’t have time to prepare it, I’m going to put it in the microwave. Three minutes later I got my dinner. No man, plan and prepare better. Set up an hour for yourself to be able to fuel yourself the proper way. It’s all prioritization, it’s all prioritization man. So our adolescence and our younger generational demographics really are turning into these instant gratification machines. It’s happened to our older generation too because we adapt and we evolve but you know adolescence, man, they want something for nothing all the time. But as an adult the work is worth the effort. If everybody could get what they wanted then what’s the point of things? If everybody could be who they wanted to be then what’s the point of people that actually do it? You got to start putting in the work.
I do feel that this entitlement of “I deserve this” is poison. We’re not really entitled to nothing. I do believe we’re all entitled maybe to a little bit of love because we are living beings and one of the things that we need to survive is love. But if we don’t have that self love and we go out in the world feeling like we’re entitled for other people to love us when we don’t love ourselves, it just don’t work like that. So yeah, the whole entitlement thing is sad but here we are so. We can either say, “Hey, I got a problem with this” or say “I’m not going to live a life that I feel like I’m entitled. I’m going to work and earn what I have in life, and I’m gonna be grateful for it.” And if other people want to be entitled, man, that’s on them, not us, not the people in this group. Set the example. That takes a lot of work, so there you go.
2. Ill Health
I don’t think actually I know that human beings cannot achieve the life they want to have or aspire to have, with poor health and here is why. Ill health will always get in the way of your progress. It might not be immediately but it will eventually catch up and all the work you’ve done will be wiped out. There’s a powerful quote that says,
“Many humans spend their youth and their health chasing wealth. Once they achieve their wealth they use all of that wealth to chase the health that they sacrificed.”
How sad is that? I’m going to say that again because I think it is very important that human beings use all of their health, consecutively, to achieve this thing called wealth. Once they achieve this thing called wealth they use all of their wealth to chase the health that they sacrificed and gave up in the pursuit of that wealth. So my friends, whatever that wealth is you’re pursuing, whether it’s money or just a life experience, if it’s coming at the sacrifice of your health, eventually you’re going to lose it, eventually you’re going to lose it. So when we’re talking about ill health as a cause of failure what are we talking about? Yes I am talking about our physical body. Do I think that people need to be at the apex and the peak of physical fitness in form? No, but I do believe that it is something that needs to be addressed and a part of an everyday life routine.
You might say, “Well, hey man, I don’t think you understand the way life works. It’s impossible to do something for my body and my physical health everyday.” No, it’s not. That’s a narrative and a story you told yourself. Because you might be assuming that I’m saying to go to the gym for two hours or join some group exercise classes or go on wellness retreats. I’m not saying that. I’m saying if at the minimum you don’t walk around for 20 to 30 minutes a day around the block, if you don’t move your body at some level, if you don’t mindfully and consciously look and think about everything you put into your body, that your health will be compromised. And on top of that health is not just our physical body. It’s also our mind and our mental health. So if you live a life that is constantly stressed out with your adrenaline glands just pumping cortisol, if you are unable to sleep at night, if you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and you don’t do something for that everyday, do you think a person that doesn’t take care of their health, their body and their mind will actually succeed in life? What is this? How is that even realistic?
Another take is that sometimes with ill health it’s important to stop and reassess. Not necessarily fun, but an opportunity. Yeah, so that’s a part of health though. So let’s say that you’ve gone down a certain path in the pursuit of becoming healthier right? So the intention was beautiful, you go down this path and all of a sudden you get to a road, you get to a moment that maybe you start to experience burnout, maybe you experience some fatigue, maybe you realize that what you’re doing or how you’re doing it just is not aligning with you. At that point it’s beautiful to pause to reflect and course-correct and make some adjustments and changes. But here’s the most important part. After you reassess and after you charge your batteries, whatever that means, you better get back moving towards your health again. Because what happens in certain situations is that there’s a lot of people that are very black and white, so they’ll do something full-blown, like crazily for a while. While most people give up after 30 days but they’ll do it and then they’ll get somewhere and they’ll be like, “Ah, this isn’t working anyway,” and then they’ll go like a year of just not doing it because it didn’t work, so there’s a very important line we have to find out and that line is this: no matter what you do for your health, whether it works or doesn’t work, or whether you want to tweak it or change it, you got to make sure that you’re implementing it every day. One of my mentors, Keith Stump is his name, taught me the following. He said that every single day when I wake up I make sure I do three things – one thing for my mind, one thing for my body, one thing for my spirit – every single day. And if you look at this man that every single day he does one thing for those three things he doesn’t have to say it. It’s just obvious that he does, and it’s just a very important way to kind of start the day.
3. Unfavorable Environmental Influences during Childhood
If you had unfavorable environmental influences in your childhood it does not equal that you’re doomed or a death sentence. All it says is that you had a tough childhood okay? And what is a tough childhood? By the way, because everyone thinks what’s really tough? Because I might have had it bad but those people have it worse, or mine wasn’t as bad as them. It’s whatever it is to you.
So some of these influences they talk about or environmental influences:
maybe you came up in poverty,
or you came up really struggling,
maybe you moved a lot.
Was there separation?
Was there divorce?
Was there domestic violence?
Did you experience any type of pain as a result of addiction – self/others?
Mental illness – self/others?
Trauma, abuse, grief and loss?
If the answer is yes, which for many human beings the answer is yes, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to fail in life. If you choose to believe that because you experience those that you don’t have a chance to succeed you’re going to prove yourself right. And guess what you’re going to do on top of that? You’re going to recreate the cycle and you’re going to do to others what was done to you. You’re going to do to others what was done to you and you’ll be wondering why the heck am I doing this to someone when I know how difficult it was? But that’s what happens. Or you can say, “Okay I experienced these things in my life and I don’t want to make my future look like my past,” and you get in the weeds and you start to work on these and you address them and you process them and you break multigenerational patterns of dysfunction and abuse. Because if not you, who? If not you, who? So you want the next generation to be the ones to do it. Why them and not you? Because it’s too hard. Because it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. Because you’re already set in your ways. Those are all stories and narratives you’re just telling yourself to make yourself not wake up to the possibilities available to you. Wake up to those possibilities.
Yeah, the blame game. And by the way, people that play the blame game – so they blame their past for reasons why they can’t move forward in the present moment – they find people that they can blame to not look at themselves. Also God – it’s so easy to blame that person over there for reasons why I’m struggling. It’s easy to blame that situation over there for reasons why I can’t focus. Oh man, don’t act like this stuff’s just happening right now. We are the way we are always. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
“You are not responsible for the world that created your mind but we must take responsibility for the mind that creates our world.” -Dr. Gabor Mate
But what a powerful statement that growing up in this world we’re not responsible for the world that creates our mind. Especially when you’re a kid, you’re not responsible for what’s happening in your environment. You’re not responsible for Mom, Dad, social stressors, socio-psych, socioeconomic status, the trauma you experience, the pain, the loss, you’re not responsible for that. But as an adult you are responsible for the mind that creates your world even if it’s broken and tore up from your childhood. We still got to take responsibility for it.
4. Negative Personality
Some people got a negative personality and that’s the biggest cause of failure. And I’m not talking about people that are just unlikable. Here’s what it looks like. So like I have this definition of pessimism. Pessimism, most people think is cup-empty. Cup-full as optimism. Too basic.
Here is how I want you to perceive pessimism. Let’s say that me and you are sitting inside a Malibu beach house and inside this Malibu beach house we’re sitting in a room that’s got this huge piece of glass in front of it that we’re looking at the Pacific Ocean and we’re sitting there just in awe of how majestic it looks. The sun is shining, reflecting on it, and it’s just exploding into the sky and it’s the most breathtaking scene that you can imagine. And we’re talking, we’re like, “Wow, look at this moment, look how beautiful it is.” We’re full of gratitude and someone comes through the door and they walk in they’re like, “What are you guys looking at?” We’re like, “Man, just open your eyes and look at this beautiful thing, how powerful is this?” and they’re like, “Yeah yeah, it’s all right.” But they walk right up to the to the glass and they say, “But what’s this dirt on the window?” That’s the negative personality. Those of us that see the dirt on the window we miss out on the big picture of life and if you are trying to succeed, if you’re trying to level up, if you’re trying to go from where you are to where you want to be, if you got a negative personality you will always be stuck. You can take my word for it. Not only will you be stuck you’ll regress back because you’ll find negative things across the way. So the way you look at life is the way life is going to present itself.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Wayne Dyer
So when you’re looking at a life situation, a circumstance, people, places, things, we have choices. We can either look at it from a negative lens which disempowers us, takes away our vitality, takes away our creativity, takes away our passion. Or we look at it from different perspectives until we find a perspective that empowers us, that brings us energy, that awakens our passion and ultimately helps us transform. Your perspective is your choice. It could either be your advantage or it could be your assassin, you choose. And that question alone is also a choice. You choose how you want to view this world, how you want to view yourself, how you want to view others. If you look at it positively I have a feeling that it’s going to resonate and it’s going to turn into a positive place and if you look at it negatively I know that it will resonate and it will turn into a dark negative place. Because Wayne Dyer also said hostile people live in a hostile world. Loving people live in a loving world. Same world.
Unfortunately society is plagued by this one too and I don’t think I rarely ever use the word lazy because I don’t believe that people that procrastinate are lazy. I believe that procrastination is a motivation or lack thereof. People that are motivated to do things do not procrastinate when you want to do something. You do it. There’s a sense of urgency. You ever see somebody buy a concert ticket that they know is going to be sold out? That they really want to go to? They’re on the computer at 12:01 to hit Purchase when it went on sale at 12 o’clock. If they procrastinate what’s going to happen? It’s going to pass them by. But how are they able to show up in that moment, in the first moment possible, to do something when in other areas in their life they’ll procrastinate till the last moment, the last minute, the last second? It’s a motivation thing. So if you procrastinate you’re not lazy, you are just unmotivated to do what it is that you’re procrastinating about. Now here’s the thing. We talked about self discipline in life. Oftentimes we have to do the things we don’t want to do, especially when we know we need to do them. That’s just a maturity and responsibility thing. Like I’m not highly motivated about everything I do but I make sure that I’m motivated about most things I do. So when I have to do the things I don’t want to do it ain’t that bad. Procrastination is a very painful thing. Get her done first. Handle what you could. Don’t push off till tomorrow what could be done today. Cliche but it’s real.
What’s the point of it? That’s another thing people think. Here’s a good thing about procrastination. People think that somehow, someway what they don’t feel like doing today, that one day they will wake up with the motivation and the enthusiasm and the energy to do it is going to come then. Bro, if you don’t want to do it today, the odds of you not doing it tomorrow are very high. We don’t just get struck one day with the desire to do all the things that we’re procrastinating on. It just doesn’t work that way. Do it now and get the payoff of getting it done.
I love lists. Yeah, probably sounds really dorky. Yellow pad, writing it all down, crossing it all out, I like that. Why do I like that? Because people have taught me that is how you can get a lot done when you’re overwhelmed. And if I didn’t have that list I’ll just sit back and get paralyzed by the weight of the responsibility. But you cross it out. Here’s a good tip for anybody. Let’s say there are 10 things that you’re procrastinating on right now. Make a list of those 10 and then stack rank them or prioritize them. What are the most important ones and go down if you successfully complete the top two most important things. It will provide you with 80% mental health relief of that list. 80/20 rule. It applies to not just sales and business, it applies to the lists, in the tasks of your life. 20% of the things that you need to do will provide 80% of the relief.