Why do quick fixes catch us out so often, even when we know perfectly well that they’re not going to work?
I think there’s a something -for-nothing gene in everyone, a part of us that thinks we shouldn’t have to work for a living, that life should be easier than this. Maybe a bit of envy, too: why are those people rich and I’m still struggling?
The dream of “easy street” Deep down, we know that really the only thing to do is knuckle down and work for a living. But we’re still seduced by the get-rich-quick schemes, the tales of ladolce vita,working two hours a day on the beach in the Bahamas, or winning the Lottery (even if we don’t even buy tickets!).
Because some people do seem to manage it – and if they can, why not us? But you know what happens to so many lottery winners: they’re broke again and miserable within a few years. They haven’t earned that money and they don’t know how to handle it. They’re not used to mixing with the rich, and their old friends don’t know how to treat them any more (except to beg for a handout). Most of the “two hours a day on the beach” programmes that are bona fide actually require quite a lot of work before you get to the beach, though they don’t tell you so, of course. And most people, starting with the something for nothing attitude the schemes attract, fail because they’re not prepared to put in the hours to make them work.
They don’t have the right mindset for success. It’s attractive Success only comes to those who know how to attract it, and that knowledge only comes from focusing on something until it works. That may come sooner (think online whizz kid billionaires) or later (the rest of us), but it certainly won’t come if you sit around and wait for it, as most people do. If you’ve even taken the first step towards your vision you’re way ahead of the pack. A shocking number of people check in their dreams at the door of their first job, and settle for the safe option. That’s not the route to success. The guys who get to the top of the companies that the non dreamers work for have hung on to their dreams, passion and ambition; they don’t settle for being office cannon fodder, they want to run the campaign. Success is a journey, not a destination.
You need to take the first step and keep right on stepping until you arrive – and then find somewhere else to head for. The people who ask you “how will you know when you’ve succeeded?” are missing the point. There’s always another challenge ahead. Everything you learn and all the risks you take along the way are part of your success. If those risks fail, you still know enough to pick yourself up and start again. That’s why self made millionaires who go bust usually become millionaires again within a few years: they may have lost their money but they haven’t lost their know how. Going bust is nothing to be ashamed of – lots of people have done it before, and lots more will do it in the future. It’s only a shame if you shut yourself away and say “never again”.
The ones who learn from their mistakes and come back fighting can be called successful. They fail in order to win, like the guy who invented the light bulb. Reports vary, but it took somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 attempts. He didn’t call them failures, just ways that didn’t work. He knew he was going to find a way one day. He succeeded. What failures have you had on your path to success? Have you taken up any of the get-rich-quick offers, or even thought about it? Have you become successful (early or later) and have tips you’d like to pass on? Share your thoughts with us!