I warned you this would be a long list, but it’s a telling one, too. There is a lot to learn from Napoleon Hill’s list of 30 Major Causes of Failure, and knowing the cause of your failure is the first step in correcting the problem. Today we pick up again with number 14.
Common Reasons Why People Fail
14. One or more of the six basic fears. These fears have been analyzed for you in a later chapter. They must be mastered before you can market your services effectively.
15. Failed relationships. A failed marriage or long-term intimate relationship is not always a cause of financial ruin, but to be sure it is in a large number of cases. The lack of a supportive home-base, coupled with the financial implications of a failed marriage and the effect a stressful home-life or relationship in disrepair has on your abilities to put your full assets into your work and business is an increasingly common cause of failure. While a relationship cannot, and often should not, be saved, you can do your best to work constructively through your pain and maintain your ability to function in business dealings, preventing relationship difficulties from destroying your ambition.
16. Being overly-cautious. The person who takes no chances generally has to take whatever is left when others are through choosing. Over-caution is as bad as under-caution. Both are extremes to be guarded against. Life itself is filled with the element of chance, however, sometimes chance is in reality opportunity.
17. Choosing the wrong business associates. This is one of the most common causes of failure in business. In marketing personal services, it is important to take great care to select an employer who will be an inspiration, and who is, her- or himself, intelligent and successful. We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.
18. Superstition and prejudice. It would be nice to be able to wipe this clean off Hill’s original list of thirty, however, superstition and prejudice are still very real forces in work and business life today. If it wasn’t, there would be no need for ‘Equal Opportunity’ laws, employment quotas, or discrimination lawsuits. Superstition is a form of fear. It is also a sign of ignorance. People who succeed keep open minds and are afraid of nothing.
19. Choosing the wrong line of work. No man can succeed in a line of work he does not like. The most essential step in the marketing of personal services is that of selecting an occupation into which you can throw yourself wholeheartedly.
20. Lack of concentrated effort. The “jack-of-all-trades” is seldom master of any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim.
On this list we begin to see more causes that relate to poor decision-making and ingrained habits and responses. Napoleon Hill shows that all of these are situations that can be corrected (not necessarily easily, but the good news is there is a definite possibility!). Identify the causes of your failures, and work to improve upon them. Leave regret and shame behind, they’re useless—just recognize your difficulty, and resolve to improve now to preserve and succeed for the rest of your life!
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