5 Kinds of People Who Will Not be Successful in Life
Success is a loaded word with many different definitions. While it’s hard to define, it’s easy to invert.
By invert, I mean figure out how to surely fail at achieving an outcome you want.
If you avoid failure, you have a better shot at success regardless of how you define the word.
Certain types of people tend to be on the path to nowhere good. You want to avoid being around one of these types of people and you want to avoid becoming one of these people.
Some of these traits are more reversible than others. I won’t pretend they’re easy to fix — some are damn near death sentence.
But, you have to live your life. So wherever you are, try to figure out the right way to live by avoiding the wrong day to live.
People who set goals entirely based on the opinions of others
You can only control this to a degree, right? If you truly didn’t care about the opinions of other people at all then you wouldn’t do anything.
You’re a social animal so part of your self worth comes from your perceived status on the totem pole. Pretending like this isn’t true is doing yourself a disservice.
You can, however, control the degree to which your goals are based on the opinions of others.
I achieved those goals, in part, because I didn’t care what some people might think — that I was being unrealistic, that I ‘changed’, and that I was no longer apart of the ‘in-group’ that is the masses.
Sure, my dreams must have come from some belief system I picked up by observing other writers and entrepreneurs, etc, and a need to impress people with my unconventional life, but at least I tried to align my goals with what I wanted.
Some people will align their goals with the opinion of other people and fail to align them with what they want, e.g., pretty much anyone who works a job they hate to keep up with the Joneses.
Understand your belief systems and self-worth are partially influenced by the opinions of others, but you still have deep-seated goals and dreams that are true to you. Follow those.
I wanted to be a writer. You might want to be a marine biologist, stay at home parent or millionaire investor. I don’t know. As long as the ratio is skewed more towards what you want vs. what others want for you, you can consider yourself successful doing pretty much anything.
People with an unhealthy level of envy
Again, envy is natural. But those who have extreme levels of envy towards others won’t be successful because of their minds and too preoccupied with other people.
Take Jeff Bezos for example. Do I think he could pay his workers more? Absolutely. Do I see huge problems with late-stage capitalism? You betcha.
But I don’t harbor deep feelings of envy and resentment toward rich people. Mainly, because I’ve always seen myself as someone capable of becoming one
Or take the infamous Kardashians. People don’t hate them for some deep-seated ethical reasons. People envy them because they seem to effortlessly accumulate wealth and attention. Mind you, any insider knows they work really hard, but that’s beside the point.
People who have extreme levels of envy just don’t believe in themselves.
When you’re focused on your mission, sure, you understand that there are problematic issues and people in the world, but they’re not your focal point.
Wealth inequality is a problem in society, but Jeff Bezos or Kim Kardashian isn’t personally responsible for your lack of success in life.
Regardless of your circumstances, having an inward focus is almost always better than focusing on what others are doing.
Flat out lazy people
Your lack of success could be due to your immutable characteristics, the man being out to get you, or a large number of factors that are outside of your control.
But maybe, just maybe, you need to work harder.
Look, life isn’t fair.
To say that single-mother with 3 kids is on the same playing field as a 22-year-old Ivy League graduate would be a lie.
But you have to live your life.
And even with unequal playing fields, there is undoubtedly a correlation between hard work (on the right things) and success.
Many people in society aren’t in such a dire position that they couldn’t work harder — they’re flat out lazy. “I need to watch Netflix for 3 hours a night to decompress.” Fine, but understand there are tradeoffs to your actions.
You don’t have to work extra hours and weekends on top of your job to build a side business but understand these habits will likely lead to getting a business off the ground.
I don’t mind people who choose ‘unproductive’ activities as long as they own it. I mind the ones who feign moral superiority and act like life is unfair when, really, they just don’t work hard.
There’s this growing movement that all success and wealth are gained by confiscation. And this movement is led by lazy people.
People who use this word for too long
Fortunately, this is a trap you can escape. Unfortunately, the longer you stay in this trap the harder it is to get out. What trap? The ‘eventually’ trap.
‘Eventually’ continues to cause inertia to set in. As you move through life, get older, develop long and persistent bad habits, and hesitate, you tend to reach the point of resignation.
You just give up altogether. You see it happen to people all the time. You can see the expression of defeat in some people’s eyes. That’s where ‘eventually’ leads — to an inevitable defeat.
The cure for eventually? You know the cure already. So why don’t you do it? Ugh. Because life is inherently difficult, your brain is wired for survival over success, and you’ve been fed a set of lies that intertwined with your inner critic to cause a trap of hesitation. I get it.
It annoys me when self-help gurus say, “If you believe it, you can achieve it!.” Nope. For most people, getting out of that mental loop will never happen.
You just have to delude yourself into believing you’ll be one of those people who will escape and do whatever you need to do to make that attempt successful — let your frustration well up, think about your future deeply, reach a critical point of inspiration, something.
But never fall for the trap of thinking it’ll get easier as time goes on. Nope, the more you wait, the harder it will be to start. So, as best you can start.
People who mismanage the most important commodity in the world
Seneca says that ‘life is long if you know how to live it. I once heard a comedian say ‘Life isn’t short. It’s the longest thing you’ll ever do.’
You could get a hell of a lot done in a normal lifespan of, say, 80 years. Even if you never accomplished anything of consequence in that time span, you could’ve enjoyed life by being content throughout and enjoying the present moment — 80 years of total presence would be fantastic.
What do most of us do? We achieve nothing of consequence nor do we enjoy the present moment. We completely mismanage our time.
We spend too much of it worrying and not enough either enjoying it or doing something worthwhile doing it. We freely give it away when it should be our most guarded asset.
Paraphrasing Seneca again, we’re afraid to die but we live like we have all the time in the world left to achieve our goals.
Who’s to say what the right ratio is? You could spend a decade building a business only to miss out on the joy of life. You could spend too much time in hedonistic bliss only to look up and have nothing to show for it.
Most end up in a perpetual loop of anxiety-ridden time-wasting — work, BS errands, entertainment, living for the weekend — repeat.
You can only attempt to master time to the best of your ability, never quite getting it right. But the conscious effort of trying to master it instead of just letting time slip by matters most.
Grab your free checklist here — The Ultimate Guide to Discovering Your Natural Talents and Strengths.