More on Success and Failure

I’ll be the first to admit that I have found myself to be wrong on more than a few counts over the course of my life. As one might expect, some of the errant perspectives I have held have been entirely minor, some more major, and some life changing when internalized and understood.

In this post, I’d like to talk about one of the more important things I have had entirely incorrect in my past, that being the accounting responsibility—and equally importantly, authority—for successes and failures in my life.

As a young man I, like so very many others when in youth, tried to place the blame for my failure and the “glory” of my success in a variety of places other than myself.

In doing this, it would have been quite difficult for me to have been more wrong. The “shift” in my view has “placed the blame” for both my failures and my successes squarely upon my own shoulders.

I don’t know when certain realizations regarding success and failure came solidly into focus, just that now, in focus they are.

One extremely significant realization is, unless others are somehow magically aware of what counts as a success or a failure on a given front looks for me, their ability to influence that  success or failure is at best, quite limited.

Another important consideration is that, where one can look at the world as a set of adversarial transactions and activities, in truth, almost everybody actually ends up better off only of those around them do likewise. Put simply, a person attempting to amass wealth or power to him or her self will do a poor job indeed unless he or she has help, and where that help can be coerced, in general, that person is much better off if instead, he or she can elicit that aid willingly. What’s the best way to get people to cooperate in your activities happily? To offer them some benefit they wouldn’t attain outside of working with you, or at least not as easily or quickly.

That doesn’t mean others will ever be pleased to do as you would have them, or that they will get all that they need from such an interaction. It does, though, mean they will attain benefit of some sort that is desirable to them.

Because this is the case, others will likewise seek to gain your aid, and in the process, offer you things they believe you will find useful or beneficial as a reward for your compliance. Is it a requirement (as a rule) that you work with the people in question? Not at all. Nor—unless you make it so—is it a requirement for them to do likewise where you are concerned or involved.

So, except in societies where free transactions (in the sense of their being allowed so long as the parties are willing and the acts not illegal) are not allowed, one may benefit by his or her interactions with others in society. Of course, it is possible to not benefit, and even to have entirely unprofitable transactions with those around one, but as a rule, those too are a matter of choice.

The error made by my younger self was manifold. Certainly, by way of example, I made the assumption that my success or failure was not a matter of my own choice. It was an easy way to excuse may failure, or in some cases, just my not succeeding to the level that should have been possible.

Don’t get me wrong, others will have an effect on your success or failure inasmuch as it counts on them taking or not taking specific actions, but if you’re as I was, you assume more than this. You assume that others are actively seeking to thwart you—as it were, to keep you from succeeding. I’ll not say that never happens just that, in general, it tends to be a rare thing as the average person hasn’t the time or energy to worry about what you may or may not be doing—much less to attempt to keep you from doing it.

This is so true, that people speed down the roadways in the United States without any but the most meager of concerns of being caught, and even less concern of real or lasting punishment for so doing.

Another flaw in my logic can be expressed as follows. If someone else has control over your success or your failure, then it basically makes little sense to get up in the morning unless they’re more likely to let you succeed than to cause you to fail. The point here, is that it’s pretty much of little to no consequence whether or not others can cause you to succeed or fail unless they work towards that end. And since most of the time, others are too busy in their own little bubble to even look at you, chances are good that will not happen.

Too, even today, I “fight the monster” that says, “Don’t do that, it will result in failure.” Even though I have no real reason to believe that will likely be the case. I doubt I’m anything like alone in that.

I know full well, that there are simple things I can do to better myself in some regard, yet I fail to act because there is a sometimes even crushing fear of failure.

Maybe I will fail, but often, the only way to know with any certainty, is to try. And I would imagine more often than not, failure is not even likely, but even when it’s possible, I think it likely that it can be averted by appropriate action on my part.

Are you like me? Do you fail to try because you feel others are working against you (who generally are not)? Do you fail to try because you believe you are destined to fail?

If you are, consider that it’s more than a little unlikely that anyone is actually standing against you most of the time. And while you’re at it, don’t forget that if you never try where you never fail, you will assuredly also rarely succeed.

As usual, thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.

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