7 Undeniable Reasons Why Some People Fail Where Others Succeed

“Success happens not by chance, but because you were given a chance and took advantage of it.” – Kevin Geary

To most people, being born in a free country is the greatest gift. To others, it’s a fleeting thought. For the latter, I feel sorry.

Before I go any further, I must admit that not everyone will find success. There will always be those who sit around waiting for success to find them. There will be those who are simply not willing to achieve it. And then there’s the fact that success would not exist without failure. All of these things create what we know; a world where success and failure are experienced by different groups of people.

Everyone in a free country has the opportunity to succeed. So why doesn’t everyone succeed? Because success and failure are choices made consciously and subconsciously and failure is chosen by many for various reasons.

Here are 7 undeniable reasons why some people fail where others succeed:

1. They Define Success Wrong

“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” – David Bly

Do you believe that success is won, innate, or earned? The answer someone gives can tell you a lot about them, and why they are where they are.

Success is won: if you believe that success is won, you experience animosity and envy toward those you view as lucky or more fortunate than you. You also believe that success is out of your control; it simply depends on a flip of the coin or certain circumstances.

How hard are you willing to work if you believe that success is won rather than earned?

Success is innate: people who believe success is innate often feel the same as those who believe it’s won. The only difference is that believers in innate-success have a more pessimistic view of opportunity; it’s trivial to them (we’ll go over this a little later). Why does opportunity matter if success is innate?

How hard are you willing to work if you feel your opportunity doesn’t matter and your chances of success are nil because of your circumstances?

Success is earned: the last group of people believes what we know to be true based on statistical analysis; success is earned. These people understand that in order to succeed, they must earn it. How do they earn it? They climb the mountain and utilize the same process others have used to achieve.

How hard are you willing to work if you believe success must be earned?

2. They Define Opportunity Wrong

“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” – Ayn Rand

Do you believe that opportunity provides a possibility of success, a probability of success, or that it’s trivial?

Let’s ask the same questions we asked when we discussed success:

  • How hard are you willing to work if you believe the opportunity you were born with is trivial?
  • How hard are you willing to work if you believe the opportunity you were born with is a possibility?
  • How hard are you willing to work if you believe the opportunity you were born with is a probability?

I hope this is coming together for you. I still want to go further though. I want you to see exactly how your views on opportunity and success work together to help determine your outcome.

  • People who believe success is won see their opportunity as a possibility, but sometimes as trivial.
  • People who believe success is innate see their opportunity as trivial.
  • People who believe success is earned see their opportunity as a probability, but sometimes only as a possibility.

In layman’s terms, the rich see success as earned and view their opportunity as probability. The middle class see success as earned and view their opportunity as possibility, but sometimes as probability. The poor class sees success as won or innate and views their opportunity as trivial, or in some cases as a possibility, but not a probability.

Of course, people don’t stay in one class their entire life. The people who move between classes tend to have the same outlook as those of the class they move to.

3. They Define Work Wrong

“The value of a man’s position is often determined by the number of people qualified to fill it.” – Kevin Geary

We just discussed two important terms: success and opportunity. In order to continue our discussion further, we must discuss another, “work.”

“But success doesn’t always come from hard work!”

Inevitably, people will point out that factory employees work harder than CEOs. Of course, this depends on your analysis of the word “work.”

Choose a corresponding term:

  • Physical Labor
  • Mental Labor
  • Labor

Those who claim that success doesn’t always come from hard work only acknowledge one aspect of work, physical labor.

Of course, work is labor, period. Excluding mental labor from the term work is biased and unfair. CEOs may sit at a desk, wear a suit, and enjoy the air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean they labor any less than the man in the shop room, it’s simply a different type of labor. Not accepting this is like making the argument that one who hates their job labors more than one who enjoys their job and the pay should be altered to make up for it. You see where this is going?

In terms of pay scale, people who run companies are worth a lot more than those who assemble products. Why? Because it’s easy to find people who can assemble products and it’s not very easy to find people who can operate multi-million dollar companies for a profit.

Needless to say, the man in the shop room wouldn’t have a job if the CEO behind the desk wasn’t doing his (and vice versa). The only difference is which job you’d rather be doing, and that depends solely on the choices you make throughout your life.

How do you think the CEO views success and opportunity? How do you think the shop worker views those same terms?

4. They Defeat Themselves

“To expect defeat is nine-tenths of defeat itself.” – Henry Mencken

While there is a minority of people who actually choose to fail, the majority that fail simply make poor choices or have a poor outlook. Basically, for the majority, failure is a choice but not a decision.

I can’t possibly list all of the bad choices people make which lead them to failure, but a few to get you headed in the right direction are:

  • Abusing drugs or alcohol / addiction.
  • Not getting an education.
  • Having a poor work ethic.
  • Having a child too young or out of wedlock.
  • Immaturity / laziness.
  • Borrowing too much money.

And the list goes on, and on, and on…..and on.

Of course, there are also those things which are out of someone’s control.

If you’re born into an inner-city family and attend a poor school system, you obviously start out behind others. If you’re handicapped, your road to success may be longer and more difficult. But none of this bars you from success; I’ll elaborate on this later when we discuss circumstances.

Lastly, as our quote up top reminds us, many people defeat themselves simply by expecting defeat in the first place. They don’t expect success and it actually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. For more on this, you might like my highly popular article; Your Life Sucks Because You Expect it to Suck (and 10 Ways to Improve it Right Now).

5. They Think Failure is Final

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“But, hard work doesn’t always equal success. Some people work really hard, but fail. They tried and didn’t succeed.”

Failure is a key ingredient in success. Those who don’t achieve success most likely quit after their failure. Quitting, of course, is a choice.

If you were to follow in the footsteps of a successful person, you would likely pass the remnants of multiple failures. If you followed in the footsteps of a failure, you would find their lifeless future at the feet of their first opponent.

So the question is, how hard and for how long are you willing to fight? There are no shortcuts, statistically. The vast majority of millionaires are self-made and far too many lottery winners are broke and worse off than they were before they won the lottery. Why? Because wealth is about behavior and money doesn’t protect you from failure.

If you want to succeed where other people fail, you have to step right over failure and keep walking. The people who don’t make it let failure defeat them. Failure becomes their end result because they refuse to walk any further.

Look at it this way; if you aren’t dead yet, there’s still hope.

6. They’re a Victim of Their Circumstances

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Cain

One of the biggest rebuttals given by non-achievers is that they are held back by their circumstances.

I don’t think circumstance is a fair argument though. Yes, you may be subject to circumstances that make it more difficult for you to succeed, but that doesn’t change the fact that you start with the same opportunity as others; the opportunity provided to you by living in a free country.

It’s also important to note that some people handle circumstances better than others. For instance, you can’t say that a handicap is a circumstance that prevents you from achieving when others with the same handicap have achieved.

Everyone has issues, circumstances, road blocks, etc. It’s all about how you deal with your circumstances and how hard you’re willing to work to overcome them. But the basics don’t change; you’re still in a free country and nobody is preventing you from achieving except for yourself.

Circumstance is also unimportant because it doesn’t determine finality. For example, a trust fund baby can lose his fortune with a series of bad decisions just as easily as a child from the ghetto can acquire a fortune with a series of good decisions.

Don’t be quick to judge others based on their circumstances. Instead, judge them based on their ferocity in overcoming those circumstances.

7. They Take No For an Answer

“Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” – Stephen R. Covey

First, you are given an opportunity. Then, based on that opportunity, you hatch a dream. And when you try to execute that dream, you meet your opposition. It is here on the battleground, facing the opposition, that success is either realized or lost.

Everyone faces opposition on their way to the top. The crack babies and the trust fund babies both have their own sets of problems. And you can’t assume that one faces more opposition than the other; everyone’s life and path to success is unique.

The one thing they do have in common is the opportunity for success. But, as you try to succeed, there will be people and circumstances around every corner that try to tell you no. The disability you were born with tells you no, your abusive parents tell you no, your pessimistic friends tell you no, your lack of self esteem causes you to say no to yourself, addiction tells you no, and so on.

The people who succeed are those who don’t take no for an answer. They shrug off the pessimism, they choose better friends, they put up boundaries with their family, and they surround themselves with positive people and things.


Success is possible for anyone who is willing to achieve it. There are many who want success, but there is a huge difference between wanting-to and willing-to. You have to be willing…

The other thing to remember is that your outlook and the way you define success, opportunity, and work play a large role in determining your outcome.

If you aren’t achieving, the first person you should always look to first is yourself.

This was a guest post by Kevin Geary from Change Your Tree. Kevin is also the author of The Good Parent’s Guide to Teaching Your Children How to Retire Young and Wealthy.

Image by Thomas Hawk.

161 Responses to 7 Undeniable Reasons Why Some People Fail Where Others Succeed

  1. It’s like John Maxwell says in Talent is Never Enough: “It’s about succeeding because you’re determined to, not because you’re destined to.” Great article, Kevin!

  2. This kind of thinking lends itself to feelings of guilt for ‘all the opportunities that you haven’t grabbed’.

    In my own experience, the opportunities that we don’t grab are simply the ones that we dont want badly enough.

    For example, there are many books in house that I want to read eventually, but it is only the ones that I am burning to read that actually get read.

    So to me the secret to success does not lie in ‘Carpe Diem’.

    It lies rather in getting past what we think we should want to what it is we really want. Quiet and extensive contemplation about your inner purpose.

    Once you connect with that, you can’t help but grab every opportunity that comes.


  3. Summy says:

    True. Everyone has it within themselves to try to achieve. If you aren’t trying to succeed, you are trying to fail.

  4. Pag says:

    Good post, although I think your comment about having children out of wedlock or too young is extremely judgmental and out of line. How can you lump parenthood in a category with alcohol abuse and laziness? You’re making a value judgment based on your own personal beliefs. There is nothing inherently wrong–nor inherently failure-inducing–about having children at a young age or having them if you’re not married.

  5. Pag,

    I’m not trying to judge anyone, I’m simply aiming to tell the truth.

    Children are expensive when you’re young and children are fragile in general. It takes maturity to raise a child and that responsibility shouldn’t fall on a teenager or someone who is not ready (but has a child anyway because of their behavior).

    Parenting a child when you’re too young, unmarried, etc. often leads to emotional abuse of the child because the parents aren’t ready, not to mention the child often doesn’t have a father…this, in my view, is worse than alcohol or drug abuse because you’re messing up someone else’s life instead of just your own.

    I know the truth hurts, but nobody will benefit by not telling it.

  6. I do not believe opportunities are won, innate, or earned — they are enabled…

    Your inference that defining success for ourselves and that self-awareness is the key to reaching that “success,” is absolutely true. If we know ourselves, then we place ourselves on the right “path.” It is our “path” that then leads us to the opportunities.

    Our “work” is self-acquaintance and the result of that work is what enables opportunity. It is for this reason that the greatest moments and achievements in our lives never seem to be the result of a “plan.” They just seem to “happen…”

    “As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. Well, I was speaking about success being won, innate, or earned, not opportunity.

    Opportunity, in a foundational sense, is afforded to you by living in a free country. Some people never have an opportunity to succeed because they live in a country that oppresses them. If you live in a free country, that opportunity is yours to seize, regardless of your circumstances.

    Thanks for the comment.

  8. Peter says:

    I don’t think it was your intention, but for me the “out of wedlock” comment has a tinge of negative judgement to it. I think your point would better be stated as “having a child while not being in a stable relationship”. There may be a correlation between having a child out of wedlock and that child struggling in life. But having a child out of wedlock would not be the cause of this, rather it reflects the fact that many, but not all, out of wedlock births occur in unstable relationships. In this day and age many couples are choosing not to marry for various reasons and still raising their children in nurturing and loving environments.

    Anyway, that is only a very small critique. Overall I think you did a great job with this article Kevin.

  9. I apologize if I stepped a bit off topic but my brain has a mind of its own…

    Once again, you were correct to emphasize the importance of defining words for ourselves…

    Following that logic, it would not be necessary to live in a free country to have an opportunity to be “free” or to”succeed.” Freedom, success, happiness, wealth, and almost any word you want to use to describe our being comes from within…

    I would never pretend to understand the experience of being “oppressed” but there are a number of accounts of people in seemingly hopeless situations who have found “freedom” from within…

    Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, comes to mind…

    “The last of human freedoms – the ability to chose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

    Thanks again for the post and for provoking thought…


  10. Hector says:

    This was a very thought provoking article, the writing on some sections were too preachy, and not personal,as some of the articles on this blog, besides that it was an interesting read.

  11. Thanks for your comments Hector, I’m glad you liked it.

  12. Eugene says:

    Kevin, I agree completely with your article, and especially with the comments regarding having children out of wedlock and to young. I come from a family of 6 brothers and sister, myself being number 5, and to make matters worse we grew up in Kentucky were there is a huge emphasis to get married and have children. I have watched all my siblings including number 6 do just that and all of them have experienced many many problems that could have been avoided, by waiting a few years to have children, and taking the time to pick a loving partner to have kids with. I think kids are great and I now have three, but they require a lot of time(your attention and focus) and money, and if you are trying to do right by them and manage an early career, it becomes difficult to make the right decision when opportunities are presented to you.

    Keep up the excellent work Kevin, I know that truthful articles like this are helping many people, it helped me.


  13. AC says:

    You did leave out the fact that some people are just born lucky and have no talent but achieve massive success with little to no effort…. And if you’re not born lucky, you need to get over it and work hard!

    Paris Hilton is a prime example, say what you want about her but she could buy and sell all of use combined. She is also lucky enough to be born with beautiful symmetrical features and with a naturally high metabolism.

    She was also just given a record deal and got to cut a CD and she didn’t’ even ask for it. She’s never written a song, never played an instrument, never struggled, never tried, never sang and she was just handed a recording contract… yes, some people are just plain lucky.

    That sucks and it’s not fair but, you can’t sulk in a corner about it or concentrate about it.

    Instead… how about remembering that Elvis was truck driver, the Beatles were four nobody’s from a dirty city called Liverpool, Eddie Van Halen was just a goofy kid with a paper route when he traded his drums for his brother’s guitar, the list goes on.

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  18. Kango Suz says:

    I’ve found that the belief that you will succeed is the number one requirement for success. I was brought up with the motto “Whether you think you can or your think you can’t, either way you’re right.” As a result, I’ve been able to achieve much more in my life than many of my counterparts.

    Thanks for the re-interpretation of 1 & 2, I’ve read them before but you restated them in a very aproachable way that resonated with me this time.

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  21. Nic says:

    Great article! What you write is absolutly true, I am from a poor family, none in my village did have any success in job and they supposed me also, to be one of them.
    But I did not. I studied against the will of my family (it was pretty tough as you can imagine!) and now I am starting an academic career and I have my successes. And I love it. My family is now very proud of me. Often people are very jealous of me, they think that succees or discipline just came as a present to my home, but its not. I worked hard for it and that makes it evener worthier than getting it as a gift 😉

  22. Paul Romein says:

    Awesome article – a really good read!

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  24. Babak says:

    A really good article.
    Thank you.

  25. Tusaani says:

    Great article! I loved it. What you have written should really be drilled into a lot of people!

  26. Nathaniel says:

    Or rather ‘If you aren’t trying to succeed, you are complacent with failure.’ I guess I see people that aren’t pursuing success as people that aren’t really doing anything at all? I say fight mediocrity with every fiber of your existence and in doing that, success is inevitable. cheers.

  27. Belal says:

    Far too many people gave without realising that they were so close to success…. are you one of them. No regrets from now on, march soldiers, no doubt when your being a trooper you will leave someone behind but fear not, when you’ve succeeded you can ALWAYS come back and get them but until them ONE goal ONE mission

    The fact that we are ALIVE is a success – have we forgotten how many millions of sperm’s raced to get us here. How success started before we got here. Success comes in 3 parts, the morning, midday and the afternoon.
    If you understand what I mean success will always be what you learnt what you do and how it’s left.

    Another way of looking at it is plant, maintain and reap. It will always be in 3 parts.

  28. Belal says:

    IGNORE the first paragraph … whoops

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  30. AC says:

    Is there ever a time when it truly is too late to pursue success?

    For example, for some things in life in which you want to be successful, there is a limited window of opportunity. What if you really want something, how do you determine if the window has closed (if it isnt obvious)? At what point do you abandon a certain dream, or desire, and pursue another? In some cases, age, and the time it takes to overcome circumstances may prevent you from succeeding, etc. No one can be Prom King/Queen, at 55 years old, for example. A person can’t join the military at 61, etc. It seems that youth has the advantage in many physical-oriented tasks, and others as well. Many people do make mistakes in their youth; blaming them for this after the fact seems to be counter-productive to helping them continue to work toward and achieve success. No point in crying over spilled milk; closing the barn door after the horse has run away, etc.

    How do you overcome mistakes, such as those listed?
    Abusing drugs or alcohol / addiction.
    Not getting an education.
    Having a poor work ethic.
    Having a child too young or out of wedlock.
    Immaturity / laziness.
    Borrowing too much money.

    Or are you doomed to eternal suffering because of them?

    I believe that the real secret to success is confidence, charisma, and a solid support network. What do you do if you just dont have these attributes, or are not able to cultivate them?

    And what is success anyway? Somehow it always seems to be to end up financially wealthy, and/or doing something of positive recognition. Maybe there are some who consider themselves successful if they are able to keep their cardboard box warm at night, and to not have it blow away in the wind. But how many people would actually define success this way?

  31. uhm says:

    how about people who sleep their way to the top- there are lots of them these days!
    i guess they work really hard! lol

    oh and im sorry to burst your bubble, but hollywood/ entertainment business is full of people who are completely untalented, and didnt do much to get there- you cant deny connections, seems to me you are in this article. painting everything with a broad brush just blinds everyone. sure try and succeed, have a good outlook, but don’t overgeneralize.

  32. Suze says:

    Just because you are born in a free society does not mean life is fair nor does it mean you are born equal.
    A “crack” baby is born with an addiction and into poverty, what’s the trust fund baby born with? PRIVILEGE.

    “Crack” baby= foster care, no mother, no father, poverty, disadvantage, low self esteem, public underfunded school, lack of resources, boredom, unsupervised, petty crime, welfare, hunger pains, abuse, mental health issues, the bus, neglect.

    Trust fund baby= nanny, mother, father, class, status, confidence, elite private schooling, tutoring, luxury car, extra curricular activities, holidays, (dance, music, sport etc) money money money!

    What’s a trust fund baby crying about? Daddy didn’t buy me a new car?

    My problem is with the words success and failure. Who has the actual right to determine one has failed and by being wealthy does that actually really define success?

  33. sally says:

    my mom recently told me not to end up successful like bill gates did. She told me that Bill Gates STOLE the pc from some guy and that it was wrong for Bill Gates not to have given the guy he “stole” the pc from a share of his profit. I told my mom that is was an investment and the guy who actually created the pc had just as much ability to try and sell it on his own — but he was too lazy.
    My mom has struggled her entire life and blames her failures on everything BUT herself. She was GIFTED with a very rare ability, but doesn’t use it (although it could easily make her a multi-millionaire). Instead, she just complains about how life has been unfair to her etc.
    She went into social work and even today after being thrown under the train sooooo many times STILLL wants to “help” people. It makes me so angry.
    I learned from her that either you throw someone under, or you’ll be thrown under.
    I had a hard childhood, but I just turned 20 and thank GAWD i woke up and smelled the roses. I realized that once you hit 20, although it is easy to feel resentful or born into the wrong circumstances…but it is now up to YOU (or in this case, me) to either build yourself up or throw yourself down. I decided to study abroad at least 3 times before graduating college. I decided to start my own company. I have started using “parental controls” aka leechblock to block sites which waste my time (ex. Yahoo! Answers), have become a member and placed the little money I have on (if I don’t do what I am supposed to, my money is GONE FOREVER)!
    I understand sometimes there are bad/uncontrollable circumstances, but at some point in your life you have to stop blaming other people like some people ABOVE are doing: ex. “but pariiiisss hillltoonnn was born into wealth. is thhhatt faiiir?” Okay, so you can spend the rest of your life sobbing about being born disadvantaged…or you can fix yourself…better yourself! Set a time line for yourself…make sure you are successful by a certain age. I want to have a few million dollars by the time I am 30 — who wants to spend the rest of their life in an office? I want to have fun with my life and when I have kids, I want them to NOT have to worry, to have a childhood where they can actually be kids, and frankly…I want to be a RESPECTED parent when I am older! I remember in Elementary school being embarrassed because my mom didn’t have a good job (and she drilled that fact in my head since I can remember!). I also remember she wasn’t able to provide for me as much as she would have liked to, although she tried. I don’t want to have to worry. I don’t want MY decisions to be: either pay the electric bill or buy christmas presents. I want my decisions to be: Buy the toy now, or after they get their grades in!
    I’ve known kids from old money and frankly…they ARE lucky, but even then…it is only when they are 18 that they really have freedom from their parents and 99.9% of them go to college like most of us ARE CAPABLE OF DOING! They STILL have to do hw, take test, get their diploma just like the rest of us. It might be easier for them, but it still means that if you make the right choices you can become…NEW money 😮
    ps: to the ppl saying that some ppl get lucky and make money…IT’S NOT LUCK!!! They fill a NEED. If you already know that to become a famous actor/actress you need to sleep your way to the top…then by all means, give it a go and you’ll be rolling in dough! STOP COMPLAINING BECAUSE SOMEONE TOOK AN EASY OPPORTUNITY THAT YOUUU DID NOT!
    At a certain age ppl need to realize that it is THEIR OWN FAULT they are FAILURES.
    They also need to realize that they CAN be JUST AS SUCCESSFUL AS ANYONE ELSE OR JUST AS FAILED AS ANYONE ELSE! It really is your decision how far you want to take it. I’m taking college as a “fun” experience right now. I’m trying to keep above a 3.0 gpa, pay my way through school, study abroad in three different countries (i already know 2 languages), and just enjoy life a bit more relaxed before i get my company going (although personally…i don’t think starting a company is that difficult…ppl who think it is difficult maybe aren’t doing it right?)
    Anyway, i agree with this article!!! 😀

  34. Toni says:

    I am tired of seeing my fellow workers become supervisor over me. even though i have had 30 years of working as an nursing assistant. It doesnt matter. younger aides go to school with no credit issues. able to get scholarships and student loans. they get better education and go on to become lvns or rns. i have sat on the side lines telling them they can do it but feel i cant. why, i feel the lack of not knowing the math that is required to go on to college is beyond my reach. i dont know the time tables or subtraction or division. never saw algebra and forget going further. I cant compute my hours on my check that i get. I just take it for granted that it is correct. i am too ashamed to admit it and if i am cheated i wouldnt know. i feel that i was left behind. i thirst for knowing math. i know if i could do math the whole world will open up to me. i thirst for a career that i could be proud of. You have perhaps given me the courage to get help. To step over the obsticules. scared and frustrated.

  35. Derek says:

    Thank you for writing that article. I found it very motivating. It really made things very clear to me. I read it often so I can keep my grades up. Thank you so much, Derek

  36. Spider says:

    I was employed in a factory job for 8 years. In my 6th year I was seriously considering leaving and starting up my own small business. I kept my expectations low and realistic. My aim at first was to pay my bills and nothing more. Small steps. I told too many friends, neighbors and co-workers of my plans and quickly realized who my REAL friends and supporters were. Too many of these people began to cast doubt, question my plans and tried to take me down. This was crippling at first and made my transition more difficult. But, I eliminated every single one of these people from my life and am now working for myself, and able to pay my bills. I’m still young, so my future has hope and I feel more satisfied than I ever did with those 8 years at work. I would like to re-kindle some relationships that were lost during this career change, but I still resent these people for trying to ruin my plans and just don’t have any room to let them back in- because all they’ll do is pick up where we left off and cast more doubt in my mind. I just don’t have the power to let them back in. I feel so much more individualized now and I don’t rely on anyone else. I find myself keeping my career a secret- by this I mean that I don’t let anyone know too much. People just want to see you fail. These people MUST be removed from your life in order for you to move forward with what you want to do. They aren’t your real friends even though you might have thought they were. I learned this the hard way.

  37. Nick says:

    wow! a lot of varying opinions to be certain. It is indeed difficult to define success or its value to each person. On a very basic level, one has goals and his/her success is dependent on the level of achievement of those goals. I believe that basic probability can have a significant impact on success, regardless of the individual’s efforts. Some people are in fact just lucky, others seem to have a good balance of positive and negative experiences, and still others endure incredible hardships with alarming frequency. It doesn’t matter where these people are born either. I know someone who was raised in foster homes until a teenager when he was adopted. His adopted family broke apart through divorce a short time later. He went to a tech school, but couldn’t secure a decent job upon graduation. He went to university, earned a degree while working two jobs and raising four kids. nine years later his kids are grown and he still can’t find a job teaching his subject. He has to substitute teach- or would you prefer I said ‘he gets to…’ since just having any job right now is a blessing! These are just highlights of the guy’s misfortune. Having endeavored to teach his children virtue, manners and compassion, they, now adults, treat him like some kind of leper, having little or nothing to do with him, unless they are in need. I’ve been in the car with him driving. Almost all the signal lights are red:( Almost all the schmucks not signaling change lanes only a few feet in front of his car- talk about dangerous- he refuses to speed, maintaining the limit all the time. Finally, other people either regard him as almost invisible. Yet he’s always smiling, hardly ever complains and will help out just for the asking. So what’s up? Mathematics. Probability suggests that there is a number of possibilities. Out of 6.8 billion people on the planet, some are bound to be ‘unlucky,’ as it were. It doesn’t mean give up, thinking you might be one of those unlucky, but don’t let others minimize your anguish either. As just an average Jane, I would advise this: if you believe you are unlucky, just keep on fighting anyway, because you are still not a loser- that occurs when you give up. spite probability.

  38. Annie says:

    It’s not 100% right..

    What if you’re not born in a free country?

    What if you’re not born white ( it changes a lof of things no matter what people think)….?

    What if you’re born with a handicap?

    I think you should keep the positive attitude and try your best, but telling there’s no difference at birth is calling people stupid…

    There are barriers imposed at birth that you cannot overcome…. type of family you’re born into, money, country, skin color, health problems, etc…

    There’re plenty of scientific proof to support that…. For instance, recent studies have shown that poverty affects your brain in a negative way, so children born in poor families will grow up to have a less functional brain… no matter how much they try, the damage done between the ages of 2-5 is not reversible and it’ll make them unable to do certain things…..

    There are many others examples.. so, yeah…. you gotta keep a positive attitude, but don’t say you can do anything you just have to try hard…. that’s blaming people for things they’re not responsible twice – they did not choose to be born in the conditions they were, and if they tried hard enough and didn’t get far, they’re not to blame if those same conditions imposed limits on them.

  39. prom gowns says:

    I just cant stop reading this.

  40. Joy! says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article Mister Kevin Geary. Good to see it still on this website.

    I read it for the first time a couple years ago, and it was the first step in the major overhaul I have done to my life. No longer do I think like a big giant loser….I actually know how to think, and think like a winner. I now refuse to quit and take no for an answer. Since making this mental shift, I have managed to create my own luck and attract huge amazing beautiful circumstances into my life…things that are almost unbelieveable, so I won’t say them here.

    Just know, readers, what this article says is THE THRUTH. Educate yourselves, and don’t blame anyone or anything. Not even yourself, just look inward and upward, then move forward. All of life’s beautiful bounties are there for the taking…for everyone!

    Again, thanks from the bottom of my heart for writing this and putting it out there for others to stumble across. I pray others are so powerfully moved and blessed after reading this article.

    (Judge me based on my ferocity to overcome all circumstance –yes, YES!)

    All the best….with gratitude, peace, courage and Joy!

  41. silly says:

    Excellent article. I have been in business for years and come across all of these points. Many people think that I have been lucky but when I ask for help, paid work that is, I find people dont want to do the job I do, whether it’s sales or organising things with a careful eye for profit. They often see the rewards but like to think it is magic, not hard work that produces it.

    Good luck to people who are successful they have invariably worked for it.

  42. Matt says:

    What critics you have, great article through and through.

  43. Pingback: 7 Undeniable Reasons Why Some People Fail Where Others Succeed

  44. Diana says:

    You already know what’s holding you back, so go ahead and face the challenge head-on. Go to an adult class or hire a math tutor. If that’s too expensive or inconvenient for you, grab a Math CD-ROM and start with something extremely easy. It doesn’t matter if it’s aimed towards little kids. Have a family member teach you. Don’t be embarrassed. Throughout my life, I have encountered people who VERY secretly didn’t know math. They tried their best to hide it, but after a while, I would flat-out ask them if they did know Math because it seemed like they were struggling and I could try to help them. I helped this girl and she at least learned a few of the basics and hopefully she continued learning from there on.

    My dad also admits that he really doesn’t know math and I’ve offered to teach him but he doesn’t even want to learn. At least YOU want to learn. You’re in one of the best countries in the world to get help with anything, so take advantage of it. You will feel empowered afterwards.

    Also remember: Math is not really that hard. Otherwise, nobody would be able to do it. Keep it up and good luck! I’m sure you’ll do more than fine. :)

  45. Pingback: W. Clement Stone, Positive Mental Attitude, W. Clement Stone Quotes

  46. Catherine says:

    Sadly, not too many people are actually aware of the fact that they create their problems themselves. Fortunately, I am not one of them! Thank You, Kevin

  47. nice read and eloquently written! 

  48. Pingback: Teenage Alcoholism/Teenage Drug Abuse: The Trust Fund Baby | Teenage Drinking Help

  49. Pingback: Teenage Alcoholism, Teen Drug Abuse, and Trust Fund Addicts | Teenage Drinking Help

  50. Samueldgreat Sanda says:

    I think some people still fail because they do not understand their purpose in life

  51. oghogho says:

    this is a fact..destiny is true, you make it real positively

  52. oghogho says:

    thanks, i want to be a success.. i want to be rich.i want to make a change, i want to be wealthy. i will adopt this principles the reality of this teaching and attach it to my aims and dream.and also to my day to day activity..its better to try than not to try at all.. but first the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom—osaghae tunde-Russia(Nigerian)

  53. Fataima Smacker says:

    but what if the opportunity is not provided to a person???????

  54. Fataima Smacker says:

    and isn’t sheer determination the sole requisite fo success??

  55. Stephenie says:

    But what if a person never gets the opportunity?Isn’t determination the sole requisite for attaining success?

  56. Azure444 says:

    Completely agree.  “Success” in terms of financial gain and ease, wealth comes to some people without any effort.  There is such a thing as the luck of the draw.  People step into things, most often people who lack any viable education, moral fiber, character, etc.  It’s like the Universe’s lottery.  Then there are some people, and I know some, who work extremely hard, keep positive attitudes, try never to give up, and come up against a slammed door over and over.  Could they keep going?  Yes, of course but age, health and other factors does impede a person.

    There’s merit to this article and certainly people create much of what is happening in their life.  It’s not everything though.

  57. Azure444 says:

    You bring up an excellent point about the path to achieving our dreams and goals.  Keep them to yourself, share only with a very small group of people — those who you feel certain will uplift and encourage you.  The majority of people are envious, jealous, petty and insecure.  They will cast doubt upon anyone who they perceive “getting ahead of them.”  Some of the worse offenders actually get joy out of seeing others fail.  Guard your life, guard your plans and your dreams.  And yes, REMOVE those who inflict negative energy on your life. 

  58. okay i see that you’re on the right track. but there are those who are willing to but CANNOT or are not allowed to achieve their dreams. they made the best out of involuntary situations for years (excelled when they didn’t want to) and cooperated/compromised but when the time comes for YOU to shine and make something of yourself everyone turns their back. You turn ugly and give up because you made it a strict objective that when the time for you to ‘make it’ comes, it’s All or Nothing lest you go crazy. You are not going to compromise or bend your knee for these ruthless bastards/fools. And then they erase history with visions of you now> that you were always LIKE this. AND IT’S ONLY BEEN 1 year since I lost it. Unless you want to upset society and move out of the house – living poor alone or in a shelter for victims of abuse – you might as well commit suicide.  Look at it this way, “If you aren’t dead yet”, you might as well be rather than live a dead life: i mean i don’t want to see myself anymore.. it’s defeat, SUBMISSION, and humiliating (to see myself still not living my life) because I’m 19 now, still a woman american and being beat up.
                   Any help would be appreciated. I want to keep my job and go to medical school but how, without remaining in this hell? I don’t want to take out huge loans to dorm undergrad AND i don’t know what I’ll do if my grades drop
    Yes failure is final. This is not failure, it’s my choice to lose it (hope).. right? when there actually is no practical hope. Those years i cooperated, there were failures and i know what you’re talkinh about that’s why i said your on the right track. i know morality. There were failures but strength to get back up . . what strength?; The hope of Today. the Today that i’m defeated. now i know tomorrow never comes and i knew not to dream but there was no other way to survive (you don’t have a choice) without humiliating yourself / police involvement.
    thanks for reading.

  59. actually although i wish i committed suicide while still in high school or earlier because that would’ve made a greater impact, I’m still sorta proud that I’ve made it this far.. you know,  but where am i going with this? hell? I had expected much more work and activity/energy from myself but I am going mad from the abuse.
     – — “Keep on keepin’ on” and it gets worse.

  60. Some people become self actualized in their 20’s, 30’s, 50’s. For me, I had a knowledge and feeling of independence really early (17) despite the crazy circumstances or maybe because  of them, cuz they contrasted so deep with me. I only later related official terms – This is how it went down. I was sitting in my AP Psychology class pondering over  how this social science got the audacity to classify the human mind. With frustration I participated in this class; half of which was common sense and the other 1/4 based on assumptions. This was the routine of my thinking process throughout this basic course .. until my teacher brought up and defined a term; self-actualization and that pyramid. It wasn’t that ooh ah wonder but hey, wait I’ve been there already and it’s awesome feeling. I didn’t know how to react. For the first time I truly connected with psychology. I thought it was brilliant that someone actually found it necessary to coin a term for this. I wasn’t AlONE. and such a fitting term!

    ‘sally’ below calls it “smelling the roses” and goes on to describe her conclusions …

  61. where are my other comments? maybe one was taken down for bad language but the others??

  62. Lea304 says:

    This article has truly been an inspiration. Thanks so much. Im so glad that I read this!!!!

  63. Pingback: The Life Legendary | 10 Reasons You’ll Never Accomplish Your Dreams

  64. JBounds says:

    Becoming a success has a distorted view these days. I write Screenplays. I’ve written 10 of them and that is pretty successful just to finish them because it is very hard work.  Will I ever sell any? I believe I will at some point.  For right now I’m just writing the best I can.

    I also play music;Guitar/Singer and have been in many bands in a span of 20 years. That was my dream to make it and it never happened. But just to play music and be good and happy at it was a success.   Becoming famous for what you do is overrated, imo.

  65. AnonymousSD says:

    Reading this article sounded like my own “LIFE STORY”.  This article hit at home with me for sure. A huge “wake-up call” for anyone that can relate. It’s good to know tn hat I am not alone in this struggle to succeed in life. Good Job on the article Kevin! (5 STARS)

  66. AnonymousSD says:

    Reading this article sounded like my own “LIFE STORY”.  This article hit at home with me for sure. A huge “wake-up call” for anyone that can relate. It’s good to know tn hat I am not alone in this struggle to succeed in life. Good Job on the article Kevin! (5 STARS)

  67. rayban550 says:

    Excellent points. I like the quote about how success is achieved because you were given a chance and took advantage of it.  That is VERY true. Many people have opportunities to make money or to better themselves but they CHOOSE to do the stupid thing rather than the SMART thing that betters them. Success is achieved when an opportunity is available to you and you CHOOSE to take advantage of the opportunity. Many people will see an opportunity but rather than acting they think about it, waste time, think some more, wonder what to do, etc. etc. By then someone else has already swooped in and taken the opportunity right from under them… Successful people walk with the assurance of a sleepwalker. They KNOW what to do and the DO IT. I see opportunities everywhere and I ACT on them quickly. No hesitation or debate, I know what to do and I just do it.

  68. Grace Galape says:

    Exactly right! Wrong definition about success really plays a great role in someone else’s failure. You really need to learn and define what that means.  I came across a video that talks about how to deal with jealousy about someone else’s success and it’s a video from Marie Forleo.

  69. Dan says:

    I am sorry but i do not agree. It is true about what you say in terms of luck of the draw, however, it is not true that it comes without effort. They must still have the courage to go for the role or to accept the responsiblity in order for their sucess. It should not be seen as a stroke of good luck but rather an opportunity that you should reach out and grab. Also, you still need certain skills to perform your role properly, and these skills are achieved by hard work and willingness to work hard for it.

  70.  Good valuable advice. I wrote this blog and I hope you and your readers enjoy it.

    Must We Fail Before We Succeed?

    We’ve all heard stories of entrepreneurs who achieved great financial success, but endured a litany of failures en route. Some people claim that it’s virtually impossible to build a successful business if you haven’t first had at least one business failure. They reason that we only know how much risk we can safely take when we know how much risk is too much. In short, is there some immutable law, which stipulates that failure is a prerequisite for success? As with questions raised by most popular maxims, the answer depends on circumstances. In this case, it depends on four factors.

    More here:

  71. Pingback: What Is The Formula For Success?

  72. Sue says:

    I really appreciate this article, I find it inspiring. However to say
    the crack baby and trust fund baby have a different but equally
    challenging set of problems to face  undermines an otherwise great
    article. Forget the crack baby and trust fund baby though …too many Americans complain about trust fund babies and forget that to most people in a third world country, we Americans are basically trust fund babies as well.

       Though our internal landscapes are ultimately shaped by us, the way
    the world treats and reacts to you from day one has a huge impact as
    well.  Many must develop a character that will
    overpower or transform others’  hostile, fearful or
    dismissive, instinctive reactions. 

    If you are born with close proximity/inheritance of health, health care,
    education, security (aka peace of mind), stability etc ..– and all the
    accoutrements that are part and parcel of this  — must you  still
    develop character? It’s still a  great idea and boon to such individuals, 
    but it will be far less necessary  to do so for mere survival. 

    But by all means — Add together what gifts you have and make the most
    of it. Someone somewhere wishes they had it as good as you.

  73. com says:

    This may be somewhat true. I don’t really have personal experience in the matter as I’m still in college now about to graduate. I was born to a poor family and was orphened. Sometimes I think my parents shouldn’t have even had me because I have to now work so hard in life. If I don’t become successful, I wont have kids but if I do become successful I might. When I say successful I mean to move into the middle class. I know it will be tough but all I can do is try and to not cause someone else to have to suffer what I suffered by bringing a child into the world poor. 

  74. Richard says:

    “There will always be those who sit around waiting for success to find
    them. There will be those who are simply not willing to achieve it.
    And then there’s the fact that success would not exist without failure.
    All of these things create what we know; a world where success and
    failure are experienced by different groups of people. ”

    In attempting to pidgeon hole people you missed a plethora of people in the real world. How about people who dont want success or indeed people who see success as having a job they enjoy , a wife they love and being comfortable in their existance. Measuring suceess is purely subjective. I moved to a new country and found a great existance with a job and wife I love . I look to have kids and stay here forever. The word success in my eyes is what I have achieved already. 

  75. Andrewleemo says:

    this is a fricken good page

  76. Tobias says:

    This is one of the most insightful articles. thank you  very much

  77. Lisa Gallant says:

    For 14 years this year in July,I’ve been living here in Ontario to try to do better for myself-but there was always somrthing that gets in the way-is people who try to bring you down-by making false lies about you-I think there was a lot of jealousy-even the management of the company,they sitback and do nothing to back you up-I like myself been through this for years-I feel they need to listen to both sides of the story-not just one side-a person who does their job well at lease try to without the other workers trying to tell you how to do yout job-take it from someone who knows this very well-like me.I have workrd through different temp agencies-like i did-today I’m still not working.Now,Why do people have to go to agencies in order to find a job? I would like to see some changes made about this issue-It would be a blessing to see every temp agency all shut down for good.

  78. O_boudreau says:

    Then I see why a lot of people are homeless on the streets,because they refuse to hire,shame on them-how do they sleep at night-knowing that they’re doing wrong.God pity them-they have no heart for anyone,but themselves.This last place i just went back in this past October-for 5 weeks until the 1st week of November 2011-benn working there at ACCO Canada-Address:5 Precidio Crt., here in Brampton,Ont.,where I live,a less then a 10 minute drive from there-I first started there in Mar.5,2007-never once did they ever hire me-I would like answers-but no responce from either sides.there is something wrong somewhere’s.I was a hard worker always have been-done a lot for them to help them-No appreciation,except only from a few certain people-I know who they are.There will always bee a few bad apples in a workplace.

  79. nicepersoninlife says:

    very very true It is best to keep these things to yourself and only share with like minded supportive people.  many people are levelers and want you to be as miserable as they are. family comes to mind. they want to cause drama and put you down for what you want to do but they sure have their hands out when the money starts rolling in.

  80. ofwnurse says:

    Indeed, Success is a journey not a destination..our past failures in life does not define our future..

  81. Projectjulio says:

    You might want to look up in the dictionary what “undeniable” means. Your argument is quite deniable. For one, you make empirical judgments based on little to no evidence. Secondly, you claim that by believing that one “earns” success, somehow they are guaranteed it. This is a circular argument. All it takes is one example of someone who fails even if they believe that success is earned.

    The fact is, there is no basis to support your premise. I can’t say it is impossibly, or that it can’t be correct. But you simply lack the evidence. There is nothing self-evidence about a positive attitude magically overcoming social phenomena such as bias (racial, cultural, etc.), innate intelligence; access to high quality K-12 education;. These things, however, clearly prevent many people from succeeding, despite a positive outlook. 
    In conclusion, your article is based on a subjective belief that you have which is not based on any factual or logical analysis. The burden is on you to show that human beings have an absolute free will which can overcome any and all circumstances. This is just plain ignorant to the past 100 years of psychological research. 

  82. Atreyu says:

      i think youre an asshole.

  83. Lisa says:

    What a sexist comment ‘having a child out of wedlock’! It is not only directed specifically towards women but also infers that a child is less than if the child doesn’t have a father. Most women who have children’ out of wedlock’ don’t want to marry the man because he would not be a suitable father. You make it sound like any woman who has a child out of wedlock is somehow helpless or stupid.
    I know many, many single women who finished their degrees and went on to excellent careers whilst their children grew to be well-adjusted and happy.
    Men such as you are perpetuating the negative stereotype of single mothers.
    You may want to re-think your idea of success in order to align them with the 21 century!

  84. Pingback: 7 Undeniable Reasons Why Some People Fail Where Others Succeed | BurgerBone

  85. Nick says:

    Absolute rubbish… its down to sheer unadulterated LUCK… made easier by patronage and privilege… the preserve of the tiny few… roll on the revolution!

  86. kamran says:

    i appreciate ur few points which lack success but i like to know how to come  out of it to achive success

  87. Jjjojoc says:

    First I would like to say that your article did get my attention and it is very interesting. However, at 32 years old I know that success is a matter of who you know and how good you know them. Now if someone wants to have a sense of self-accomplishment then that is great for their confidence. But I know too many people that feel they have succeeded in life i.e. getting their master’s degree and still can’t find true success. I feel if you are not that person you are just not that person… sad but true. Any thoughts to change my mind???

  88. TrimmerNZ says:

    I’m all for having a positive outlook, but I think that unfortunately this article doesn’t take every career in to account. I’m an actor, and I can tell you now that some actors won’t ever be successful no matter how hard they try. I’ll explain largely why. It’s all very well to say that you just keep going until you succeed, but what happens if you die before you reach success? Death happens to everyone regardless of whether or not they were born in a free country. Most actors are extremely thick skinned and resilient (they have to be) and they face rejection after rejection after rejection. Unfortunately a lot of whether or not an actor gets a role is outside of their control (e.g. they don’t look right for the part) and often the older an actor gets, the harder it is to find work. I can audition with hundreds of other people, many of whom may be less talented and less hard working than I am, but they may look more the way that the director had envisaged, or it may be down to industry politics.
    I do agree that it is of utmost importance to be positive and aim to be successful, but let’s not kid ourselves and say that all a person has to do to be successful is to believe that they will be. I’ve heard many stories of people working their butts off till their final breath having achieved nothing.

    Tom :-)

  89. Ambersatti says:

    it was very helpful thnx….

  90. IQover9000 says:

     If you were looking for an article like this, get ready to fail.

  91. Mud33b says:

    this is very useful to me to write the essay.haha.thanks

  92. Vidya Sagar Panati says:

    Simply Superb. :)

  93. Vidya Sagar Panati says:

    Simply Superb. :)

  94. Collegeboundbarbie says:

    This is awesome!  Thank You

  95. Collegeboundbarbie says:

    If you go to college like a community college you can learn those things all over again, stop feeling sorry for yourself, wake up and go sign up for school

  96. Pingback: mysearch4wisdom

  97. shawne says:

    Listen i read i think a blog on how  entrepreneurs the most famous of them all had come about and alot of them hadnt finished there formal education and even college , I can think more people who hadn’t finished there formal education or even college and had never felt the touch of success. So be positive but be real. Writers tend to live in a world they dont even exist in , Its almost funny, but in the mean time it’s ridiculous. There is no way to become successful it just … happens. lol, (joker laugh – heath ledger) 

  98. Gmhmkyg says:

    Success is not your choice

  99. Gmhmkyg says:

    Wrong baby your past decisions effect you until now, remember that time when got a brain hit? Sure enough it still effect u. But the good thing is that what ever bad u have done that you wanna change is basically changed by regretting to god and having new intention.

  100. Ghmgkyg says:

    Get a life

  101. Ghmhmjl says:

    God determine the good hearts and make them succeed in the thereafter He only the one knows

  102. Fafagoe says:

    Good luck but that doesn’t endicates this article is true. Ur the only one here who was on the positive side. Some others suffer

  103. Emailnail says:

    I think your the sh** .

  104. Islamonly says:

    I just wanna add something if you guys agree. Theres two kind of success 1. The current happiness as long as your on earth. you might overcome hardships or get stuck because your rather unable/don’t have the chance wich could happen if you had a good or bad intention or effort.. This kind of success you choose to value it only.
    2. the real success forever and as long as god let it be is after you die and for that your intention and effort matters but not your current success or money people power etc. Good intention ( faith in a creator) + good effort= the forever success. A lot of money+ good luck+ a giving god = your current happiness.

  105. Vampireknight says:

    Me and my blind friend were looking online so we can read about success. I read this article carefully to see if there’s anything to give him hope then I said ” this article says that you have overcome failure so you can succsseed. And he said ok. Go head and read it then succsseed is no luck. He said no so I just left him to deal with it. And hey it hurtled my feelings to such an evil but this article doesn’t apply. Hope he find a good answer himself since I fail to help him succsseed by reading about success. 😮

  106. Fresthsx says:

    I feel your pain and the ill gain

  107. Qatyboy says:

    go learn. Then teach us you have taught us wrong. :(

  108. Ladyflower says:

    If your talking about ” life” and when ever your alive success then that’s current success and by luck. Or god knows but if your talking about the forever success in the thereafter then you don’t need a good muscled body a lot of children a lot of money happiness or even much. No matter how small opirtunitys you got now, After all god gave you a complete heart and a complete soul or else you wont be reading this. For the forever success in the thereafter you only need two things: the good intention from your soul and heart( needed). And the good deeds( depends on your effort). :). That is the easiest to have faith in.

  109. Guestkin says:

    Nice :)

  110. Islamway says:

    His effort matters first and last. If you have a soul and a heart that’s all you need. Life is not too harsh once it goes too obusive you die and your soul rises to the merciful god. god said ” your creator knows whats wither your self. If you were poor he will give you so have faith in him and obey him so you can succeed.” and he said to his prophet ” if my slaves ask you about reply that I am close and I answer the prayer of praying person if he prayed to meetc.” to the end of the verse.

  111. Mike says:

    You have to be ignorant to believe this, and I don’t mean that as a general insult with no meaning, I’m saying you have to be a generally confused and desperate person to be willing to accept these as legitimate reasons. As if the fact that you lumped ‘circumstances’ into one category for an easy dismissal isn’t an instant give-away that you’re talking out of your ass. That’s like saying ‘gee if it wasn’t for all this meat this would be the best steak I ever had!’. The sad thing is I know you actually believe it, but I also know it’s only because you’ve heard it a lot and you’re good at parroting. People like you need to realize that you’re doing a lot of damage in your efforts to be ‘self-deterministic’, a fancy way of saying insecure and needy. Don’t give me that bullshit about how ‘selfishness is a good thing in moderation’, because no it isn’t that’s just a product of our modern mode of thinking. A mode of thinking which is running us into the ground. There’s a time and a place for everything, including your attitude, but considering the state of world affairs today I think perhaps the priority should be less on production and more on quality of life. You generally shouldn’t praise the police as a just entity when they’ve just shot a handcuffed man in the head, now is not the time for that. You want to know why what you’re doing is dangerous? Because nobody has the authority to draw a line on where you have to stop, and anything up to and including war can be considered a business practice. It’s up to you, and more often than not it ends up going way beyond the point of decency. I honestly don’t understand how people don’t see that beliefs like this were DESIGNED and meant to be a form of class warfare. You didn’t legitimately arrive to this conclusion of thought on your own because NOONE DOES. You were incentivized along the way, just like everybody else, to adopt that thought process because, frankly, it paid off. My god we’re screwed, you people will never change and in the future my children will have to be paying yours $5.00/minute to stop choking them so they can breath, while your children tell yourself they’re making mine stronger.

  112. T_jones991 says:

    I absolutely agree with #7 them taking no as an answer. Everyone that has became great heard the word ‘No’ more than once while they was on the way to the top. The fact they continue in spite of No ultimately determines there level of success.

    Follow me on twitter  @RellTheWizard:twitter 

  113. Shoop goosh says:

    Fuck you old man, you’re absolutely right. 

  114. Jason says:

    Failure isn’t forever neither is success .

  115. rob solo says:

    Success and Failiure come from one place..and that’s choice.  You can choose to be a success and do what you feel or what your gut (intuition) is telling you to do or you choose not to listen to that inner voice that’s guiding you to a successful path. Of  course action bring results, yet it’s all based on what you choose. Choices in life will dictate success or failure and these have different meaning for different people. This article is based on 1 person’s perspective of what he defines success and failiure.  Good advice yes, but ultimately, you have the choice to define what success and failure means to you…just be sure it aligns with your values and who you are as an individual.   Some people it’s health, other if money or family, traveling the world or just being genuinely happy. 

  116. wellness4u says:

    I’m extremely gifted and easily achieve whatever I pursue through hardwork, discipline and consistency.  However, I always seem to hit a wall that I can’t control or get past at some point in time along the journey.  Depending upon what it is, I either learn to navigate around it or change gears.  My problem becomes when I know I’m in the right direction but I keep hitting a brick wall.  How do I tell when my “aim” is wrong or if I just need to be patient?  Is there a way of knowing the difference?

  117. “don’t miss out on an opportunity because of you’re pessimistic and emotional perception over a certain person” ~Jeff Faudan~

  118. This is very true. Sadly, a lot of people who you were expecting to be supportive can really be frustrating when they strike a tone while you’re ongoing a startup phase. And even in the middle of the stability, some can really be testy and call you a “hermit” or “anti-social” and a lot more… i have to eliminate them as I know they find what I’m doing ridiculous to cut down on the social life. I even get all those “money doesn’t make you happy” quotes and make me feel on the low for called materialistic and all that stuff… sometimes it pushes you at the end of the wall.

  119. i’m sorry to break your bubble, but a lot of privileged kids, have to work hard and not put their family to shame in the society they grew up with. What you see on tv doesn’t always apply generally.

  120. i have to agree with the “getting involved early” it hinders your decision for yourself and have to put “US” in the equation of whether your plan is going to be approved or not. The fire of passion to work for the family may be there, but it would be a different scene

  121. Gh says:

    You have no idea how the real world works. I’ve seen rich, but not very intelligent kids get into great schools all because the parents promised the college a very sizeable “donation”. Done deal. This particular kid is now one if those trust fund babies living in Brooklyn, and exhibiting pictures of his “struggles”, and passing himself off as a “regular guy”, while Mummy and Daddy foot the bill. This kind of thing happens a lot more than you would think. The truth is, it’s not an equal playing field at all, and if you are a person in an the unlucky position of trying to work to put food on the table and work on some pie in the sky dream, you will most likely fight an uphill battle. I’m sick of these ridiculous articles that bait and switch what the real focus should be in the US.

  122. Drutz says:

    I realise that this comment was posted a long time ago, but I’ve just come across it and i felt the need to reply. Sally, maybe what your mom was trying to teach you, and obviously couldn’t, was that it might be better to be poor and honest then rich and dirty. I’m saying this mostly as a reply to the example you gave about the celebrities who sleep their way to the top. Life isn’t just about money. You have to earn self-respect as well, and the respect of others. I am sorry that you resent your mother so much! She obviously has a different set of values than you have, and probably to her, helping others like you said she does is the culmination of success, because it’s what makes her happy. Just my opinion. Good luck!

  123. Drutz says:

    I totally agree with this coment.

  124. fourscoreandseven says:

    Suze: You have some strange notions about “rich” people and their children. You listed “nanny” before the parents. Class and status does not guarantee anything (outside of listings in certain directories). Confidence does not depend on a trust fund. Elite private schools and tutoring are specific to the child. Your emphasis on “cars” is odd. As is your emphasis on money! Your notion that “trust fund babies” cry about “not getting a new car” is simply bizarre! Trust funders live on a budget that is usually controlled by a bank, or a director, or an individual, and rarely includes new cars. Also, CRYING does not change anything about trust funders.
    You have forgotten that there is TREMENDOUS pressure on “trust funders” to succeed in EVERY aspect of life. Your precious little ghetto-rats get just about all the necessities for free and have LOTS of free food and free entertainment and free advisors and generally grow up with a whole lot of self-esteem (since the necessities of life is handed to them without application). And, again you are focused on transportation (bus for ghetto-rats). Were you frightened by public transport when you were growing up?
    Your painting with a broad brush, that makes all poor good and all rich bad, simply does not mirror real life. Many ghetto-rats are HORRID and many trust funders are GOOD! And, that is how they were raised, so your “linkages” are not even close to accurate. Or causative.

  125. Joseph Dabon says:

    Great post. Success is not something wished, but desired; not to wait for but to go after. –

  126. pjp says:

    I couldn’t read past #1 “They define success wrong.” The entire section is not about the definition of success, but on how success is achieved. I was really thinking after reading the header of that subject that it would include statements about “they think success is only about money rather than happiness” or something. Fail. Get back to me when you can “define” success successfully. You can’t, because what a person considers a success depends on a person’s values, and everyone has different values. For example, no matter how much money I made, if I didn’t uplift everyone else with whom I had dealings, I would not consider myself a success.

  127. Mrk Hajdari says:

    All if the statements are true but genes have a big part in it meaning what’s going on in your head I have done study’s of this if kids hear there parants for what it is saying were poor then the kid will bel eave it there a lot of factors it’s just the invisable bullet and what a person gos threw the brink between life and dealth there for given a vision from that reason I say what I say is because what I have see woman that become rape victims and have wored hard and have acheaved there job it’s just other have a better feeling of god or should I say Mother Nature every thing is in sink with what they won’t (it’s all a dream mind stimulation stair at a wall it’s a boring wall so what dos the mind won’t to do stimulate it’s self it just like life some are more stimulated then others ) so there is some truth to u answers ) try this for a study listen to kids in a park and just hear how they talk and interact u will see how much are like chickens in a farm communicating and just talk nothing and the one that truly think it’s a mazing
    Ur truly / mark Hajdari from the Bronx witch kind is the leader from animal from more stimulation power

  128. ccr says:

    I know this was posted a year ago but I had to respond.

    Free doesn’t mean equal. It’s impossible that everyone is going to be equal. Not everyone will be successful, not everyone wants to be successful. It is poison to believe that other people have an advantage over you. Many people that are born rich do not die rich because they never learned that they had to work for it. It’s about who has the easiest life it’s about fulfilling your life. You can be happy poor! The problem is that so many blame other people for the fact that they are poor because they are unhappy being poor.

    Having a negative view of money is so strange to me. Money isn’t evil. It’s doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. It’s a useful tool. If you want more of it then that is up to you!

    Whether you are poor or rich, happy people know that they are responsible for themselves.

  129. ccr says:

    We are referring to our free society because if everything were equal we would all be poorer than even what we consider poor.

    Using skincolor as defeat? You might as well give up now. There is no denying that people may judge you or even hate you because you are are not white. Saying that skin color means you can’t be successful contradicts a good chunk of our entertainment industry. Um and our president?!

    I agree partly that poverty affects your brain in a negative way. Its not about money though. If you are unhappy being poor and you raise your kids to feel as though the world is punishing them then I agree that would negatively affect them. The cycle continues until someone breaks it!!

  130. Jake says:

    Success in America is based on how much money you have, power, greed, materialistic items, credit score, and whether you met all your status quo milestones in a timely fashion… Career, wife, house, car… if not, you can kiss the people who were friends your age goodbye. Total Failure. Life isn’t fair. I will tell you this, I rather starve in Africa than suffer mentally in America! It’s all relative.

  131. jean says:

    It’s nice to think of America as the land of the free, where anything is achievable if you tried hard enough. But statistically those who are born in poverty stay in poverty, and those who are born rich stay rich. You might hear of a few rags to riches stories but they don’t reflect the experiences of the VAST majority of people born without privilege.

  132. LoserJane says:

    I like the last parts. How do you define success? Luckily, or not by luck at all, I was never one to just chase wealth.
    Instead I figured kindness dictates goodness, whether the person is wealthy or not. I have always felt unique bc I can put myself ahead of others.
    There are so many rich , unhappy ppl. So don’t even think that one has a correlation to the other. Some just don’t know what happiness is. IF you work towards giving and receiving… you have a chance to find happiness. And it can be simple. It doesn’t always have to be complicated.

  133. DickBlack says:

    What the fuck is a ghetto rat? Suze must have hit a button with you. She’s right about everything she said. Many trust funders are horrid and low down people. And many lower class people are the most humble people you’ll ever meet. Ass

  134. Picnicl . says:

    Good man Spider. They hated both your sense of responsibility and braveness in leaping in to an unknown. They will never bet on anything in life because they have so few skills to make up for it if it all goes wrong. Conservativeness can be good up to a point, if it means supporting what is already great. But I think they just wanted you to not be happy so that they are not the unhappiest person where they work. They’ve given no sign of true friendship -you owe them nothing and should steam right ahead of them and forget they were even in your circle. It’s not about becoming above your station- it’s about getting to a place where you’re too busy enjoying your life and work to worry about others insecurities against you.

  135. msands says:

    I would like you to help me with some advices.
    My main problem is that I feeling my failure even before acting and I really want to break that out away.

  136. Christopher Powell says:

    This is all well and good on a very elementary, oversimplified, and superficial level, but sometimes, with the best efforts and intentions, other circumstances make it so that the person simply is not permitted to succeed, given those circumstances. Such is the case with unrecognized learning disorders, a lack of support, unfounded criticisms of “laziness” or a lack of motivation–or people that actually can and do stand in the way of one’s success.

    You certainly do have to earn success, as well as earn to keep it. But there are many cases when the individual will is not enough, and simple misfortune, sometimes irreversibly catastrophic, will occur, anyway, and these misfortunes will have nothing whatsoever to do with the individual, but the environment in which he or she is attempting to make it. Failing to acknowledge this is unacceptable, ignorant, short-sighted, and destructive for those who are already trying their best, but are not being permitted to succeed by the circumstances the author trivializes as something always under the person’s control. One can not count on reversals of fortune in class or status for success, as this article unintentionally suggests.

    It doesn’t help that the American job economy is astonishingly unforgiving, the price of academic opportunity out of high school is totally out of control, and competitiveness in all areas of life remains a constant. Not everyone can win, and regardless of individual effort, external circumstances can simply override the possibility of a future for some. To say it’s all self-determined is just not true, and while a well-intentioned statement, is truly devoid of sense in reality.

    As an analogy, a hundred thousand of the most motivated and success-driven people can enter a race willing to do whatever it takes to win the same type of success, but if the rules only allow that half of them will actually make it (as is realistically the case), not everyone can win, and even the most-enduring will not have the necessary circumstances to make it.

    “It’s a free country” is not a valid argument. Further, opportunity is not equal–to claim it is is disastrously fallacious and has nothing to do with individual conditions in the real world. Many of the assumptions in this article are not based in anything but pep-talking, but many people need much, much more help than their own drive to succeed in any endeavor. If everyone was born under identical conditions and circumstances, this article might hold more water, but otherwise it fails completely to take into account the deeper issues inherent to society. This is not the informed, well-educated article I was hoping to come across when researching the nature of success and failure.

  137. Christopher Powell says:

    “You can be happy poor!”

    Someone clearly has never had to deal with the often-quite-literally-impossible issues of being born in an impoverished environment. It must be nice to be able to simplify everything into nonsensical assumptions about the hidden, horrifying realities of others to the point in which you feel you can judge them, without so much as acknowledging that people actually *do* have an advantage over you. What is success if not being accepted by those who are are in a position to offer it to you as a possibility?

  138. Calendula McBeanblossom says:

    All of this reminds me: Has anyone seen seen those documentaries which track the bad luck of lottery winners? Invariably, they are bombarded by long lost relatives and philanthropic organizations. The hands are out, and the guilt is high. Also, people who have never had to manage money (as in, never HAD any to manage) typically buy extravagant things, think they can stay on budget, think the dollar amount can stretch further than it actually does, and within so many years, wind up right back where they started.
    The same probably applies to a business startup. Unless you’ve been taught how draw up a good business plan, and stick to it, manage people with encouragement, keep an outlook of never ending enthusiasm, not to mention the tireless hard work and determination that the original article talks about, you’re bound to flop. Good attitude or not! (How many of us have worked for bosses who made questionable decisions?
    There’s an adage about if ll the money in the world was redistributed equally to everyone in the population, within “x” amount of time the “haves” would “have” once again, and the “have-not’s” would be back to square one.

  139. Padge Vounder says:

    I knew when I saw the quote from Ayn Rand and defense of CEOs who raise their own pay constantly but have had a pay freeze on everyone else for decades, that this article was a bunch of right wing tripe. Everyone who isn’t successful is just lazy, of course!

    Everything is fair, everything is equal, disabilities aren’t really disabilities because some with them succeed so that means everyone can! Circumstances aren’t really a big deal, being born into a wealthy family isn’t that much of an advantage and is actually the same as being born “in the ghetto” (as if the articles author has ever even seen a ghetto!). Crack baby has same chances of success as trust fund baby. If you were born blind deaf and mute with no arms or legs you can still be a success, you just have to work hard and believe in yourself!!!

    What. A. Load. Of. Sh1t.

  140. Caleb says:

    To simplify; not trying, makes a person a failure. Thinking you will be a success is good advice, it does not make you a success. I know many people who put in a lot of hard work and have positive thinking but still fail every time. Regardless of anything, if you lack the needed “smarts” to accomplish your goals. no amount of education, hard work. and positive thinking will make you successful. 50% of success is your social networking skills and knowing how to kiss ass. Sad to say.

  141. Pingback: What Is The Formula For Success?

  142. bobi6192 says:

    The bias in this article is clear as day. Let me sum it up
    and translate it for you. The rich got it right, you got it wrong, it’s your
    fault you’re not successful. I won’t go into why this is laughably one sided,
    but I will put in some food for thought. What if everyone succeeded, would your
    decrepit capitalist system be able to exist?

  143. mplo says:

    It can be extremely hard to keep family members who have little or no confidence in one’s success out of their life, however. The only thing that one CAN do is to ignore the negativity (which is way easier said than done, however!), persevere and prevail, anyhow.

  144. mplo says:

    Yeh, but it works both ways. Being poor and living a totally deprived life doesn’t necessarily and always make one a saint. Nor does being a trust-funder necessarily and always make one a low-down, horrid person, either.

  145. cccp1943 says:

    Those are all the reasons I no longer talk to my mother.

  146. Jayrus says:

    before i bore children i was first talked through by my dad’s friend, i had my daily little earnings, sleeping in one of my father’s houses freely, and whatever i earned daily could just go spend it in the bar waiting for chunks for money to accumulate (how? i didn’t know) is what he said to me “my son let me tell you something ..boys of today’s generation have refused to bear children b’se you fear responsibility, but this i assure you if you don’t get responsibility you will never arise to success before you will not have any driving force, it is until i bear children at an early age that i came to realize what the sense the gentleman was speaking into me so mr Kevin parenting when you young is no obstacle to success…you adjust you thinking so earlier


    Smart people should agree that success is earned. Now, getting selected for the job interview is quite a bit of luck….So I would say there is some luck to success.

  148. Signify says:

    Naw – her mom laid a trip on her.

  149. Signify says:

    Good point.

  150. Signify says:

    Even those who appear not to have done much to “get there” – have.

  151. Signify says:

    I’m not saying our atoms vanish after we die, but when we die we are dead.

  152. Signify says:

    The people who worked hard until their final breath didn’t achieve “nothing.” If you can go through living without hurting others or causing too much damage, I think that’s quite fine.

  153. Signify says:

    “enable” not a good word. But “knowing” ourselves? Some know at a young age, and these people do well, if they are in a good environment. Others never “know” themselves.

  154. Signify says:


  155. Signify says:

    You need to check the biographies of very successful, (whether in terms of money or contributions to society or both), to see how many of these were children born to young married mothers/parents. Many.

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