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Causes of Success and Failure

You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own, and you know what you know.  And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Dr. Seuss


I have recently found myself researching the causes of success and failure. I began my research looking at athletic endeavors but found myself questioning even broader why some people succeed and some people fail at nearly everything they attempt.

Mark Divine (Navy Seal/Unbeatable Mind Academy/Sealfit) had an interesting take on success. He noted that failure stems from four key areas:

1)Intense negative mindset. This manifests as an intense ingrained system of beliefs that shade all behaviors, expectations, and action.

2)Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of unknown. Fear of losing Status Quo.

3)Illness or unfortunate life circumstance. This means essentially catastrophic bad luck that renders an individual unable to overcome or adhere to anything. (I think this area is very subjective but admittedly many do have such huge barriers here that I acknowledge the limitation.)

4)Lack of will, emotional/mental fortitude. Here we have individuals without the grey matter horsepower to succeed or lack of will / awareness to identify the difference between success and failure.

My question for readers….do you think these four areas cover most causes of failure?

So you understand, I am thinking about folks that have answers, maybe even have had success with things like diet, lifestyle, or fitness changes but ultimately fall back and fail.

In my daily walk this crosses my mind a lot with diabetics, folks with enormous stress, smokers, and others with preventable conditions that refuse to take the steps required for success in health.

What is your experience with success and failure?

What is your experience?

Send me your thoughts!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Pam December 13, 2014, 2:29 pm

    I have a few thoughts. I haven’t had a catastrophic event for myself, physically. But, I’ve had plenty of stressors in my life. A few years ago, I got down to the weight I am now, not the size though, as I am more toned this time around. I had some serious stress come up….and I fell completely off the wagon. Completely. So for me, stress plays a big part in the care and maintenance I am able to give to my body. I used to let the stress in my life sway me……enough to not care about me.

    Last fall…..some serious life events happened in our family. Each of one of my children had something serious going on and we also had to deal with 2 deaths. I had made some progress in my health from the last main stress event and was able to almost maintain my weight during that time. Worrying about my kids and still eating right was hard, but I managed somehow. But then this summer, I felt myself slipping….the scale was going up and up…..slowly….and I saw myself losing ground again when I was back up 8 lbs. I’m not really certain what has done it, but the switch has finally flipped for me. I can’t see myself going back to eating the way I used to a couple of years ago (before reading the NRG book)…..or becoming completely stationary again.

    I do know this. Ever since my thyroid diagnosis, losing weight has been hard. Even now, I am to the same place on the scale but a breakthrough just isn’t happening….I think in the past, I would convince myself that all the hard working wasn’t doing anything. And why should I bother….I don’t think like that now, but that’s the frame of mind I used to have.

    With each year older I get I have come to realize that me taking care of me is the ONE thing I can do to try to be here as long as possible for my family….husband, kids and all my beautiful grandkids. My mom has diabetes. If I continued to eat like I was, she and I would both be injecting insulin before our meals.

    I love food. I love the bad for you foods. Oooh, that used to taste so good right. But, I’ve watched people I care about waste away by continue to eat those foods. And now, I can’t even let myself enjoy something guilt free!! And some things I used to enjoy so much just taste awful!

    Give it a try folks…..you will feel so much better for all your efforts.

    Random thoughts by Pam….

    • William Curtis December 15, 2014, 1:45 pm

      So Pam, I hear “Change & Stressors” as a trigger that derail us from healthier paths and sometimes from success. I think that clearly falls into the #3 category and clearly is something many do not overcome routinely.

      I’m privledged to know you and admire your resilience. You seem to maintain some focus on the “Important things” and use that as motivation to maintain your health.

      You clearly understand the saying, “If you don’t have your health….you don’t have anything.”

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