Why Most People Fail
Here’s something really important that I want you to keep in mind.
The number one reason why people fail at anything is that they give up as soon as it gets difficult.
It’s that simple.
The struggle is necessary. It’s a key ingredient to success.
You must strive to thrive
One of my favorite songs is by Katy Perry (laugh all you want!).
It’s “Rise” by Katy Perry.
Here are the lyrics:
I won’t just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can’t write my story
I’m beyond the archetype
I won’t just conform
No matter how you shake my core
‘Cause my roots—they run deep, oh
Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in my veins
I know it, I know it
And I will not negotiate
I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it
I will transform
When, when the fire’s at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They’re whispering, “You’re out of time,”
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in
Don’t be surprised
I will still rise
I must stay conscious
Through the madness and chaos
So I call on my angels
Oh, ye of so little faith
Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in your veins
You know it, you know it
And you will not negotiate
Just fight it, just fight it
And be transformed.
Here’s the official music video if you want to listen to the song:
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to understand that you can’t just handle stress and difficulty, you need to learn to thrive in it.
Will Durant, the great historian, once said “War and competition are the father of all things. The potent source of ideas, inventions, institutions, and states. Peace is an unstable equilibrium.”
So, I want to talk about conflict as it pertains to your life.
Is conflict “bad?”
I grew up with this understanding that the world was worse off with war, that you wanted to avoid stress and conflict.
This is kind of the mantra for society today, right (by the way actual war is bad, lol, just to make it clear, I’m trying to make a point haha)?
All of us have some friction in our lives. Someone mad at us, someone yelling at us, getting fired from a job.
We all go through conflict.
You need to learn how to take that adversity and those “bad” things in life, and overcome them.
First off, I think the word “bad” is the start of the problem. It’s an archaic and outdated way of thinking about life.
What Durant is saying is that peace is an unstable equilibrium. Now, let me just clarify. Again, I’m not speaking about war per se, like World War 2 or the Vietnam War. That’s a completely different conversation.
What I’m talking about is that without struggle, without adversity, and without friction, there won’t be any forward progress.
Desperation is the number one source of inspiration
Look at Brian Acton.
He’s one of the founders of WhatsApp, but before he started Whatsapp, he was turned down for a job at Facebook. After he was denied his dream job, he Tweeted “looking forward to life’s next adventure.”
Then he went on to meet his business partner, and they launched this texting app. I love WhatsApp as a communication tool; many people are now using it for business.
The next thing you know, a couple hundred million people are using it, and it’s one of the most popular apps out there. In 2017, they ended selling their app to Facebook for 19 billion dollars.
The conflict and struggle that happened to Brian Acton became the potent source of ideas and innovation for him. When Brian was denied the job, he didn’t become all negative and cynical; instead, he said “OK, on to the next thing.”
This is because he had the mindset instilled in him to bounce back. He knew he was capable of achieving other great things.
Success is the result of mindset and hard work
What sets billionaires apart is their ability to think differently than most people.
I was reading the biography of Jeff Bezos and how he built Amazon.com and made billions of dollars. One of his coworkers, a guy named Dalzell said,
“Jeff Bezos does a couple of things better than anyone I’ve ever worked for. Number one, he embraces the truth. A lot of people talk about the truth, but they don’t engage their decision-making around the best truth at the time.”
“The second thing is that he is not tethered by conventional thinking. What is amazing to me is he is bound only by the laws of physics. He can’t change those. Everything else he views as open to discussion.”
I love that mentality.
He pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking, and doesn’t care whether the truth hurts. He builds his business around reality, and tries to eliminate any biases in his life and business.
Do you always want to play the victim?
The “wars” against you and your happiness, against your goals, against your fulfillment and happiness, should become the driving source of ideas and problem solving.
The natural events of the world, whether that be economic or biological, they don’t care about you or me.
So you have a choice.
Do you always want to play the part of a victim?
Now, there are plenty of people who will say “Tim, I don’t want to embrace a world that’s like that.” Instead of being set in how we want the world to work, it’s better to recognize the reality of the world.
It’s going to happen anyway, so why fight it?
So what does this mean for you?
The first is health.
In the world that we live in now, there are so many influences that negatively impact our health.
There’s soda, fast food, smoking, all of these things are bad for you. Now this isn’t some mass conspiracy against you, but I think it’s a natural outgrowth of a free market economic system, where people are seeking their own interests.
All these companies like McDonalds or Pepsi manufacture food that they believe gets the highest return on investment for their shareholders.
They don’t have anything against you. They are allowing you to make your own decisions, but they want you to buy their products so they can maximize profit.
They don’t care about the longevity of your health.
In a sense, you’re in conflict. If they can make something sweet enough and you drink it, they’re going to get what they want.
Instead of seeing yourself as a victim, you have to go to war. The war on my body and my health will become the potent source of ideas, inventions, for me.
How can you spin it around?
Well, I got some friends, they’ve turned the whole health crisis into a business online where they’re teaching people how to be healthy, lose weight.
They’re making a couple hundred thousand dollars a month. Yes, per month, not per year.
If you can’t beat the corporations, join ’em. Just do what they’re doing, but instead of making war on the health of people, make war on the institutions that are causing the problem to start with.
Don’t be a victim of reality and be unhealthy and overweight, take advantage of the opportunity and make something positive out of it.
Strife and that conflict should excite you
When I was a broke at 20 years old, I read something that Tony Robbins said that completely changed my life.
He said, “when you succeed, you party, but when you fail, you ponder, and all great things come from pondering.”
That’s the same thing, the war, the struggle. Out of it comes great things.
There’s a consistent pattern.
If you get excited when you experience conflict and things not going your way, it will become a source of potent ideas that will drive you forward towards your goal.
Fight the instinct to go into victimhood…to retreat
I read an article recently that said when we feel stress, fear and mental discomfort our body reacts with physical cues like your heart rate increasing.
When we feel overly excited and happy, our body reacts the same way, but obviously we don’t think we feel the same.
So, what’s the difference?
The difference is perspective and context.
The next time you’re experiencing conflict and stress, tell yourself:
What I’m feeling right now is excitement. Excitement for the potent ideas that will come from the conflict.
It’s like stocks, they don’t always go up.
Even the best stocks have to come down before they can go up even higher, it’s called a correction. It’s a principle of physics, every action has an opposite and equal reaction.
When things seem rough just know that you can use that downward energy and momentum to create great things that will drive you up towards your goals.
If you’re lonely, take it as a time to take a whole bunch of public speaking classes, go on an online dating site and go on 50 dates, learn and grow.
Make your mess your message
Think about Oprah Winfrey.
She went through tremendous trauma as a child and was abused. That eventually became an inspiration for her to decide that she was going to rise above it and help thousands of people.
Now, not everybody comes out of struggle and adversity stronger, but the people who do are not chosen randomly. You have to be systematic about your life to find resolution. You have to look at the situation logically, put the pieces together, and use the feedback to put together the puzzle of life.
If you fail, you need to be able to say, “OK, that didn’t work, what do I need to do differently next time?”
You have to be proactive to turn conflict into success
Instead of lamenting your life and lamenting the world and focusing on failure, go to war. Use war as the potent source of things that are new. It’s a new approach to life.
There’s no victimhood here.
Why be a victim?
I’m not saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m saying that stress is a subjective experience that we all have to go through. See, we’ve been taught that only bad things can come out of a negative situation and that we should only plan for success, but that’s wrong.
Multiple scenarios, multiple possible outcomes, so be ready
The Air Force teaches its pilots to make three different plans before they take off.
They make a plan for the best-case scenario, the most likely scenario, and the worst-case scenario. The best case being everything goes their way and they land with no issues, the most likely being they face a few challenges or problems along the way, and the worst case being having to eject from their plane because it’s crashing.
By doing this, the pilots lower their stress levels, because they’ve already prepared for when things go wrong.
Once you understand that conflict is going to happen, you can learn how to roll with it
If you can figure out that things are really never as bad as they seem, you start to realize that struggle doesn’t have to be such a bad experience.
It’s completely dependent on how you respond.
If you can learn to respond positively to conflict, then most of the time, things will work themselves out.
Have you ever been dating someone and then you break up with them, and you’re freaked out? You start to think “I’ll never meet someone again?” Well guess what, eventually you will get over it and meet someone new.
Winter is coming…but so is Spring
I’ve learned as I got older, there’s a cycle to life, and things come around. There’s a winter, where it’s dark and cold, but for every winter, you usually get a spring.
It usually revolves around, so don’t freak out so much.
There’s really no good or bad situations that happen, it’s just our response to those events that are positive or negative. We are in charge of how we perceive events that happen to us, even though sometimes it seems like we don’t have control.
You don’t want to be the rich kid who just inherited his/her money and has no conflict. There’s nothing there for you. There’s no end game.
Always work with an endgame.
Remember, be a truth seeker, and then act on them
When things aren’t going your way, take a step back and think “What can I do to make something good come out of this.”
Let’s say you have a relative get sick and die from a disease. Take your time to grieve, but don’t let that grief control your life. Take all that energy and turmoil, and refocus it to finding a cure.
From negative $9 billion to positive billions of dollars
Love him or hate him (I don’t really care much for politics FYI, because I like to focus on what is within my immediate control), Donald Trump created a real estate empire. These are facts. He is a billionaire. Also facts.
When the economy crashed, Donald Trump took on over 9 billion dollars in debt. He went from one of the wealthiest men in the world to owing pretty much all of his fortune. He said to his daughter Ivanka as they were walking past a homeless person, that the homeless person has more money than him. The homeless person has zero, while he had negative 9 billion.
Now, he could have used bankruptcy to get away from it, but you know what? It became the potent source of ideas. He built an empire. He realized that while the economy was in turmoil, he could buy more properties and build more businesses, because eventually things would return to normal.
He came out on top. And he’s now one of the wealthiest people in the world.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel
If I could only get one piece of information to you today, it would be that as long as you remember negative situations are only as bad as you make them, and if you look for inspiration in that struggle, you will be fine.
No matter what you are going through right now, remember there is always a silver lining to it, and the people who learn to thrive in conflict are always going to be successful.