Whatever your lot in life, you doubtless consider it to be a combination of external factors: some positive and others negative. Doubtless, this is partly true. However, it may surprise you to know that at any point, barring acts of God, your future is almost entirely in your own hands.
This may sound like too much to bear or believe. After all, if it were true, there would be no excuses left. You could not blame your situation on your parents, the government, your boss, your husband or wife, your race, or anything else. Hence, most of us prefer to reject this thought. That leaves us with plenty of excuses, and a comfortable, if rather mediocre, life.
Napoleon Hill's book "Think & Grow Rich" makes it clear that Success only comes to those rare few who (a) create a major definite purpose they burn to achieve in their lives, and (b) pursue that purpose with total determination and persistence, to the point of apparent folly in the eyes of others. Interestingly, the qualification is NOT that you need any prior experience or talent in that which you seek. Rather, it is the purpose, backed with the determination to never give up in attaining it, combined with tapping into the Infinite Intelligence of the universe, that brings about lasting Success.
However, most of us think differently. You may think that you cannot succeed because you do not have enough experience, or because you have little money, or because you are disadvantaged in some other way. If so, you need to consider the examples of people like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Both of these men had nothing more than basic schooling. Van Gogh learned to paint relatively late in life. Stevie Wonder is blind. The world's leading cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, is in a wheelchair and cannot even speak without a voice machine. Oprah Winfrey was born black, dirt-poor, and was abused as a child. Excellent qualifications for becoming the highest-paid TV personality in America?...
The basic problem that holds the vast majority from achieving astonishing success is that they lack self-esteem at the very deepest subconscious level. We place a ceiling on what we are capable of achieving, because it makes us feel better about ourselves and our own mediocre achievements. It's better to shield ourselves with dozens of excuses than to admit to ourselves that we could have done better, if only we had the guts and the self-belief.
We spend our entire lives crawling around on our knees beneath this insanely low ceiling we created for ourselves. An absurd image? That's the way you are probably living your life.
Within certain obvious physical limits (e.g. a 70-year old trying to win the Olympic 100m), there is almost NOTHING that someone else has achieved that you could not achieve too, if you had a burning desire to do it, made this the major definite purpose of your life, and pursued it with relentless determination. Burn the ships and the bridges and then head forward. No excuses or fallbacks. You succeed or you die. That is the only attitude for achieving the very highest levels of attainment. The artist, Michelangelo, said he would not be considered a genius if people only knew how many hours he sweated to achieve it.
The Comfort Zone is the greatest barrier to Success. If you achieve a certain level of the latter, the temptation to relax and bask in the weak sunlight of what you've attained can be overwhelming. A high level of dissatisfaction serves as excellent motivation to spur you further. That way, you will take risks, which is the only way to move forward rapidly. If you take NO risks in life, you may as well be already dead. In fact, the most common regret of dying people is the things they did NOT do, and the risks they did NOT take.
Attaining success in any undertaking SHOULD make you feel uncomfortable and challenged. Things are only totally comfortable when you are not making any progress. That is why it is called the Comfort Zone. However, it's that way because nothing is happening. Maybe a coffin is comfortable too?
However, to succeed in your chosen major definite purpose, you need to shed the garbage of your upbringing. Examine your beliefs and values carefully. Where did they come from? Did you think them up or inherit them? Are there any contradictions there that hold you back? For instance, if you want to become rich, but have a deep-seated belief that rich people are crooks, how likely are you to succeed? Isn't it like driving with the handbrake on?
Most of the time, this is exactly what you are doing. Another example. You want to be promoted and given more responsibility at work? However, when you look within, you don't feel worthy of it, or even believe that your colleagues are better than you.
Some deep self-examination is necessary. Take time with yourself and ask yourself what your limiting beliefs are. Working on deepening your sense of self-esteem is the most important work you can do. It precedes any external success you may wish for.
Once you have deep self-esteem, you won't "care what the morons think", as multimillionaire businessman, Dan Pena, so graphically puts it. If you are afraid of failure, it's almost certainly because failure is frowned upon in our society. After all, how will you look to friends and family? "I told you so" will be the inevitable response. Right?
So what? Why care? Don't bother what the morons think. When Tom Watson, founder of IBM, was asked by a hungry young executive how he might progress much faster within the company, Watson answered, "Double your failure rate."
THAT should teach you how important the opinions of the morons really are. This is something they don't and can't understand. That is why they remain exactly where they are. INCREASE your rate of making mistakes in order to accelerate your successes, and make them ever more dramatic. It's the only way. However, you can only do that if you feel good inside about yourself, and don't care what others think.
In conclusion, external factors have less to do with where you are at than you may ever have imagined. The main factor for dramatic success or failure lies within. So, next time you stand in front of a mirror, ponder the eyes looking back into yours. The answers to every success in your life, now and in the future, lie right there... staring back at you.
Copyright 2003. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is the author of "The 7 Golden Secrets To Knowing Your Higher Self" course. Asoka's work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and find joy in their true soul's purpose. He offers you a FREE 14-Day LifeBreakthrough e-mail course at: