Everybody wants to be successful. We all want to live our dream life, to achieve our goals, and reach the success we desire in life.
And let’s face it, success is difficult. Success is not easy, and most people are not successful. But that’s the point. It is because it is difficult that’s why we want to do it, isn’t it?
As Tom Hanks said, “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great again.”
In 1962, President John F Kennedy made an inspiring speech of going to the moon:
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
Yes, success is hard. It is difficult. But it is the difficulty that makes it unique and special.
So, if you have decided to pursue success, remember, it is going to be difficult, and there are some common mistakes people will make on their journey.
And in this article, I’m going to share with you the 7 most common mistakes people make on their journey to success.
Try your best to avoid these mistakes. While there is no guarantee that you will be successful, but avoid making these mistakes will put you on the fast-track to achieving the success you want.
Here are the 7 mistakes people make when achieving success in life. Avoid them:
1. Lack of a clearly defined goal or direction
First, the lack of a clearly defined goal or direction is what prevents most people from achieving extraordinary results in life.
You can’t be a wandering generality, instead, choose your path and become a meaningful specific.
If you are trying to be everything to everyone, you will end up serving none. No matter what industry you venture into, to be the best in the area, you need to focus, and it all starts with knowing what you want.
This is why you must have a clear goal in life. What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to be? What kind of success are you looking for?
If you don’t know your direction, you will end up living like a zombie, going wherever the crowd goes and living life without a purpose.
Never let this happen to you. Define the success you want, and then make plans to achieve it.
Find out what you want to achieve in your life. Start with your vision, and then turn it into your goals, and then make plans, and execute your plan.
If you have no idea how to set goals or how to find out what you really want to achieve in life, go through my course – Goal Setting Formula.
2. No or lack execution
I believe that most people have an idea of what they want to achieve in life. They know roughly what kind of life they want to live, but why are they not successful?
Well, they lack execution. They are not committed to their dreams and goals. They are not taking massive and consistent actions to produce the results they want in life.
This is another common mistake people make in their journey to success.
They know that they want to be successful, regardless of whether they are specific or not, but they just don’t take action.
When things become hard, they choose to stop and quit. Never let this happens to you. Be 100% committed to your goals and dreams.
Successful people are successful because they are fully committed to their goals. They choose to take action and work on their plans even when they don’t feel like it.
On the contrary, unsuccessful people choose to do what’s easy and what’s convenient. When they don’t feel like doing it, they just sit back on their couch and watch TV.
They lack self-discipline. They are not committed. And this is why most people fail to achieve success in life.
Procrastination and the failure to execute is not the cause, it is the symptom. If you are someone who always procrastinates and delays working on your goals or task, it can be because of your mindset or inner values.
Therefore, what you need to do is to discover the root causes of why you procrastinate and don’t take action. Once you find out the real culprit, you can then work on the solution and make a positive change. I suggest you read this article below:
3. Refuse to make a change
Are you willing to make a change to achieve the success you want? Says easy, but when it comes to making the decision and taking the action, it is hard.
A lot of people are not living their dream life because they refuse to change. They are afraid of the uncertainty and the fear that things are going to be uncomfortable.
People know that smoking is bad for their health, yet, they still do it. We all know that we should work hard for success, yet, many people waste time on games, movies, and social media. I’m feeling guilty as I write about this too.
Basically, we know what we want and we know what we need to do to achieve it, but we just don’t do it.
The thing is that we just refuse to change. We have used to living the life we have been for the past many years. We refuse to change because we are afraid of the things that change might bring.
Plus, making a change requires us to venture out of our comfort zone. But that’s exactly what we need to do if we want to reach higher ground.
Think about it, if you want to go to Point A, the first thing you need to do is to be willing to let go of where you are right now.
You can’t discover new oceans if you are not willing to lose sight of the shore.
Here’s an inspirational quote that I love a lot:
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
You’re not meant to live an ordinary life like everyone else. You are unique, you are special, and you are meant to live the life that you desire.
Like what Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “What is the point of being on this Earth if you are going to be like everyone else?”
You are destined to be successful. Yes, it is hard, but it’s worth it. So, have the courage and faith to make a positive change in your life.
Read this article from ZenHabits: 7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them
4. Pursue the short-term solution
Another common mistake most people make on their journey to success is they pursue the short-term solution. In other words, they choose instant gratification.
You can choose to watch your favorite drama, or you can choose to work on your blog, what would you choose to do?
Logically speaking, if your goal is to build a successful blog, you should choose to work on it and not watching the drama on TV, but that’s NOT what most people will do.
Most people will choose instant gratification. In other words, they choose instant pleasure. They pursue the short-term solution.
When it comes to achieving your goals, if you are someone who prefers instant gratification, you will never be successful.
What comes easy will not give you a good impact in the future. And what is difficult to do now usually will give a positive impact on your life in the future.
Hence, stop pursuing instant gratification. Instead, learn to delay it.
Plus, if you always think about the short-term, you will never live a great life. Think about it, what will happen if all you think about is tomorrow?
Well, you will worry about your work tomorrow, what tasks you need to accomplish, and what meetings you need to attend or who are the clients you have to meet.
That’s short-term thinking. Now, what happens if you think further down the road?
Imagine if you think long-term. You think about the life you want to live, your vision, your goal, your dream, etc.
When you think long-term, you can then reverse-engineer and work backward to the present moment. You will know what you need to do right now in order to move forward to the future you want.
This is why you need to think further down the road. Don’t just focus on what’s in front of you, look further.
Stop worrying about what’s happening in the short-term, instead, look at the bigger picture. You want to know the overview of your life so that you can work backward to reach your dream life.
Just like completing a jigsaw puzzle, you need the big, complete picture so that you can solve the puzzle and put it piece by piece.
First, define your long-term goal or your vision, and then reverse-engineer and then take specific actions to reach your destination on purpose. Here’s an article to help you think long-term:
5. Fail to learn from mistakes and failures
Are you learning from your mistakes and failures? Sadly, most people don’t.
When they make mistakes or when they fail, they choose to quit and give up. They don’t treat mistakes as feedback, and they don’t look at failures as experience.
However, successful people are different. They look at failures as stepping stones to success. They treat mistakes as lessons for improvement.
When Thomas Edison was asked about his failure, he said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
But first, you must be willing to embrace the mistakes and failures you have made. A lot of people are not living the life they desire because they are not taking action, why? Well, they are too afraid to make mistakes. They don’t allow themselves to fail.
And that is why most people are not successful.
When you read biographies of successful people, you will notice that they are willing to fail. They don’t mind making mistakes. As what Michael Jordan says…
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
So, are you willing to accept your own failure and learn from it? Do you dare to venture into the unknown and make mistakes?
Remember these words: You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.
Accept that you are going to fail. Mistakes and failures are inevitable. It is not about if you are going to make mistakes and fail, it is about whether you choose to get up and bounce back higher.
One of the most vital keys to success is being resilient. You can fall down 8th times, but are you willing to get up again for the 9th?
Don’t worry about mistakes and failures, you can always learn from them:
6. Not improving or growing
If you want to achieve what you have never got before, you must be willing to do what you have never done before.
The only way to achieving the success you desire is through self-improvement. You must level up yourself. You must raise your standards and play the game better.
Do you know that most lottery winners lose it all just after a few short months or years? It is not about how much money you make or win, if you lack the skill to manage money and the ability to earn, you will lose it all eventually.
This is why you must work on improving yourself. This is why you must commit to growth.
If you want to build a successful blog, the answer is simple – learn and develop the necessary skills of a successful blogger.
No matter what you want to achieve, you must first change in order to reach the achievement you want.
You can’t get rich thinking poor. You can’t live a positive life if you constantly think negative. You can’t become successful if you lack the skills, mindset, and capabilities.
The good news is that you can learn the skills. You can equip yourself with the necessary ability to become successful. The only question – are you willing to learn?
Most people are not willing to pick up a new skill. They are not willing to learn or improve. This is why they fail. They thought they already know it all.
Let’s be true to yourself. If you know it all, you will already be successful and living your dream life right now, right?
So, commit to learning. Make it your priority to develop yourself to become someone better.
It is not about how much money you want to make or how successful you can be, it is about the size of you. It is about your skills, your ability, and capability.
Just like what Harv Eker said, “The size of the problem is never the issue, what matters is the size of you.”
Once you improve the size of your cup, you can fill in more water, tea, or money, whatever you like. The key is to increase your context. Learn to improve yourself so that you can achieve more.
Here’s a great article to help you kickstart your improvement journey:
7. Give up way too soon
Do you give up on your goals or projects way too soon?
Most people quit whenever they face difficulties or when they don’t see the significant result after some time.
They lack determination and the “never die” spirit.
As you have learned in the beginning, success isn’t going to be easy. It is hard. Thus, don’t give up even when things become tough.
You must learn to overcome the hardships, not give up whenever you face them.
If you pursue a goal and it didn’t work out, change your strategy, not the goal.
A lot of people want to lose weight and have a slim and fit body, hence, they hit the gym actively in the beginning. But their motivation doesn’t last, and they quickly lose interest after exercising for a few weeks and see no improvement.
Eventually, they started to doubt themselves and their goals and dreams. They then quit and stop going to the gym. When you ask them about it, they will just hit you with an excuse like they are too busy or have no time for it.
Sounds familiar? Have you experienced something similar?
Don’t give up. And don’t quit because a winner will never quit and a quitter will never win.
Stick to your goals and plan. Don’t quit until you tried everything.
I know it is not easy. As a blogger, I have seen many people abandon their blogs after a couple of weeks or months. They don’t stick to their plan and they forget about their vision and purpose.
Never let this happens to you. Always remind yourself of why you want to pursue your goals and dreams. Let your purpose drive you. And don’t give up.
You can slow down and take rests, but you must not stop and quit.
When you lost your motivation and faith, or when you are about to give up, read this article:
You are going to make mistakes and fail in your journey to success. No matter what you do, you will face hard times and things are going to be tough.
But you can always do something to prevent the pitfall. You can always prepare yourself for what’s coming so that you know what to do when things become hard.
The above are the common mistakes people make when they pursue success in life. Try to understand them and get yourself ready.
When you are better prepared, you are directly shortcutting your journey to success.