Why Failures Fail
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Posted by: Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY TIP:
Winners are winners because they've formed the habit of doing
things that failures don't like to do.
Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Personal Commentary:
Years ago the National Association of Life Underwriters published
a pamphlet by Albert Gray entitled "The Common Denominator of
Success." The author said that he had been brought up on the popular
belief that the secret of success is hard work, but that he had seen so many
men and women work hard without succeeding and so many people succeed without
working hard that he had become convinced that hard work was not the real
After much research, he became convinced that the common
denominator of success ... the secret of every person who has ever been
successful ... lies in the fact that that person formed the habit of doing
things that failures don't like to do. Of course, that didn't mean that
the successes liked to do those things either; they just did them anyway.
In particular, I've noticed two things failures don't like to do.
1. Failures don't like to set goals.
They don't want to take the time or put in the effort to think
about what they really, Really, REALLY want. They'd rather drift through
life, drift through their careers, and drift through relationships ... hoping
things will work out. Oh, they make their lack of goal setting sound
really pretty, saying something like "I prefer to keep my options open."
But that's baloney! A lack of goal setting ensures your failure
more often than not.
By contrast, Alfred Werth set a goal to become a highly successful
real estate agent. He left his native home in Germany in the 1930's to
escape Hitler's regime and migrated to San Francisco where he had a distant
Alfred did not speak English, but he still wanted to pursue a
career in real estate. His relative did the natural thing and advised
Alfred to get a job washing dishes or something menial until he learned to
speak the language. However, Alfred wanted to start selling real estate
right away and he convinced his relative to introduce him to a local broker.
The broker told Alfred the same thing ... to go out and get a job where
you can learn the English language and then come back.
But Alfred was persistent, coming back to the real estate office
over and over again and finally the broker gave him a desk in the corner,
telling him he would only be paid if he sold something. Alfred went to
his desk and just sat there. He didn't understand a thing that anyone was
At the end of the day, however, when everyone left the office,
Alfred stayed on. He went to the wastebasket and dumped the contents on
the floor. He picked out every telephone call slip and selected those
that had a name that looked German. The next morning he called each of
those people. If the person did not understand him, he hung up.
However, if the person responded in German, Alfred would offer the very
best of personal service and personal attention.
Within three months Alfred was the top producer in that office.
He went on to great success in the real estate field in California and he
became the shining example of how powerful goal setting is. You know ...
that old saying is true ... where's there's a will (or a goal) there's a way.
I only wish the failures in life would realize that sooner than later.
(Sidebar: If you'd like to become an "expert" goal
setter and goal achiever, you should invite me to speak at your next meeting on "The Payoff Principle: How To
Motivate Yourself To Win Every Time In Any Situation.")
2. Failures don't believe in themselves.
Of course failures don't like to admit things like that.
Most of them would rather blame their failure on their birth order, poor
parenting, their race, religion, gender, or inadequate education. They'd
rather make excuses than work on bolstering their self-esteem.
By contrast I think of four people who had every right to say,
"Life really dealt me a bad hand. I can't make it." Yet
each of them believed in themselves enough that they didn't sit back and whine.
They took action. The first person was tongue-tied at birth, but he
became the greatest orator that Greece had ever known ... Demosthenes.
The second person was blind, but he remembered what he had seen when he
had his sight and went on to write beautiful poetry ... John Milton. The
third person was deaf so he couldn't even hear the music he composed ... Ludwig
van Beethoven. And the fourth person who grew up with braces on her legs
and years of illnesses became the world's fastest runner ... Wilma Rudolph.
You already have the potential for greatness inside of you.
After speaking to hundreds of thousands of people, I know that's true.
I know that it's not what you HAVE that counts; it's what you DO with it
that makes the difference.
Set three goals for yourself. Write them down. Read
them every day ... morning and night. Do that for 30 days and you will
have some significant successes.
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About the author:
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker,
Dr. Alan Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of
business.” His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy,
and high involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they
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Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Internet
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