People who blame bad outcomes on anyone or anything other than themselves are behaving in a way that is at variance with reality, and subversive to their progress.
Blaming bad outcomes on anyone or anything other than one’s self is essentially wishing that reality is different than it is, which is silly. And it is subversive because it diverts one’s attention away from mustering up the personal strength and other qualities that are required to produce the best possible outcomes.
Blaming others is NOT the same thing as holding others accountable, which we will discuss in my Management Principles.
Successful people understand that bad things come at everyone and that it is their responsibility to make their lives what they want them to be by successfully dealing with whatever challenges they face. Successful people know that nature is testing them, and that it is not sympathetic.
Luck — both good and bad — is a reality. But it is not a reason for an excuse. In life, we have a large number of choices, and luck can play a dominant role in the outcomes of our choices. But if you have a large enough sample size—if you have large number of decisions (if you are playing a lot of poker hands, for example)— over time, luck will cancel out and skill will have a dominant role in determining outcomes. A superior decision-maker will produce superior outcomes. That does not mean there won’t be certain bad-(or good-) luck events that are life changing: a friend of mine dove into a swimming pool and became a quadriplegic. But he approached his situation well and became as happy as anybody else, because there are many paths to happiness. What happens to a lot of people is that they don’t take personal responsibility for their outcomes, and as a result fail to make the best possible decisions.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe that nature is symbiotic—and that we must give to it for it to give back.
How much do you let yourself off the hook rather than hold yourself accountable for your success?
In summary, I believe that you can probably get what you want out of life if you can suspend your ego and take a no-excuses approach to achieving your goals with open -mindedness, determination, and courage, especially if you rely on the help of people who are strong in areas that you are weak.
If I had to pick just one quality that those who make the right choices have, it is character. Character is the ability to get one’s self to do the difficult things that produce the desired results. In other words, I believe that for the most part, achieving success—whatever that is for you—is mostly a matter of personal choice and that, initially, making the right choices can be difficult. However, because of the law of nature that pushing your boundaries will make you stronger, which will lead to improved results that will motivate you, the more you operate in your “stretch zone,” the more you adapt and the less character it takes to operate at the higher level of performance. So, if you don’t let up on yourself, i.e., if you operate with the same level of “pain,” you will naturally evolve at an accelerating pace. Because I believe this, I believe that whether or not I achieve my goals is a test of what I am made of. It is a game that I play, but this game is for real. In the next part I explain how I go about playing it.
In summary, I don’t believe that limited abilities are an insurmountable barrier to achieving yourgoals, if you do the other things right.
As always, it is up to you to ask yourself if what I am saying is true. As the next part delves into this concept more, you might want to reserve your judgment until after you have read it.