Thursday, May 31, 2007

Is it true? Are you too damned lazy for success?

I've just been talking with my good friend Dax Moy over in the UK about what it is that makes some people a success in life while others seem condemned to make the same mistakes over and over again and rarely, if ever, get more than a rung or two up the ladder before dropping off of it and landing hard on their butts. Now, as a writer of one of the most successful goal achievement programs of 2007, I expected Dax to say something about having a lack of definite focus, a lack of vision, a lack of purpose or something equally goal oriented in nature but after only the briefest of pauses, he returned an answer that honestly shocked me.

"Pat," he said "the truth is that most people are simply too damned lazy to take action on the things that they know they must do in order to be successful. Instead of taking action, they wait, wait some more, let the opportunity pass them by and then bitch, whine and moan about the 'bad hand' that they've been dealt."

Now understand, Dax wasn't angry or bitter when he said this, the statement left his lips as matter-of-factly as if he'd said 'lovely weather today' and yet something about the statement really bothered me.

"Dax, I didn't take you for a cynic" I said "I thought you were about bringing out the best in people, helping them to set and achieve their goals and leading them to success!" "I am Pat, but that doesn't mean that a little straight-talking isn't called for. In fact, the more success a person desires, the more honesty they MUST expose themselves to... even if it hurts!

There's no B.S in success my friend."

Even as he said it, I knew what he was saying was true but I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to believe that laziness and laziness alone could stand at the heart of the problem that most of our industry was facing. "Maybe they just lack the knowledge" I said. "Rubbish mate" said Dax is his London accent "There's more readily useable information available on Amazon right now than has ever been available at any other time in history. You can learn all there is to know about assessments, programming, nutrition, injuries and yes, marketing too."

"Maybe they lack the skill" I said. "That's rubbish too Pat and you know it. Skill is merely a function of practice. If they actually practiced what they learn every once in a while they'd be rolling in money." "Maybe it's a lack of ability. Maybe some things are just too hard" I said, as my last feeble attempt to somehow fight the corner of those who were absent. "C'mon Pat, how hard is it really to be good at something you supposedly love?

How hard is it to generate passionate clients when you're passionate yourself?

How hard is it to put up a website, write a few articles, create the occasional press release? It's not!

In fact, these things are done numerous time a day by the guys in this industry who're considered successful. But they're not successful BECAUSE they do these things. They do these things BECAUSE they're successful!"

Of course, by this point I knew he was right and was content to quit arguing on behalf of the industry. It wasn't going to change the truth that Dax had just blasted me with, but it kind of left me a bit flat, which was not typical of the uplifting and positive conversations that he and I usually share.....

...Then Dax said something that put a little sparkle back into the conversation and really got me fired up again. He said "You know me Pat, I can be pretty blunt sometimes and pretty forward about speaking my mind, but I also believe that any good theory (even when they're mine) should stand up to a real-life 'acid test'before you buy into it. After all, we both know that the most damaging thing to success is falling in love with your own theories and making assumptions based upon your own beliefs right?" "Right..." I agreed "so what's on your mind?"

"Why don't we test this 'lazy failure' theory of mine and see if it holds up?" "OK" I answered "how?"