How You Can

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The Formula for Failure and Success
by Jim Rohn

(Excepted from the book The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle
by Jim Rohn)

Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. We do not fail
overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of
poor thinking and poor choices. To put it more simply, failure is
nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day.

Now why would someone make an error in judgment and then be so
foolish as to repeat it every day? The answer is because he or
she does not think that it matters.

On their own, our daily acts do not seem that important. A minor
oversight, a poor decision, or a wasted hour generally doesn't
result in an instant and measurable impact. More often than not,
we escape from any immediate consequences of our deeds.

If we have not bothered to read a single book in the past ninety
days, this lack of discipline does not seem to have any immediate
impact on our lives. And since nothing drastic happened to us
after the first ninety days, we repeat this error in judgment for
another ninety days, and on and on it goes. 

Why? Because it doesn't seem to matter. And herein lies the great
danger. Far worse than not reading the books is not even
realizing that it matters!

Those who eat too many of the wrong foods are contributing to a
future health problem, but the joy of the moment overshadows the
consequence of the future. It does not seem to matter. Those who
smoke too much or drink too much go on making these poor choices
year after year after year... because it doesn't seem to matter.

But the pain and regret of these errors in judgment have only
been delayed for a future time. Consequences are seldom instant;
instead, they accumulate until the inevitable day of reckoning
finally arrives and the price must be paid for our poor choices -
choices that didn't seem to matter.

Failure's most dangerous attribute is its subtlety. In the short
term those little errors don't seem to make any difference. We do
not seem to be failing. In fact, sometimes these accumulated
errors in judgment occur throughout a period of great joy and
prosperity in our lives. 

Since nothing terrible happens to us, since there are no instant
consequences to capture our attention, we simply drift from one
day to the next, repeating the errors, thinking the wrong
thoughts, listening to the wrong voices and making the wrong
choices. The sky did not fall in on us yesterday; therefore the
act was probably harmless. Since it seemed to have no measurable
consequence, it is probably safe to repeat.

But we must become better educated than that!

If at the end of the day when we made our first error in judgment
the sky had fallen in on us, we undoubtedly would have taken
immediate steps to ensure that the act would never be repeated
again. Like the child who places his hand on a hot burner despite
his parents' warnings, we would have had an instantaneous
experience accompanying our error in judgment.

Unfortunately, failure does not shout out its warnings as our
parents once did. This is why it is imperative to refine our
philosophy in order to be able to make better choices. With a
powerful, personal philosophy guiding our e very step, we become
more aware of our errors in judgment and more aware that each
error really does matter.

Now here is the great news. Just like the formula for failure,
the formula for success is easy to follow: It's a few simple
disciplines practiced every day.

Now here is an interesting question worth pondering: How can we
change the errors in the formula for failure into the disciplines
required in the formula for success? The answer is by making the
future an important part of our current philosophy.

Both success and failure involve future consequences, namely the
inevitable rewards or unavoidable regrets resulting from past
activities. If this is true, why don't more people take time to
ponder the future? The answer is simple: They are so caught up in
the current moment that it doesn't seem to matter. The problems
and the rewards of today are so absorbing to some human beings
that they never pause long enough to think about tomorrow.

But what if we did develop a new discipline to take just a few
minutes every day to look a little further down the road? We
would then be able to foresee the impending consequences of our
current conduct. Armed with that valuable information, we would
be able to take the necessary action to change our errors into
new success- oriented disciplines. In other words, by
disciplining ourselves to see the future in advance, we would be
able to change our thinking, amend our errors and develop new
habits to replace the old.

One of the exciting things about the formula for success- A few
simple disciplines practiced every day - is that the results are
almost immediate. As we voluntarily change daily errors into
daily disciplines, we experience positive results in a very short
period of time. 

When we change our diet, our health improves noticeably in just a
few weeks. When we start exercising, we feel a new vitality
almost immediately. When we begin reading, we experience a
growing awareness and a new level of self-confidence. Whatever
new discipline we begin to practice daily will produce exciting
results that will drive us to become even better at developing
new disciplines.

The real magic of new disciplines is that they will cause us to
amend our thinking. If we were to start today to read the books,
keep a journal, attend the classes, listen more and observe more,
then today would be the first day of a new life leading to a
better future. If we were to start today to try harder, and in
every way make a conscious and consistent effort to change subtle
and deadly errors into constructive and rewarding disciplines, we
would never again settle for a life of existence not once we
have tasted the fruits of a life of substance!

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

This article was submitted by Jim Rohn, America's Foremost
Business Philosopher. To subscribe to the Free Jim Rohn
Weekly E-zine go to
Copyright 2000 Jim Rohn
International. All rights reserved worldwide.

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