“It is easier to stay out than get out.” – Mark Twain
There’s an old adage – we are our habits. That’s true. There’s something else that’s true- we are our temptations.
For a person to achieve their goals, they need to change their behavior, and eventually become a better version of themselves. To do that, it’s important to look at what’s tempting you and to avoid it. Everyone has little “ticks” in their behavior that hold them back. These are the siren songs of bad habits, distractions, and unproductive activities that can keep someone mired in mediocrity for years.
But temptations surround us everyday.
Sometimes the temptations are great – other times, small. Sometimes the temptations are many – other times, few.
They call us to sacrifice the long-term goals that we have set for our life and exchange them for short-term pleasure. They are unavoidable. And falling prey to their empty promises can have drastic negative affects on lives.
But every successful person knows how to resist temptation. They know very well that getting caught in temptations is very easy, however one must practice iron will to avoid them.
In today’s essay, let’s look at six temptations, that if not avoided, can keep someone from becoming successful:
1. The temptation to disqualify yourself. Ever heard, or muttered, these phrases? – I’m too busy making a living – I have no time. I’m too old. I’m too young. It takes too long. It’s too hard. I can’t. Know this – nobody in this world has anything on you. I think disqualifying yourself is a moral failing. Unlike the animals, we have the gift of free will. The ability to demand something of ourselves. That’s all that is necessary to create the free life. But many are tempted to look thru the doorway and say “that’s for others, but not for me.” These people will never become successful.
2. The temptation to be perfect. So many people have deep desires within themselves and truly want to achieve certain things in life. But they are unappreciative even before they receive them, and want much more than they deserve. Many, for instance, want not just to be offered a good job with a high salary but they want to be rich instantly. That’s a wrong approach. Because, first you need to be grateful for what you already have (and no matter how little that is, believe me, others have much less and still find the will to be thankful for it). Only then will you feel abundance and realize that you have the power to turn it into something more. And you’ll feel the need to work for that, to give something in return and to then enjoy the fruits of your labor.
3. The temptation to wait. Wait for a better time. When it seems easier. When the kids are off to college. I have news for you – someday is a crowded day. And an unhappy place. Many people put off their freedom until tomorrow. In fact, many will read this and then be tempted to set it aside, mull it over, get to it later and finally put it off until next year. There’s no power to be had from “later”. There’s only power in now. It is the instinct to seize an opportunity when it presents itself that sets apart those with the free life from those with a mediocre life.
4. The temptation to not learn from others. There’s an old saying that “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” When it comes to success, what you don’t know can indeed hurt you. If you place yourself where experience, wisdom, and life-liberating knowledge are, you will learn how to become financially free. I’ve said many times that I didn’t invent anything. That’s so true. Everything I learned about financial freedom had already been discovered. I simply connected the dots. By reading books. By studying the greats when it wasn’t convenient. And by having a rabid appetite to learn the principles that have liberated so many others. Success indeed leaves tracks.
5. The temptation to care what your neighbors think. This is the glue that binds losers together. It’s what mediocre people use to shackle themselves to one another. Just like your car has brakes to slow it down, wanting validation from others is a brake for those seeking financial freedom. You see, I believe you have to cut loose to get rich. There isn’t any other way. You must cut yourself loose from naysayers and negative people. They drain confidence and optimism from you. These often include not just friends, but family. They fear you stepping out towards a better life. They fear that if you should succeed, you will expose their own timidity to the light of day.
6. The temptation to quit. Stamina is crucial to achieving success, as is a capacity to work hard. So hard, that your best friends tease you that you are the hardest working person they know. What a compliment to receive! Jim Rohn said, “Work hard at your job and you can make a living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.” You see, valleys exist on the other side of mountains. We must first climb the mountain to get to the valley. Zig Ziglar said it best, “Do what you have to do now, so that you can do what you want to do later”.
You see, self-control is vital to success.
People who have good self-control tend to be more successful in many areas of life. Those with low self-control, though, are at risk of laziness, addictions and underachievement.
There’s a false illusion that if you give in to temptation just this once, you’ll come back stronger afterwards. However psychological research has suggested this isn’t true. If all else fails, know that giving in won’t bring you back stronger. Worse, giving in to temptation may well just increase your tendency to crumble again in the future.
In order to “go” ahead you must know how to to say “no” to the temptations. Recognize the temptations that keep tripping you up. Everyone has influences in their lives that trip them up more than others. And the sooner you recognize those traps the better.
Whether the end goal be losing weight, becoming financially free, or being the father you’ve always wanted to be, some goals remain elusive only because of the inability to resist a specific temptation that keeps you from achieving them. Intentional men and women take the time to clearly recognize and articulate the temptations that seems to have an unbreakable hold on their lives. They then take steps to avoid them and eventually they break the chains of mediocrity and become successful.
What about you? What temptations are holding you back from becoming successful? Please sound off. We would love to hear from you in the comments section! Remember, to identify and articulate a problem… is to conquer it.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
Want even more hard-hitting advice on how to become successful? Check-out these other articles from the blog archives: