The Other Side Of Success: What is Stopping You

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Igbokwe Ifeanyichukwu an author and action coach.

Sometime ago something happened that touched me so much. I have a friend that graduated from university the same year. We lived in the same city. It was about four years after we left school he came to me. He had called me requesting that we see. So eventually we met and discussed. He told me that he needed a loan and I asked him how much, he told me. He wanted me to use my contact and make things easier for him. I obliged but when I asked what he needed the money for, he gave me an answer that got me thinking for days. The money was for business. He had no job yet, that was why the bank did not want to give him a loan quickly. But he said ‘Marvin, let me tell you something, I was unable to meet my personal target for last year and this year I’ll need capital to start early’ My spirit stirred in me unto reality. Here is a young man who is determined to succeed against all odds. Here was I, I had landed a customer service professional job, working with one of the telecom firms. The previous year, I had dreams, I HAD TARGETS but almost did not meet any one. I was supposed to start my consulting firm but I didn’t. I was supposed to have finished and published a book I started writing a year earlier but I didn’t. I didn’t register my consulting firm not because I didn’t have money but because somehow, I had become carried away by this job that I have, so much that I had lost touch with focus.

So is the life of millions of people out there. They are on auto mode. They take life as it comes forgetting that there will be a tomorrow. It is so very easy to go with the flow of comfort and be easily carried away by its luxury only to wake up to the painful sting of reality, should the supply be cut off.

Permit me to ask you, what are your dreams? When was the last time you did something about them? Of the goals you set in the previous year, how many of them did you achieve? Time is stealing this March away from us, have you sat down for minute to examine how you spent your January and February? What has happened to your goals of 2013? Have you lost focus of them or are you still on course?

I met a man recently who by my estimation is in his sixties. He had dreams just like every other young person and had his fair share of comfort and luxury. He said something I would never forget in a hurry. Some things haunted him. It was his regret. He had gone to school in the UK and had always wanted to start a business but even in his sixties, his dreams were still as far from him as the skies. I wondered how he will felt each time still small voice inside him reminds him of his unfulfilled dreams, ‘You should have done something. You had all the opportunity. Now you are old and poor while others are old, rich and confortable’ I tried to imagine how he feels when he comes across his mates, who were in the same circumstances with him but made the best out of it. Will he be able to show his kids the people who he grew up together with, who managed their time well and be proud of himself? It was only a few yesterdays ago that he was as young as me full of goals taller than the heavens, but here he is managing to survive.

Success has a twin-brother called failure. Have you every paused to ask yourself why pensioners are so miserable? Could it be that they were so drenched in the rain of comfort that they forgot that a day will come when they will not receive salary anymore? Could it be that the mind is easily carried away by luxury far away from focus?

Why is that about seventy percent of American retirees commit suicide? Why do they have a remarkably high rate of heart and blood pressure related diseases?

Have you wondered if you will survive if you lost your present job? Have ever paused for a second to wonder how your life, your kids’ lives will be in six months’ time if you lose your job? Some people have been motivated over and over again until motivation doesn’t move them no more, but the only thing they have successfully done is nothing. I have seen bank manager who’s live nosedived to near street life after losing his very high paying job.

Have you wondered if you will survive if you lost your present job? Have ever paused for a second to wonder how your life, your kids’ lives will be in six months’ time if you lose your job?

So once again I ask you: What is your goal? What have you done this far to achieve it? Have you been altogether sidetracked? What is it that’s stopping you? Let me end with this story.

Cobbett was one man whose obstacle to success was almost existence itself. He was an illiterate private soldier who had no table to read with, not even a seat to study in, but this man had a goal to self-educate himself and succeed. So poor was this soldier whose pay was six pence a day that he could not afford to buy a pen except he would have to do without some part of his meal, or even afford candle with which to study and so had to resort to the red glow of the fire for light when by any chance he is free. Cobbett eventually learnt to read among his fellow soldiers while laughing and talking.

But Cobbett successfully transformed his poverty and difficulties into an all-absorbing desire for knowledge and success. During an interview he asked a very troubling question:

“If I under such circumstances could encounter and overcome this task, is there, can there be in the whole world, a youth to find any excuse for their non-performance?’

Do you still think that what is stopping you from presently achieving your goals would hold sway when placed side by side with the stories of people like Cobbett?

Once again, what is stopping you?

Ifeanyichukwu Igbokwe is a consultant, action coach, motivational speaker and writer. You can connect with him on Facebook or Twitter @ifeanyi_igbokwe

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