The Secret of Success

ďSomeday you will realize that you are living the happiest days of your life.  You donít have any real problems.  Just wait till youíre grown and then youíll know what real problems are.Ē

Ever heard that?  Sometimes adults who mean well say something like that.

Hogwash!  I donít want to repeat junior high.  In fact, I donít want to be a teenager again. Those were tough years for me.  And, Iím not alone in feeling that way.

You are living real life right now.

Here is the secret of being a success.

A little background first

I had a boss who expected a lot, but he taught me the secret of success.  Once, in a meeting, he was telling us all the new projects we would be expected to start.  We already felt overworked and frustrated.  The more he talked, the more overwhelmed and frustrated we felt.

Finally, someone complained.  My boss stopped, and he asked, ďWhat is basketball?Ē Since he had been an All American at Oklahoma State University, we paid attention.  We started answering the usual: a game; five people on each team; dribble the ball; get two points for a basket, etc.

Every time we said something, he would say, ďWhat else?Ē

After a while, we gave up.  He repeated back to us all the things we had said: basketball is a game with five people on each team where you dribble the ball down the court and try to shoot the ball through the basket....

But, he added one more thing that none of us had thought to say: ďWith five other people trying to keep you from doing it.Ē  He paused, and then he said to us, ďFellows, there are always five other people trying to keep you from doing it.Ē

Here is the point

Imagine you are playing a basketball game.  You are being guarded by a big guy who is aggressive.  You start to take a shot, and the big guy is all over you, yelling, waving his arms.  You miss the basket.

The coach calls you over to the bench and says, ďWhy did you miss that basket?Ē

You say, ďItís not my fault.  That big guy was all over me, yelling, waving his hands in my face.Ē

You will probably ride the beach for a while.  The coach doesnít want to hear ITíS ALL HIS FAULT.

Here is the secret of success

To be a success you must take responsibility for your life, not play ITíS ALL THEIR FAULT.

Somewhere I read a story about a little boy who would tell his mother, ďIím going to eat worms and die,Ē when things didnít go his way.

MY TEACHER IS UNFAIR.  ITíS ALL HER FAULT.  IíM GOING TO EAT WORMS AND DIE.  End of story.  Put your head on your desk and give up.  Remember, there are always five guys trying to keep you from doing it.

If the big guy guarding you yells, gets in your face, waves his arms, and refuses to let you take a clear shot, he is doing his job.  You must find a way to get off the shot.  If your teacher is unfair, you must devise a way to overcome that obstacle.  There are always five guys trying to keep you from doing it.

Start today

You will catch yourself this week saying ITíS ALL HIS FAULT.  Society is unfair, my parents are out of date, the textbook isnít any good, school is boring, ITS ALL THEIR FAULT.  End of story.  Iím going to eat worms and die.

Or, you can take responsibility for your life and start devising a way to overcome an unfair society, a way to reach your parents, a way to master the textbook, and a way to make school interesting.  There are always five other guys trying to keep you from doing it.

Learn the skill

We all have ITíS ALL THEIR FAULT pop into our head.  There may be some truth in it. Your teacher may be unfair, but someday you may have an unfair boss.  Society isnít fair, but we can work to make it more fair.  In the meantime, we must devise a way to get around our obstacles.  The textbook may not be well written, but we must find a way to master it.  School may be boring, but we can devise ways to make it interesting.  We all feel like quitting, but successful people find a way to overcome obstacles.  There will always be five other guys trying to keep you from doing it.

If you donít learn this now, not only will it affect your grades, but it will affect your life.  I see too many adults who still play ITíS ALL THEIR FAULT.  Why did your marriage fail?  It was my mateís fault.  Why did you lose your job?  It was my bossís fault.  Why didnít you go to college?  It was societyís fault.  End of story.  Eat worms and die.

You must start now learning this skill.  Dismiss ITíS ALL THEIR FAULT and start finding a way to overcome the obstacle.  Youíre too neat a kid to eat worms and die.

If you need further help, write me at

(C) 2000, Don Mize

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