The Seven Deadly Roadblocks to Success by Chris Widener
When traveling down the road it is always good to beware of roadblocks! You don’t want to crash and burn do you? The same is true in our journey toward success. We need to beware of those things that will keep us from our destination!
What are the most common?
Here they are:
1. Fear. Fear is one of the worst enemies of success. When fear wraps its tentacles around you and keeps you in bondage, you will never be able to reach for your dreams. We must confront our fears, see them for what they are, toss them to the side, and pursue our dreams with relentless passion. Conquering fear and stepping forward to reach new lands and new ideas is what makes success possible. What are you afraid of today? What fear must you conquer to be able to achieve your dream? When you realize what it is, take an action that is diametrically opposed to that which you fear. This will confront and conquer the fear by giving you the first step in the right direction.
2. Lethargy. Quite frankly, what keeps most people from success is that they simply don’t have the energy, or make the energy, to do what it takes to move to the next level. They get to a point that is comfortable and then they settle in for a nice, lifelong nap! Don’t get lethargic; get going! Force yourself to wake up from the slumber and move!
3. Lack of perseverance. Oftentimes the race is lost because the race is not finished. Success is often just around the sharpest corner or the steepest hill. Persevere. Keep going. One more hill. One more corner! In real estate they say the three most important things are “location, location, location.” In success the three most important things are “perseverance, perseverance, perseverance.”
4. Pessimism. The saying is that you can achieve what you believe. Ask yourself what kinds of beliefs you hold. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? If you don’t believe that you can achieve then you won’t. Your pessimism will prove yourself right every time. You will find that you subconsciously undermine yourself. Develop your optimism. Look for ways to believe that you can achieve success.
5. Not taking responsibility. I am the chaplain for the local police department. The other day I went with an officer as he took two prisoners to court. Time after time the prisoners made excuses as to why they hadn’t yet done what the judge had ordered (she didn’t buy it, by the way). After dropping the prisoners off, I said to the officer that unsuccessful people and prisoners have the same bad habit—they won’t accept responsibility for their lives. You are responsible. When you accept that, you are on the road to success.
6. Picking the wrong people to hang out with. We can easily become products of our environment. This is why it is essential to hang around people who will spur you on, not hold you back! What about the people you have surrounded yourself with? Are they quality people who will encourage you and strengthen you in your quest for success? If not, move on!
7. No vision. Those who succeed always see their success months and years before they live it. They have the ability to look ahead, see the future, imagine the good that can and will come from their lives, families and work. To not have vision is a tremendous roadblock. Sit down and work on seeing the future—and make it good!
Accepting Responsibility — A Story of Bill Russell by Jim Rohn
Most people dread accepting responsibility. That’s just a fact of life, and we can see it in operation every day. Yes, we can see avoidance of responsibility all the time in both our personal and professional lives. And here’s something else we can see just as often: we can see that most people aren’t as successful as they wish they were. Do you see there is a connection between these two very common phenomena?
It’s in your best interest to take responsibility for everything you do. But that’s only the beginning. Many times it’s even best to take responsibility for the mistakes of others, especially when you’re in a managerial or leadership role.
During the years when professional basketball was just beginning to become really popular, Bill Russell, who played center for the Boston Celtics, was one of the greatest players in the pro league. He was especially known for his rebounding and defensive skills.
But like a lot of very tall centers, Russell was never much of a free throw shooter. His free throw percentage was quite a bit below average in fact. But this low percentage didn’t really give a clear picture of Russell’s ability as an athlete. And in one game he gave a very convincing demonstration of this.
It was the final game of a championship series between Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers. With about twelve seconds left to play, the Lakers were behind by one point and Boston had the ball. It was obvious that the Lakers would have to foul one of Boston’s players in order to get the ball back, and they chose to foul Bill Russell.
This was a perfectly logical choice since statistically Russell was the worst free throw shooter on the court at that moment. If he missed the shot, the Lakers would probably get the ball back and they’d still have enough time to try to win the game. But if Russell made his first free throw, the Lakers’ chances would be seriously diminished. And if he made both shots, the game would essentially be over.
Bill Russell had a very peculiar style of shooting free throws. Today, no self-respecting basketball player anywhere in America would attempt it. Aside from the question of whether it’s an effective way to shoot a basket, it just looked too ridiculous. Whenever he had to shoot a free throw, the six-foot-eleven Russell would start off holding the ball in both hands about waist high, then he’d squat down and as he straightened up he’d let go of the ball. It looked like he was trying to throw a bucket of dirt over a wall.
But regardless of how he looked, as soon as Bill Russell was fouled, he knew the Celtics were going to win the game. He was absolutely certain of it because, in a situation like this, statistics and percentages mean nothing. There was a much more important factor at work, something that no one has found a way to express in numbers and decimal points.
Simply put, Bill Russell was a player who wanted to take responsibility for the success or failure of his team. He wanted the weight on his shoulders in a situation like this. No possibility for excuses. No possibility of blaming anyone else if the game was lost. No second guessing. Bill Russell wanted the ball in his own hands and nobody else’s. And, like magic, even if he’d missed every free throw he’d ever shot in his life before this, he knew he was going to make this one. And that is exactly what happened.
That is what virtually always happens when a man or woman accepts
responsibility eagerly and with confidence. I’ve always felt that accepting responsibility is one of the highest forms of human maturity.
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