People have asked me how I became successful when, at the same time, many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple: The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to. I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found that easy not to. I found it easy to attend classes and seminars, to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn’t matter. They neglected to do the basic, easy things that I made priority.
The main reason most people are not doing as well as they could and should can be summed up in a single word: neglect. Because it is not for a lack of money—banks are full of money. It is not for the lack of opportunity—America, and much of the free world, continues to offer the most unprecedented and abundant opportunities in the last 6,000 years of recorded history. It is not for the lack of books—libraries are full of books, and they are free. It is not our schools—classrooms are full of good teachers. We have plenty of ministers, leaders, counsellors and advisor’s to guide us. Everything we would ever need to become rich and powerful and sophisticated is within our reach.
Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked, it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous human life.
Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty, and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more… and on and on it goes.
So my suggestion is that when giving the choice of “easy to” and “easy not to,” that you do not neglect to do the simple, basic, easy—but potentially life-changing—activities and disciplines.