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7 Common Misconceptions About Life and Success

What misconceptions about life were you lead to believe?

When I was young I made it a point not to sleep with my hair still wet because I was told that doing so will cause me to go blind.  No matter how sleepy I was, I really made an effort to keep my self from falling asleep or I’ll wake up in complete darkness.

Of course, that was completely not true.  I’ve had on several occasions, fallen asleep with my hair still wet but nothing catastrophic happened, but to tell you the truth, I really was nervous and worried that something bad may happen and that the number of times I “broke” that rule may actually accumulate into total blindness.

When my wife gave birth to our eldest child, my mother-in-law prohibited her from taking a bath for a week.  Apparently, doing so will cause my wife to get sick but being in the medical field, she did not obey her mom and even told her that she can’t stand not taking a bath because of the sweat and sticky feeling brought about by giving birth.  She did take a bath and not to be surprised, she’s stronger than a bull after.

We’ve all been lead to believe several myths that altered our perception of things.  As children, most of us were inclined to obey our elders without question which lead to our misconception of these things so much like the examples I gave above.  These examples are the trivial ones though.  These are things we can just laugh at looking back and tell ourselves how “gullible” we were when were still boys and girls.

We also have common misconceptions about life and success and often, even if we are no longer boys and girls, we still fall into the trap of believing these myths.  Some of us even believed in them so much that we made them our motto or rules we go by and here are some of them.


Life is Easy

One of the most common misconceptions we have is that life is easy so much so that when we’re faced with a difficult situation, we consider them impossible especially when we’re experiencing discomfort.  Having this mindset makes one give up easily in the face of adversity all because he or she has been lead to believe that everything will be handed to them on a silver platter and that life will always be kind enough to work out on his or her favor.

While life can be good and is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest, thinking that it is a walk-in-the-park will be a complete disaster.  We are all for positive thinking but we also must be realistic with our expectations.


Life is not fair

Actually, it’s supposed to be the opposite.  Life is fair and if anyone has an advantage over you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that life is treating them better.  Like I’ve said in a previous post about comparing ourselves to others, we each run our own race and saying that life isn’t fair is the most common excuse of a person who compares himself with others.

So the next time you’re going through Facebook and you see an old friend or colleague now living in a big house with several cars parked in their garage, instead of saying “Oh, life is really not fair”, try saying “If someone has done it, I can do it too.”


Working hard and being productive can lead to success

Almost everyone has this misconception.  Even myself.  We may think that doing overtime, working extra shifts, and getting part-time jobs will lead us to success but this is not true in most cases especially if you do not have a vision or a goal in mind.  It’s like firing multiple shots without hitting a target.

If you are determined to succeed and consider yourself a hardworking individual, you must have a dream or a goal in mind that you are willing to sacrifice for.  One that will let you have more sleepless nights than you ever had.  One that will let you work even on Sundays.

We have a previous article about the importance of having a vision that you can read here.


Success comes from opportunity

Some of us have the idea that success comes from opportunity.  People who believe in this misconception would often be those who say the words IF ONLY.  “If only I had the money…”, “If only I was born rich…”, “If only I was as intelligent…”.

We are all created equal as far as I’m concerned and success is not a product of opportunity.  Success is something we work hard for and it’s no accident that some people are more successful than others because sadly, as much as there are hardworking people, there are also people who are just plain LAZY.


Success is a product of luck

I hear this all the time, even from myself unintentionally sometimes.  We can sometimes have this notion that people who are highly successful got to where they are because of sheer luck.  This is the reason why we sometimes utter the words “I will get my break someday…” or “that big break I’ve been waiting for is near…”.

Successful people make their own luck.  The moon and the stars didn’t align to give them that.


Success comes from connections

I’ve been working for almost 15 years now and in each of the companies I’ve had the pleasure of working for, this is the common denominator apart from office politics that I’ve seen.  I’ve been told a dozen times that in order to climb the corporate ladder and be the person on top that I have to be friends with the boss.  That I have to be my boss’ lunch mate or smoking buddy (even if I don’t smoke).

While it’s true that you may enjoy what may feel like “success” by rubbing elbows with the right people, in the end it’s still feels better to have earned your title not because you were chummy with the boss, but because you worked hard for it.

As John C. Maxwell said, “success is a journey, not a destination.”


Everyone you love supports your dream

This may be controversial but you’ll be surprised to find out that sometimes, even the people you least expect to support you actually do support you and the person you were expecting to be your biggest cheer leader doesn’t.

People have different standards and beliefs in life and when you’re dreaming of something big, some of them may not understand.  Some may call you weird or unique but if you are really determined to go for your dreams, so what?

We don’t need people’s approval especially when it comes to our dreams.  It’s ours and it’s only us who has control.


We all have beliefs that has been implanted in our brains growing up but it’s never too late to change the way we think especially when it comes to our lives.  No one else is in control of our lives or our success but ourselves alone.  Not other people, not circumstance, and certainly not luck.


Over to You

What other misconceptions about life and success do you have?

I would love to hear from you so leave your comments and stories below.


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Noel Rosos: Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions