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Editorial: The Thirty Major Causes of Failure: How Many of These are Holding You Back? (Part 2)

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This is a continued follow up in a series of editorials from Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich

Editorial: The Major Attributes of Leadership 

Editorial: 10 Major Causes of Failure in Leadership

Editorial: The Thirty Major Causes of Failure: How Many of These are Holding You Back? (Part 1)


16. Over-caution. The person who takes no chances, generally has to take whatever is left when others are through choosing. Over-caution is as bad as under-caution. Both are extremes to be guarded against. Life itself is filled with the element of chance.

17. Wrong Selection of associates in business. This is one of the most common causes of failure in business. In marketing personal services, one should use great care to select an employer who will be an inspiration, and who is, himself, intelligent and successful. We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.

18. Superstition and Prejudice. Superstition is a form of fear. It is also a sign of ignorance. Men who succeed keep open minds and are afraid of nothing.


19. Wrong Selection of a Vocation. No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like. The most essential step in the marketing of personal services is that of selecting an occupation into which you can throw yourself wholeheartedly.

20. Lack of Concentration of Effort. The “jack-of-all-trades” seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim.

21. The Habit of Indiscriminate Spending. The spend-thrift cannot succeed, mainly because he stands eternally in fear of povert. Form the habit of systematic saving by putting aside a definite percentage of your income. Money in the bank gives one a very safe foundation of courage when bargaining for the sale of personal services. Without money, one must take what one is offered, and be glad to get it.

22. Lack of Enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm one cannot be convincing. Moreover, enthusiasm is contagious, and the person who has it, under control, is generally welcome in any group of people.


23. Intolerance. The person with a “closed” mind on any subject seldom gets ahead. Intolerance means that one has stopped acquiring knowledge. The most damaging forms of intolerance are those connected with religious, racial, and political differences of opinion.

24. Intemperance. The most damaging forms of intemperance are connected with eating, strong drink, and sexual activities. Overindulgence in any of these is fatal to success.

25. Inability to Cooperate with Others. More people lose their positions and their big opportunities in life, because of this fault, than for all other reasons combined. It is a fault which no well-informed business man, or leader will tolerate.

26. Possession of Power That Was Not Acquired Through Self Effort. (Sons and daughters of wealthy men, and others who inherit money which they did not earn). Power in the hands of one who did not acquire it gradually, is often fatal to success. Quick Riches are more dangerous than poverty.


27. Intentional Dishonesty. There is no substitute for honesty. One may be temporarily dishonest by force of circumstances over which one has no control, without permanent damage. But, there is no hope for the person who is dishonest by choice. Sooner or later, his deeds will catch up with him, and he will pay by loss of reputation, and perhaps even loss of liberty.

28. Egotism and Vanity. These qualities serve as red lights which warn others to keep away. They are Fatal to Success.

29. Guessing Instead of Thinking. Most people are too indifferent or lazy to acquire facts with which to think accurately. They prefer to act on “opinions” created by guesswork or snap-judgments.

30. Lack of Capital. This is a common cause of failure among those who start out in business for the first time, without sufficient reserve of capital to absorb the shock of their mistakes, and to carry them over until they have established a reputation. 



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