Why Success Is Highly Overrated


September 3, 2011   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

‘Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.’ John Wooden

We hear the word success heralded from the rooftops. We also hear the latest and greatest formulas being thrust at us.


Because deep down we all want to be successful.

There is a constant surge for success. There is an increased striving towards success. Yet there is so much more that makes up the success story, and that includes its two companions: failure and courage.

So let’s take a closer look at this word that has been highly over-rated.

  1. Success Is Never FinalMountain peaks are wonderful places from which to get a great view. But the facts are that on the other side of every peak there is a valley. So if you define personal success by a mountaintop experience today, you are setting yourself up for disappointment tomorrow.

This is why I liked what Robert Schuller proposed some years ago when he wrote a book with the title, ‘From Peak to Peek’. It’s so important when you have a ‘success’ moment that you already have your eyes set on the next mountaintop or goal that you are going to pursue. Sure, it’s fine to pause for a moment and celebrate, but I would rather live a successful life than build towards a single successful event.

Success was never meant to be final. Success was designed to become part and parcel of each and every second that you and I live.

I don’t base my success upon my feelings or upon the accolades of others, but rather I choose to live a successful life filled with successful habits, successful actions, successful words, and successful relationships. And if from time to time I have successful peaks, I share the joy of my success with others and position myself to start the journey towards the ascent of my next peak.

Success is never final. It’s simply the sign of greater things to come.


  • Failure Is Never FatalI often talk about one of the staff members in my ‘University of Success’. His name is Professor Failure.


The only thing success has ever taught me is the need for humility. Failure is what has taught me some of my greatest lessons. And the greatest thing it has taught me is this – to ask better questions. One of which is, ‘What can I learn from this?’

By asking better questions I have received better answers that have then positioned me to live a successful life in every area of my life.

To fail is not to be a failure. And it won’t kill you.

If failure is treated with the respect it deserves – as a place of learning – it will in fact breathe fresh life into the fulfillment of your dreams. With each lesson learnt and applied you will be drawn ever closer to the creation of a significant life.



  • It’s Courage That CountsAnais Nin writes, ‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.’


I know this from personal experience.

It takes courage to write and self publish a book while you have three rejected manuscripts sitting beside you. It takes courage to walk the streets promoting your new web design company when you don’t yet have a web designer on staff. It takes courage to submit your articles to well-established blogs when you’re still the ‘new kid on the block’. It takes courage to ask for interviews of successful individuals when you haven’t yet done your first interview. It takes courage to follow your passion and not the status quo.

Yes, it’s courage that counts.

So what courageous activity are you pursuing today? Share it with us and inspire us.

Motivational Memo: Courage pushes through the fear barrier by applying massive action.

Written on 9/3/2011 by Peter G. James Sinclair . Peter is in in the ‘heart to heart’ resuscitation business and inspires, motivates and equips others to be all that they’ve been created to become. Receive your free copy of his latest eBook Personal Success Blueprint at – http://www.motivationalmemo.com and add him on Twitter @PeterGJSinclair – today! Photo Credit: kenny barker

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