And That Is Why You Fail: Why Your Thoughts Stop You From Your Success


Your mind is a simmering cacophony of thoughts, intentions, actions, and dreams. And you don’t even know the half of it. What you don’t know of, resides in the unconscious. 

The unconscious is a fancy word for everything you have yet to learn about yourself. Your conscious self is only the self that you know of. And your unconscious could be rigging you against success at this very moment. The frustrating thing is that you don’t know it yet.

And that is why you fail is a funny, thought-provoking, and fascinating introduction to the human mind. It explores why we can trip over our own thoughts and set boundaries for ourselves, and explores key psychological concepts and research on how we think, act, and what we value in life. 

It’s time you start to write, direct, act, and review your own life

We write our own scripts. We direct our own stories. We act out our own monologues. And we review our own success. What we don’t do, our mind does for us automatically, or doesn’t do at all. This creates some truly paradoxical and hypocritical situations. 

For example, you might be pouring extra sausage on your plate while telling your friends about your weight loss plans, or grabbing another cigarette while you’re daydreaming about quitting smoking. It may sound as if you’re doomed to failure. 

Lots of people charge ahead and stop, and then start again, and if they’re unable to find out why, they’re going to keep making the same mistakes. Other people are always talking and talking but never do anything, and may even confuse the process of talking about doing something with actually doing something. 

How Secondary Motivations Rig Your Brain

I have found that there everyone has a set of core motivations that are intrinsic and positive to every individual. I have also found that there are a few secondary motivations, that are only partially positive to us as individuals.

You’ll be surprised to find out that most people have trained their brains to focus on the pursuit of secondary motivation. This is the pursuit for things that serve to mimic or put us in situations that will somehow give us a few or more of our core values. 

I have encountered a vast set of secondary motivations. The perfectionist, the popularity seeker, and the caregiver represent three of them. The perfectionist confirms to an external standard of perfection, and is happy and satisfied only when the external standard agrees that they have done a good job. The Caregiver confirms to outside norms for how to be and how to live, and is only happy and excited when other people appreciate and acknowledge them for what they do. The popularity seeker is only happy when they can get a crowd or a group to admire them for their skills and abilities, and addicted to the cheers of the crowd.

These secondary motivations, and many more besides them, showcase how we act when we can’t find happiness within or when we feel that we can’t explore our core values and be accepted for who we are. Parts of ourselves become repressed or rejected. We have tamed and civilised our brains to in part fall under the command of an outer authority or external measurement of right and wrong.

How Your Core Values Help You Succeed

A core value is something that you find inherently good, good for the sake of itself. Exploring Shalom Schwartz Values Survey and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, I have found that everyone has a set of core values that they will always respond positively to. 

I have found that people who reframe from quitting smoking to be more healthy are less successful than people who quit smoking to become free from a bad habit. I have found that, while external motivations are fragile and always changing, core values always persist. 

To shift from secondary values to core values is integral if you want to live for your own sake, make decisions for your own reasons, to achieve your own values, and to fulfil your own potential. This requires a double pronged approach of dismantling negative secondary values and fears, and verifying core values and what you really want. The perfectionist has to detach from and question their external standard of success, and verify their need for independence. The caregiver has to question their idea of approval and verify their right to freedom.