Book Review – Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them by Siimon Reynolds


I know I’ve mentioned points from this book on this blog before, but I wanted to dive more deeply into the content. I am totally bonkers in love with “Why People Fail,” it was such an interesting read, super thought provoking. I’m not typically into rah-rah self-help bullsh!t, however these tips were totally in earnest, and the book makes no promise that you’re going to be a gajillionaire or any of that Tony Robbins-type nonsense. WPF just clarifies some basic steps you can take in your everyday life to make room for more joy and more “success,” however you choose to define it. I went through each chapter with great intensity and focus and really thought about the questions Reynolds poses in each.

Here’s an overview (using my language, YMMV…):

  1. Failure to define goals (from short-term daily to lifelong dream)
  2. Destructive thinking – going into every day feeling negative and not psyching yourself up and being thankful for the good things that you have going
  3. Low productivity – wrestling your to-do list to the ground and making it your bitch
  4. Having a fixed mindset – failure to participate, giving up before you’ve even started
  5. Weak energy – crappy eating, crappy sleeping, lazy fatassitude (guilty!)
  6. Not asking the right quality questions – what would you do if you couldn’t fail?
  7. Poor presentation skills – don’t be afraid to stand up in front of a crowd (and no, imagining your audience is naked doesn’t work unless you want to gross yourself out)
  8. Mistaking IQ for EQ – smart people are smart but sometimes they don’t know how to deal with people….learn how to deal with people
  9. Poor Self Image – waaaaah!
  10. Not enough free time to think – you should set aside 20 minutes a day to just think – no working, no iTems, no phone calls, etc
  11. Institute Daily Rituals – (see my “chain” productivity post from earlier in the week)
  12. Stress – I haz it
  13. Relationships – you need an “inner circle” of trusted people who you can run ideas by, get feedback from, and drink with
  14. Lack of Persistence – Meh.
  15. Obsession with Money – this should be a bonus, not your primary focus (hard to do when student loans are on your ass)
  16. Not focusing on your strengths – figure out what your strengths are first (the Clifton Strengths Finder is a great tool, I’ll address it in a future post), and then center your life around these strengths.

Worth a think, no?

Mostly I just wanted to write this post so I could scour the failblog for awesome fail imagery…

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