Motivation is Hard; Failure is Easy

Winners_Tiger_Phil “If motivation was easy, we’d all be successful.” Think about a world where everyone is highly motivated toward success, achieving their goals on a regular basis. No procrastinators, no slackers, no goof-offs …

Now that we’re all back to reality, let’s look at why motivation is so hard and failure is so easy.

Why Do We Fail?

Ten reasons for failure

  1. We procrastinate.
  2. We make excuses.
  3. We blame others.
  4. We give into temptation.
  5. We associate with people that drain us.
  6. We refuse help from the right people.
  7. We work hard at the wrong things.
  8. We waste resources.
  9. We don’t know what we want.
  10. We keep doing the same thing, expecting different results.

Failure is easy because it requires no action on our part. It just happens. Before we can achieve success, we must identify our failure points. From the list above, which affects you the most? If you’re not sure, ask your co-workers or spouse. They know.

Once you’ve identified the root causes of your failures, it’s time to set the plan into motion. I don’t think it’s an accident that motion and motivate have the same root, moti.


Motivation requires action!

Don’t Procrastinate—Motivate

Motion is defined as to move, while motivate is to move to action. We can not get motivated passively. In fact, Motivation is the opposite of procrastination. Motivation is doing something … now! Procrastination is doing nothing … now! Something … Nothing …

We can not succeed if we spend our time dodging our responsibilities. We have to determine what has to get done, then do it … now!

How Can We Succeed?

Don’t make excuses

If we make excuses, we’re playing into the procrastinators hand. “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know how” are just excuses we use to do nothing. There are ways to resolve these problems, such as—make time and learn how. Easy to say, harder to execute.

Don’t Blame Others

Blaming other people for our short-comings or lack of preparation is one of the worst failings of man, in my opinion. It grows like a cancer and takes over the whole person until nothing is ever their fault. Blaming others is also as old as time. Even Adam blamed Eve when confronted by God about eating from the tree,

And Adam said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

“It’s not my fault” Adam said, “it’s your fault , God, for giving me this woman.” This is not the way to win friends and influence people.  It’s why we lost the game, why we wrecked the car, why we lost the promotion, why we were fired …

Blaming others is as counter-productive as arguing. If we learn to take responsibility for our actions, we can succeed.

Stand firm to Temptation

The temptation of time-wasters are everywhere and are the cause of a lot of procrastination. The television and YouTube are two of the biggest time-wasters. Hours evaporate into a mist of undone tasks before we know it.

These temptations are greatest when we have the most to do. The less time we have, the more reason to watch the latest episode of Monster Car Survivor from Detox.

People are Bad; People are Good

The people in our lives can be the absolute worst thing in our lives or the very best. You must discern which group your spend the most time with. If attitude is one of the most expressive indicators of success (and I believe it is), then those we associate with have the largest effect.

If they are verbal abusers, procrastinators, blamers or under-achievers, they will bring you down to their level. The phrase,

One bad apple spoils the whole barrel

is completely accurate. Many times I have witnessed a negative Nellie bring a whole room’s mood down into the dump in no time.

Spending time with funny, upbeat, positive, energetic, go-getters is infectious if you are seeking positive reinforcement for your attitude. Spending time with negative, spoiled, down-trodden people will not.

Choose wisely whom you spend time with … it’s that important.

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I like to work hard! There, I’ve said it. However, I sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time on the wrong project. I can work up a sweat doing all the wrong things. Sometimes all it takes to do the right thing is planning, but I’d rather be doing something. Planning seems so non-active.

Plan your work … work your plan, is the true way to success. If you are going to work hard, you should spend the effort on the right project.

Take the time to think about what you should be working on.

Resources Anonymous

We never have enough resources that wasting is a good idea. Short supplies of time, money and friends should cause us to gain a new appreciation, rather than squander them. We throw our money away, we drop time into the bottomless pit, and we take advantage of our friends. Never a good plan for success.

Appreciation of these resources is vital to our success, not for keeping score, but for measuring success. Our attitude toward time and money, and how we treat people, is a good indicator of our character and without character, there can be no long-term success.

When I grow up …

Success is harder when we don’t know how to define the word in our lives. If you don’t know what you want out of life, how will you know when you have it. If you don’t define success, you can never reach it. It really is that simple.

Sit down and work out what you want. Sure, you’ll have to figure out how to get there, but first discover where there is. And the most important part—don’t procrastinate.


We are all guilty of this antithesis to success. We will do the same same over and over, being surprised when the results are the same. This definition for insanity is attributed to Albert Einstein, and he was smart enough to understand the implicit nature of insanity.

Oscar Levant said, “It’s a thin line between insanity and genius” and I think that same line runs between success and failure.

  • Failure is never permanent, but success lingers on forever.
  • Failures are forgotten, but successes live forever.
  • Failures reach their peak early, successes lasts a lifetime.
  • Failures lose, successes win

As with most things in life, it’s our choice. Which will you decide?

Call to Action

Do you want to succeed? Then stop procrastinating, making excuses, blaming others, giving into temptation, hanging with the wrong people, refusing help, working hard on the wrong things, wasting resources, wandering aimlessly, and acting out the definition of insanity.

There … I feel better, how ’bout you?

13 Replies to “Motivation is Hard; Failure is Easy”

  1. Thanks for the awesome post.

    I used to blame my father for my many failures as a young adult. Several years ago, I let all the anger/resentment go and started be responsible for my own life. I’m a very happy person today.

    One of my favorite sayings is “As long as you try, you cannot fail.”

    Make today a great one!

    Scott Allen Barker

  2. Thanks very much for this very succinct primer. I learned much of this by experience and a great father. The best lesson I ever had was hitting bottom and determining for myself that I never wanted to feel that bad again. I’ve been able to identify my goals, find positive people and move ahead. Life is us in action. Thanks again, Val

  3. i always repeat the same mistake that bring me down.I was trying to regain the passion i once had for life tis website has helped me identift the mot possible factors that bring me down now is the time to act

  4. This is no help at all. It essentially says – just do it -. Motivation is more about developing and strengthening habit than boosting adrenaline.

  5. Very nice post. All info in one shot abt Failure. Eye opener for the lazy man in me. Most useful quotes were:
    We associate with people that drain us. We refuse help from the right people. We keep doing the same thing, expecting different results.

  6. Great article; Got stuck on
    “Success if harder when we don’t know how to definition the word in our lives.”
    I think it should be
    “Success is harder when we don’t know how to define the word in our lives.”

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