In 2012 Michael “Flathead” Blanchard died and his obituary appeared in the Denver Post on April 12, 2012. It wasn’t the usual obit and it started by saying, “Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and raising hell for more than six decades.” Read his full obituary.
So many times people will offer excuses for their situation and failures and use them as justification for their lack of success. John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward says, “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”
People fail to recognize their own weaknesses and become oblivious to how these weaknesses will cause trouble in their lives. In the book Dr. Maxwell continues by providing a list of the top ten ways people get in their own way. Here is the list:
- Poor People Skills – The inability to communicate and connect with others may cause others to not like you and they will help you fail.
- A Negative Attitude – Without a positive mindset you will live your life fixed on believing you will fail.
- A Bad Fit – If you are stuck in a job or organization that doesn’t match your skills or interests you will approach life with an attitude of despair; consider making a change.
- Lack of Focus – If you are spending much of your time “putting out fires” then you need to prioritize your tasks to gain focus.
- A Weak Commitment – Did you stop trying because you failed or did you fail because you stopped trying?
- An Unwillingness to Change – If you not willing to adapt and accept that everything changes you will have to live with your failures.
- A Shortcut Mind Set – Impatience and poor self-discipline will cause you to fail.
- Relying on Talent Alone – The greater your talent, the more likely you will lean heavily on it and skip the hard day-to-day work of improving it.
- A Response to Poor Information – Making decisions on poor information will cause you to fail.
- No Goals – If you don’t know what you want to achieve you will never achieve it.
I didn’t know Michael Blanchard but I would like to think that he was a man who took responsibility for the failures during his life, accepted them and did not let them dictate how he lived.