The enemies of success and happiness

Often in my conversations with others and in my own experience, I have seen that we are held back from happiness and success for mostly the same reasons. There are some recognizable traits, attitudes and habits that you see in every unhappy and unsuccessful person.

A recent conversation with a friend reminded me of the same issues I have seen play out, earlier in my life, and then in so many others. I could not help write a post on them. So, here we go.



Everyone suffers from self hatred and guilt. -Louise L. Hay

Most of us have our own unique desires and dreams. Most of us also feel that we could have done, and can do things better to realize our dreams. This often leads to invisible undercurrents of guilt in our minds. This guilt is ever present, continuous, and eating away at our energies and enthusiasm. A lot of mind energy, that can otherwise be used for moving ahead, gets used up for thinking over what could have been. Even this realization, that we are wasting our energy in guilt, puts a lot of people into futher guilt. Guilt over Guilt, that is a vicious cycle.

Guilt does absolutely no good, saps your energy and keeps you in a negative state. What’s more, with your focus on what has gone wrong, you manifest and see more of it in your life.

No, guilt doesn’t help, in any way. Banish it this very moment. Whenever it tries to creep in through a back door, shove it out firmly. Remember, when you try to go after your dreams, mistakes and blunders are inevitable. Feel good about yourself, feel good about the mistakes you have made and the lessons you have learnt because of them. Love yourself for your human tendency to err, for it is this human tendency that makes life uncertain, adventurous and interesting.

The past is gone, you don’t have the power to change what is done. Power is only available in the present moment, in the Now. This is the only moment you can change things in, it is the only moment in which you can make a clear shift from the past. Don’t waste it in guilt.

Yes, analyze your efforts, see what mistakes you have made. But do so without guilt, do so only to see how you can do better now. Go ahead, try, make some more mistakes and keep learning from them. When pain and heart break happens, accept it, feel it. Then get up, pull up your pants and get moving. No shame, no blame.

Keep greater focus on what you want. When you think more about the state that you want to be in, you manifest more of it.

Fear of failures

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. -Henry Ford

Yes things take time, sometimes,you just seem to be at the bottom of the pit with no way out. Yet you know you will come out, as you have come out in similar such situations before. Success could not be sweet if it came easy. Let it be hard, let it test you, make you cry. Let it do all this, for when it comes, it will be the sweetest thing in this world. Stay firm, hang on.

Failures cannot be avoided, until you decide to avoid life. Failures are not the anti-thesis of success as most seem to believe, they are an essential part of it. So many of us have a tendency to avoid failure and pain. We think failing is uncool. That is a very warped, fear-based idea. If you go out to the mountains for adventure, you have to be ready for the thorns, you have to be ready to take a few falls.

If you avoid failure, you end up avoiding all opportunities in life. You live a life that seems more and more unbearable, uninteresting and meaningless day by day.

There are so many examples of great personalities who have faced grave failures before they reached greatness. Usually there are tens of hundreds of failures before success comes. Look at Edison’s effort to invent the light bulb, look at Lincon’s struggle in life, or Amitabh Bachchan’s effort to get a foothold in Bollywood. If you ever feel God or the world has denied you ability or opportunity, look at the lives of Stephen Hawkling, Helen Keller and Wilma Rudolph.

Let go of ego, become humble and become accepting of failure. Take it for the lessons it brings. Take it for the challenge it adds to life.


Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. – Malachy McCourt

So many of us also hold a lot of anger and animosity towards those who we think have harmed our progress. These are people who, in their own selfishness and for their personal gains, have used and abused us, hurt us and kept us from moving ahead towards our dreams.

Regarding the role of these people in your life, you had better answer some questions – At this very moment, what really determines your success? Their actions, or your response to them? Do you believe you have absolute power over your destiny, or do you beleive you are at the mercy of these people?

Decide carefully, for whatever you decide will become the truth of your life. This Universe respects your ideas completely and without judgement. If you decide you are powerless, the Universe will make that true for you. You will see ample examples and proofs to believe you have little power. But should you decide that you hold complete and absolute power over your destiny, the Universe will respect that too. You will find proofs to this effect, you will find the examples of the likes of Wilma Rudolph, Helen Keller, Gandhi, Dhirubhai Ambani, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and hundreds and thousands more.

Decide, and decide well.

Like guilt, all the resentment you ever hold in your heart has only one effect, it creates negativity in your own heart. It causes loss of life force to you and it keeps you experiencing the same, again and again. You can decide to hold on to it and live with it, or you can decide to let go, forgive, move on and do better.

It helps to remember that those whom you hold villains in your lives, are also humans. In their limited understanding of things, they do whatever best they can think of. If they think they are required to harm others for their gain, they are pitiable souls. They are not happy, they are very troubled and don’t know any better. Would you spend your own energy on resenting them and, thus, ensure you become like them? Or would you just have pity, forgive and move on?

Whatever or whoever the problem, just decide your own response to it. Just ascertain what is the best you can do to move ahead in this situation. Keep your focus steadily on what you want. Slowly, things will fall in place.


These are the reasons I got reminded of during that conversation with my friend. I am sure there are more reasons why people are unsuccessful or end up unhappy. Can you think of any? Share them with us.

Love yourself, believe it’s a friendly Universe and accept life as an adventure. Happiness is most often just a choice, and you can make that choice right now.

Until next time…

Image credit: photostock


  • Sree
    January 19, 2012 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Really a fantastic article rahul.It absolutely help for those who are in search of sucess but with some hurdles.I loved it .As it reflects the state of mine at some point of times in my life.And i feel pleasure to connect with you who projects a right kind of aspirations for self-starters.

    • Rahul
      January 20, 2012 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      Glad you like it Sree! And glad you could relate it to your own struggles. Keep working on them. Best wishes. :)

  • Kunal
    January 21, 2012 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hey Rahul, an amazin narration of the state of mind most humans are. Wonderful post…As Sree mentioned, it not only relates to his state of mind at some point of his life, but can guarantee you that most of your readers would have had the same….Its the “Choice” that matters…and I Choose to be happy….

    • Rahul
      January 23, 2012 - 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Glad you like it Kunal, and am glad to see you choose happiness. :)

  • January 24, 2012 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Very much inspiring article Rahul.

    Keep going :-)
    Naveen Kulkarni recently posted..Looking For Free Minimalist WordPress Themes? Here Are 20 Gems Handpicked For You

    • Rahul
      January 25, 2012 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      Glad it inspired you Naveen. :-)

  • Aniket
    February 18, 2012 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Hi rahul really a nice article.And i read it at the rite time when i was in need of such thoughts….grt one..cheers…:)

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