The Anatomy of Failure: 7 Reasons Why People Fail in Life


Every one of us fails at one time or another—failing an exam, failing the driving test, failing for job interview, losing money in an investment, getting fired from a job, failing to meet the expectation of our family members, etc.

Sadly, one of the most uncomfortable truths about life is how to talk about failures and how to get over with those setbacks in life. After all, no one would want to lose face and eventually suffer from embarrassment or disgrace.

I believe failure doesn’t just happen. Just like the dead frog in a Science laboratory, we can study the anatomy of failure and the reasons why most people are committing mistakes and keep failing. To avoid such failure in the future, allow me to dissect the anatomy or structure of failure and understand the seven reasons why most people fail in life.

Read: 13 Simple Rules To Live a Happier Life

1. Lack of big and clear goals

Let me be honest here: the absence of goal is already a failure. For me, to fail is simply doing nothing, because lack of goals means lack of direction. This is the reason why most institutions have the “vision” and “mission statement.”

Without dreams and aspirations, it’s difficult to have a sense of purpose in life.  You will be like a lost sheep, following the crowd wherever the crowd leads you. If you don’t know what you want to do in life, you will feel bored, burnout, and have no motivation to accomplish something that is worthwhile.

2. Good at talking but without action

It’s enough to have goals. Some people are good at talking, but they don’t know how to make them happen. Observed how many action plans have been really implemented a few months after you sit in a meeting. It’s easy to tell your plans and goals and then procrastinate later on.

What truly defines productive people is the result or outcome, whether it’s about losing weight, finishing your studies, saving money to start a business, doing volunteer work, etc. Instead of just talking, start making a consistent effort.

3. Failure to connect with inspiring people

We all need someone who will inspire us to strive better and grow. Most successful people have mentors and have the ability to make a great connection with inspiring people. We need a great connection and teamwork to become successful in life, whether in teaching, proposing business projects, and other endeavors.

However, you have to be smart in choosing your circle of friends. The reason why most people fail is that they hang out with toxic people. Unfortunately, those people tend to criticize you and drain your energy, which eventually kills your passion and motivation. Always remember to associate yourself with inspiring people who can make a positive impact on your life.

4. Making and breaking promises and commitment

Successful people tend to avoid broken promises as it reflects one’s integrity reputation. If you promise you will attend a meeting at 10 in the morning, make sure you keep your words. Being busy is not a good excuse because it’s just a matter of prioritizing things.

We’ve seen people who don’t know how to keep their words, so don’t be one. Breaking your commitment to others can ruin a good reputation and relationship. It’s better to say “No” in the beginning rather making excuses later on. When you keep your promises and commitments, you build your integrity and character.

5. Choosing to stop learning and growing

People oftentimes think learning only happens inside the classroom. After completing a degree, they stop learning. If you want to stay on track and be a productive individual, you cannot afford to remain stagnant. Why? Because it’s now common to have a high level of competition in the workplace.

You don’t want your skills to be outdated, obsolete, or irrelevant. Just like a mobile phone that is set to automatic updates to function properly, it’s essential for you to keep learning and growing. Read more books. Talk to people. Enroll in some courses to sharpen your skills which you can use in the workplace.

6. Inability to manage time

While every one of us has been given the same number of hours, most of us are not spending time wisely. Instead of using our precious time for productive activities, we tend to choose some unwise decisions such as gossiping at social media, holding grudges to someone, comparing ourselves with others, or finding the mistakes of others.

The best way to manage your time and to become a productive person is to have a discipline. Discipline takes self-control, sacrifice and avoiding distractions and temptations. It allows you to take control of your life rather than following the flow of others. Stop wasting your time, especially those things happened in the past.

7. Underestimating the importance of attitude

Instead of finding solutions to the problems, toxic people love to make excuses and complain about the system. If you are arrogant, especially in terms of your recent accomplishments, no one would want to work with you.

An ideal working environment is not just about having people who are talented but consisting of a team with a great attitude and able to work along with others. It’s not enough to have a superb skill in order to be successful in life. You need to understand the importance of having the right attitude and staying humble.

Final thoughts

Having a proper mindset can significantly impact our decision-making ability.  Abraham Lincoln said, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Reflect those reasons why people fail in life and find out what you could learn from your failures and lapse of judgments in the past.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.–Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Note: Follow the author’s blog at RichlyBlessedToday for more inspiring stories.

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Jun Amparo

Jun Amparo

JUN AMPARO is the author of two inspirational books about personal finance and marriage.  He is nominated as Huwarang OFW 2019 organized by The 700 Club Asia and is pursuing his doctoral study in education. Presently, he is working as a university counselor and lecturer at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand.