The Number One Thing Blocking Your Success

“Most people don’t focus very well. That’s why they end up broke and disillusioned.”
– Jim Rohn, America’s foremost business philosopher

Focus … basketball … reading … fishing … pancakes … silver … thirteen …


Without focus, life just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And lasting success — in any area — is virtually impossible.

To take it a step further, I’d be willing to bet that if you are not experiencing the level of success you had hoped for, it’s because you lack focus in some key area.

Listen, if you want to be a successful writer or work professional of any kind, you’ll need focus.

In this article, you’ll discover how Living on Purpose can be a central strategy for better focus in your life and career.

Living on Purpose — Eliminating the #1 Success Blocker

First, let’s be clear … living on purpose and setting goals are not the same thing. Your purpose is bigger than your goals. For example, your purpose may be to eliminate homelessness. Your goal might be to raise $1 million to start an awareness campaign.

Your goals will be set, and with a little effort, will be achieved. Then what? You are earning six-figures, but now what? Seven-figures? Maybe. But, the bigger question is: Why? What’s your purpose?

Answering these questions may seem hard, but the truth is, we already know the final answer. We’ve just likely had it beaten into submission by well-meaning parents, teachers, and societal rules.

With that said, here are three questions that may help you re-discover your purpose …

One … What do you do best?

What is it that you do that comes easily and naturally for you? What do you do that gets rave reviews or compliments? Whatever it is, it could be the first clue to your success. For me, writing, teaching, and seeing abstract ideas in new ways have always been something people have complimented me for.

Two … What do you really enjoy doing?

You’ve heard it before, what would you do if money were no object? It sounds trite and it’s easy to dismiss as just a hypothetical question, but there is power in your answer. Again, for me, I enjoy exploring new ideas and finding new ways to present old proven ideas. I love to see people’s brain click when they grasp a new concept.

What do you love?

Now, the next question is a little different. It’s more a measure of where you are in relation to your purpose. It’s a gut-check if you will …

Three … Are you in “Have-to” mode most of the time, or “Choose-to” mode?

In other words, do you spend more of the day dreading the things on your to-do list or looking forward to them?

For me, until I became a writer recently, I spent most of my life in “have-to” mode. Mostly I had to go to work because I had to pay the bills. I still have to pay the bills, but now I “choose-to” write and share my ideas with others — and the bills get paid as a by-product.

So What?!

So what does all this mean to you? It means you need to start asking yourself some hard questions — and be honest about the answers. Make sure they are your answers. Not the answers of the latest wonder product or job offer. And, certainly not the answers of a well-meaning parent, brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, boss, friend, etc.

If you ask these questions, like I had to in 2008 (see my article on “The Power of Commitment” for more) you’ll soon find yourself one step closer to your passion.

And in order to live your life, you’ll need your goals to line up with and reach for your purpose. It’s your focus on the purpose — that thing bigger than yourself — that will get you through the tough times.

I started this article with a quote by Jim Rohn and I’d like to pass his challenge on to you today:

The Challenge by Jim Rohn

Let others lead small lives,
but not you.

Let others argue over small things,
but not you.

Let others cry over small hurts,
but not you.

Let others leave their future
In someone else’s hands,
but not you.

Discover and get a clear focus on your purpose, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly and easily things begin to fall into place.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 4.4
Published: November 21, 2011

9 Responses to “The Number One Thing Blocking Your Success”

  1. And there lies the great, but meaningful, challenge. How to transition to the "Choose to" when you rare knee-deep in the "Have to".

    You are dead-on with starting to ask yourself the hard questions, and be willing to accept the honest answers.

    Thanks for gently prodding... (or sometimes not so gently...=:)

    Jerry Bures

  2. Exactly what I´ve always told my kids...everything in life comes down to a choice and your choices determine where you want your life to go. I´ve set my sights on becoming a successful copywriter. I need to make sure every choice I make along the way brings me one step closer.
    Thanks for reconfirming my belief...and helping me add focus!)

    Guest (Jan Marie )

  3. Point well taken. More than anything I love pushing myself and the challenge of doing more than I originally thought possible. After being self-employed for 15 years with a bit more flexibility than your average job (but definitely not more money), my goal is to gain the flexibility and the financial security that will allow me to spend more time with my family (here and back in the States) AND give me the freedom to travel and do the things I´ve often dreamed of but thought were beyond my reach...I´ll save the detailed list for another post! ;)

    Guest (Jan Marie)

  4. I guess my trouble is that I am good at a few things that a lot of people are good at and I can't see how I could offer an added value to what most people can do themselves. That is: Listning well, caring, reading, having interesting conversations, meeting new people, cooking, selling goods that people love (although I don't have anything to sell. How do I make my offer special? If I thought I was special, I'd be really going for it because I'd love that and I am not afraid of working hard and being focused. Humm...Not that simple. But if you have some advice for me, as to what to start with...I'd be gratefull. Thank you. Marie-France

    Guest (Marie-France)

  5. Sean: Love THE CHALLENGE...words to live by. COS Group, accountability partner, great help from all so thank you for adding FOCUS to shorten the journey. Not easy to always DO and I told MY kids that anything worth having is worth waiting for. I have waited for this op all my life, always joking I didn't KNOW what I wanted to be when I grew up and when I DID I still DID NOT KNOW. IT HAS BEEN UNDER MY NOSE SINCE I WAS 15 AND MY SOPH. ENG. TEACHER TOLD ME I SHOULD BE A WRITER! Thank you again! It is never too late but ya gotta focus!

    Guest (GYPSY ROVER)

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)