Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sucessful or Unsuccesful: A donsbasement probe.

This chart appeared on my facebook timeline on January 3.

This chart only highlights the traits of successful versus unsuccessful people. You could very well be a success even if you don't have these traits.

It turns out that even though I am a success (after all I have a blog), I have more traits of unsuccessful people than successful ones.

Being a new year and all, I think it is a good time to determine whether I am successful or not. Since I am a relativist in most respects, I believe that there are no yes or no answers to these questions.

Successful People:

Compliment: Yes. I took  a Dale Carnegie course in 1983 or 1984. It stressed that compliment were good for business. But that they should be sincere. That is to say have a basis in fact. Even if the motivation was ingratiate one's self with another for commercial business.

Have a sense of gratitude: No. I have piece of note paper from a psychologist that I went to that reads, "I'm willing to be at peace, content, calm, (grateful?). She put grateful in parentheses. Obviously she thought I had a problem with that.

Give other people credit for their victories: Yes. 'There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit" I gave that quote to Ronald Reagan.

Read everyday: Yes. Currently reading, "Unfamiliar Fishes," by Sarah Vowell, On The Trail of Grant and Lee: A Narrative History of the Boyhood and Manhood of Two Great Americans by Frederick Trevor Hill, a free Kindle Download written in 1900. I also read the New York Times, especially Gail Collins and Maureen Dowd.

Talk about ideas: No As I don't understand the question.

Share information and data: Yes. Often repeating myself in the process.

Exude joy: No. I experience joy from time to time but I generally keep it to myself.

Embrace change: Not hardly.

Keep a "to-do project" list:  Yes. I keep several lists. But they are often of the daily variety. Since there is a later question of a "to be" list. I can comfortably say yes to this one.

Forgive others: No. Never a strong part of my growing up. Call it Russian. Call it being Jewish. Or call it unsuccessful. I don't forgive. (Although I want other people to forgive me)

Accept responsibility for their failures.: Yes.  I do this often before I have even failed. I save time that way.

Keep a journal: Yes. On and off since high school. Mostly it says how terrible everything was today. But it does get things off my chest.

Want others to succeed: Yes. Unless they are a direct competitor to me, my wife or children, I am all about success.

Keep a "to be" list: No. I was too young for the "Be In."

Set Goals and develop life plans: No. I have set sales goals for the past 30 years but have never developed a life plan. I was too superstitious to develop a life plan. I feared it would make the evil eye angry with me.

Continuously learn: I guess. I am interested in history so I guess I know more about the Civil War, Mongolia, World War I and World War II, and retail than I did when I was younger.

Operate from a transformational perspective: No.  I'm kind of a "go along, get along" kind of guy. Just like the late Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House in 50s and 60s.

  "If you want to get along--go along."

Final Talley: 9 yes, 8 no. Not completely successful.

Let's look at unsuccessful people.

Criticize. Yes.
Have a sense of entitlement: No
Take all the credit for their victories: No
Watch TV everyday: Yes
Fear Change: Yes.
Fly by the seat their pants: No
Talk about people: Yes, frequently
Hoard information and data: No. I overshare and then forget and overshare again.
Exude Anger: No. Only in the morning and on very ridiculously cold days.
Hold a Grudge: Yes. It's an article of faith and family.
Blame others for their failures: Yes.  In a macro sense.
Say they keep a journal but really don't. No. And this question, is just weird.
Think they know it all: Regrettably,Yes.
Operate from a transactional perspective: Yes. It may come from being in retail but it is a pretty shallow form of interaction but it comes down to pennies.
Secretly hope others fail: I will say NO. (because if I said yes, it wouldn't be a secret)
Don't know what they want to be: Ouch, Yes. But I have tried to be different people but I end up in the same place. And it's not a bad place, to be honest.
Never set goals: Well, I said no to the opposite question trait, so guess I am locked into Yes.

10 yes to 7 no. Not completely unsuccessful.



  1. "Eine Luftreise die der Wind Zerriss!" Damn, isn't life like that. Looks like an overriding quality of successful people is to look like Farrah Fawcett from behind. When I was five I used to hate to come in from play to go to the bathroom. It forced me to take brief, uncomfortable time outs until the urge passed. After play, I'd deposit mildly soiled underwear on top of the closet to hide it. My parents sent me to the shrink for it. There I looked at Rohrschach blots and, apparently, saw nothing untoward. Unsuccessful people seem to share that trait.

  2. "An air travel in the wind Tore!" Perhaps Google translation didn't quite get that right?
    Shouldn't these charts address the Farrah Fawcett gap (being successful = being thin, looking young, having lots of dough and lots of nice stuff and if you can't manage fame, at least professional and social status. And perfect teeth.)?

  3. Peggy, the phrase is not directly translatable. It means "a balloon trip foiled by high winds." But 1791 is a bit early for this type of thing [first flight was in Paris 1783 per Wikipedia]. So they say "air trip" and "the wind tore it asunder" which is a nice image speaking of a balloon, I think. It would be a cold ride in a Luftballon in Chicago today.

  4. My luftballoon is frozen. However, I am feeling particularly successful as the rest of me seems to be working.