What’s blocking your success?

Don’t let yourself make excuses for not doing the things you want to do.
Sam Altman
1985 –

Could something small and simple be blocking your success?

Most people believe there are major roadblocks standing between them and their ideal life. I don’t agree. In fact, I think that, more often than not, it’s something small and simple standing between you and your dreams. To illustrate, I want to tell you about an experiment conducted in the UK by Derren Brown.

Derren Brown combines magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship to entertain and stun audiences. In 2003, he conducted an experiment in London on Regent Street, which has lots of pedestrian traffic. Derren placed his wallet, with money clearly sticking out, on the sidewalk. He then took some yellow chalk and drew a circle around the wallet — sort of like the crime scenes we see on TV. Then he walked away, leaving the wallet just lying there.

Literally hundreds of people walked past this wallet. Some glanced at it; some even stopped to look at it. But people would not pick it up. The yellow chalk circle seemed to be a barrier that people were reluctant to cross.

Derren’s explanation was that our mind is conditioned to take the path of least resistance: when we see any obstacle, no matter how small or insignificant, it causes us to avoid taking the action we would normally take. Most people who saw a wallet containing money would stop and pick it up. But the simple chalk circle created a defense that people were unwilling to breach.

I think this tendency manifests itself daily in our lives. Any barrier, no matter how small, that stands between us and our dreams can pose a real obstacle to our success. If we have an acceptable excuse to give up, we don’t have to risk failure.

What’s the yellow chalk circle around your dreams? Take a closer look. And be honest with yourself: it’s not the chalk circle holding you back.

It’s common for men to give six pretended reasons instead of one real one.
Benjamin Franklin
1706 – 1790

Copyright © 2019 John Chancellor

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