Difference Between Successful People and Unsuccessful People

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Jun 29

You’ve heard this before I’m sure but it’s no less profound despite its repetition here, “The difference between rich people and poor people is not how they act, it’s how they react.”

A poor person or an unsuccessful one, someone who faces adversity reacts like this, “It’s not my fault! It’s not fair!” And he subsequently gives up.

The successful person, on the other hand, says, “Well, that sure is a curve ball. Now what am I going to do about it?” He looks in the mirror first to see what he did wrong, what he can learn from the situation, how he can avoid similar issues in the future, and, finally, how he can fix it.

One thing I do is if I get an email that upsets me or a phone call, rather than react in a knee jerk fashion and fire off a hastily-written, angry response (BTW, never write anything down, record a voicemail or send an email or message someone with something in it that you wouldn’t be comfortable reading on the front page of your local newspaper), I BREATHE first.

My wife taught me this years ago, when she got me into yoga… she’s been doing yoga since her teens. 

Then, after I’m calmer, I’ll write an email that says, “I understand how you feel about this. Is there anything we can do to fix the situation…” 

I’m positively glowing with goodness. I mean why pour gasoline on a raging fire? 

It takes a lot of self-control, and, heck, I’m still learning.

So here’s a deep breathing exercise (called Pranayamas, demonstrated below by VENTUNO YOGA) that you can do at your desk. 

It may look weird to western eyes, but if you want to improve your life, your health, your mental state, and your bank account, try it…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=395ZloN4Rr8?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque&w=540&h=304]

Prof Bruce

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and Business coach 1-613-762-8884 bruce.firestone@century21.ca twitter.com/ProfBruce profbruce.tumblr.com/archive brucemfirestone.com


postscript: here’s an excerpt from my latest novel, Jenna’s Story (it’s not available yet so don’t look for it) that deals exactly with this… 

There is a group of folks (Tom Hatch, Jenna McConnell, Tom’s friend Paco, Tom’s former high school teacher, Nate Rebich, and others) sitting round discussing success and failure and wondering why (it’s set in the future) it’s so hard for poor and middle class folk to get anywhere economically-speaking–

“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Tom,” Paco
says. “When a poor person shows up late for work, he blames the snowstorm
instead of allotting extra time to get there in the first place. If he can’t
understand something he’s supposed to master, it’s cuz the sh*tty video
tutorial is defective. Then when someone reports him for not doing something he
was asked to do, well, the guy who ratted him out is a f*cking liar. When he’s
fired, he says to his wife and kids, ‘See I told you the deck was stacked
against me,’ and he goes back to drinking his life away. It’s always someone
else’s fault. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful ones is
not how they act, it’s how they react. The successful guy, when something bad
happens in his life, looks in the mirror first to ask himself what he did
wrong, what he could do next time so as not to make the same mistake a second
time, and then says to himself, ‘What can I do to fix this problemo today?’”

“It’s a psychological condition known as ‘fear of
success,’ Paco,” Nate says.

“Is that the same as fear of failure, Mr Rebich?” another
member of the group asks.

“No, not at all. It’s a more pernicious effect, and it’s
very widespread. It’s counter intuitive and seemingly illogical. Here’s how it

A guy says to himself, “I won’t really work too hard on
this project just in case it fails.”

Then the project fails.

Next he says, “The real reason I wasn’t successful was because
I actually didn’t work that hard at it.”

Finally, he adds, “But if I had worked hard at it, I would
have been successful.“

Ergo, his ego is protected.

“This approach guarantees that: a) his ego is insulated from
harm and b) his project will fail.
Since it must result in failure, it must be that, logically, he sought failure
not success. Therefore, he must have been more afraid of success than failure.

“It’s not logical for people to behave in this way, it
just happens to be true in many instances. Markets and people aren’t
necessarily logical. Understanding this about yourself—acquiring some self-knowledge
as well as a greater understanding of others are very important in trying to
become more successful and a wiser person.

“Bottom line? Just make sure this fear of
success thing doesn’t infect your thinking.”

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.