How to Fail - A Prescription

April 23, 2021

I have discovered how to accomplish failure... in marriage, in business, in our personal life... in practically anything we do.
Just take things for granted.
Take your spouse for granted. Take your children for granted. Take your work, your success, your health, your love, anything, take it all for granted. Then wait. Failure will follow.

What happens when we take, let’s say, our health for granted? And we stop taking care of ourselves. What happens?

   Let’s apply the same prescription to marriage. When we were courting, we worked hard to earn the love of the one we desired. We did not take love for granted.  But some of us, once we were married and got the love we wanted, from then on we took love for granted. We believed love would go on forever, by itself. And guess what happened?

      Why do we take things for granted?
  Because we ASSUME things will not change. And we believe so for a reason. Adapting to change and constantly working to maintain success takes energy. Sometimes, it is very frustrating. To assume that all will be fine, that there is nothing more to do, is comforting. Doing nothing does not require energy and we all want to conserve energy, don’t we? (This is one of the rules of physics.)
But what will undermine our “success,” however, is exactly this: change. Situations change. What was right in the past does not always apply in the present—and even if it does, it may not remain as such in the future.

   Do not take anything for granted. Democracy. Love. Health. Work... anything. Everything changes. We must remain on alert to maintain whatever works. Everything needs to be maintained: your car, your house, your health, your career, and so does your marriage. As a client of mine once said: “One honeymoon is not enough for a lifetime of marriage.”
      When we assume that achieving a goal means that we have nothing more to do, when we take success for granted, we are writing ourselves our own prescription   for our own future failure...

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes