The fourth, and final, misunderstanding involves a classic fallacy of logic. It is often suggested that because highly successful people claim to have had high goals set for themselves, that these high goals were the actual cause of their success. It also follows, that if we sustain the same high goals, we will be successful too. And when we examine the “true-life stories” of many successful people, it’s pretty clear that they all wanted to be great successes.
But consider the source of these “success fables.” They always come from the people who’ve made it already!
Now, most of them are willing to share their apparent “secret” to success. They’ll tell you “Shoot high!” “Believe you can achieve the ultimate goal!” “Anyone can be a millionaire, if they want to be!” Etc.. But they offer this advice as if they were the only ones who ever wanted success!
Yet, you and I know that is not the case. I don’t believe I have hardly talked to anyone in my entire life that didn’t dream of being a success — and I doubt you have either. (And indeed, there is ample research which confirms this [bens/jenks, etc ]). Just because some millionaires set a goal of becoming rich is no reason they got that way. There are hundreds of thousands more who set the same goal for themselves that never came close.
For every success you’ll ever read about, there are a thousand failures who were striving for the very same goal. But nobody wants to read about them…
To suggest, then — as most people do — that high ambitions will lead to success, is based on a fallacy. But that, in turn is based on a larger fallacy: that success will lead to happiness.
Apparently, therefore, both business and the average person has it wrong; success may not contribute half as much to happiness, as happiness can contribute to success!