The Two Biggest Enemies of Personal and Financial Success

January 26, 2011

In his book, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline*, Brian Tracy explains two of the biggest enemies to personal success, which are the Path of Least Resistance and the Expediency Factor.

Regarding the Path of Least Resistance, Tracy writes:

The Path of Least Resistance is what causes people to take the easy way in almost every situation. They seek shortcuts to everything. They arrive at work at the last minute and leave at the first opportunity. They look for get-rich-quick schemes and easy money. Over time, they develop the habit of always seeking an easier, faster way to get the things they want rather than doing what is hard but necessary to achieve real success.

The Expediency Factor is related:

The Expediency Factor, which is an extension of the law of least resistance, is even worse when leading people to failure and underachievement. This principle says, “People invariably seek the fastest and easiest way to get the things they want, right now, with little or no concern for the long-term consequences of their behaviors.” In other words, most people do what is expedient, what is fun and easy rather than what is necessary for success.

I think the Expediency Factor is the reason so many people get into trouble with debt. My wife and I have even experienced this earlier in our marriage. It’s important to understand the true cost of each of our financial decisions. Unfortunately, the true cost requires a calculation that goes beyond just the monthly payment. Why do you suppose car salesmen always ask, “What payment can you afford?”

I think it’s natural for people to take the path of least resistance. It’s the easy way. I know I have fallen into that rut during my lifetime. Heck, I’m in that rut right now!

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