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Simon says, “You can help people succeed but you cannot prevent their

Now that you are familiar with the success equation, Simon’s words
are  particularly cogent. Whether your
concern is for your teenager, your significant other, someone you supervise,
your best customer, a friend, or refugees in a third-world country, their
success is not and cannot be your responsibility.

You can and do provide all the opportunities you can, the best output
of which you are capable. You assure they have the best raw materials available
as input to their individual success businesses. That input includes your
good-will, your encouragement, your patience, your persistence. They have the
finest opportunities you are able to put out there for them. How they use those
opportunities to expand and enrich their internal resources is a product of
their attitudes, their determination, their innate abilities, their commitment
to success, their capacity to capitalize on the opportunities at hand. It is
somewhat like the old poem:

You can lead a horse to water,

But you can’t make it drink;

You can lead a fool to knowledge,

But you can’t make him think.

You can do what you can do; but you cannot make it happen. No one can
operate your success business for you; and you cannot do it for anyone else, no
matter how much you at times may wish you could.

•Success is always personal.

As you work to provide opportunities for other people to succeed, do
not make promises you cannot keep but do keep the promises you make.

•You cannot promise to do whatever it
takes for people to succeed. You can promise to provide those opportunities you
can provide to facilitate their success.

•You cannot promise to hang-in-there,
giving it your best effort forever. You can promise to stick with it so long as
they are giving it their best effort.

•You cannot promise you will keep trying
whether they make progress or not. You can promise to keep working with them
until they succeed or it becomes clear to you they either will not or cannot

•You cannot promise to do someone else’s
success work. You can promise to help them succeed.

Although most people understand and accept these facts of success
life, some do not. They try to make their success your responsibility and their
lack of success your fault. They do not see any other explanations when they do
not succeed. It does not fit into their view of things that success is a
day-by-day process and they are always fully in-charge of their success. They
cannot delegate it to you or to anyone else; and they cannot look to you or to
anyone else as the source of their lack of progress, although they still try to
make someone else their scapegoat. For you, though, the rules are simple:

•Do not take on other people’s success
problems as if they were yours.

•Do not expect anyone else to take on your
success problems as if they were theirs.

•Your lack of success is never someone
else’s fault.

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