For the longest time, I believed that if smart people worked hard and grew up in a reasonably nurturing environment, success would come eventually.
I looked at other people and thought, “Wow, that person’s going to go on to do great things.”
But as I grew older, I realized that’s not necessarily the case. A few people I know who are intelligent and have a strong work ethic have gone on to do notable things, while many others are doing fine. Unfortunately, there are some that drift along, unsure about what to do.
I then realized that there are a lot of factors when it comes to success, whether it means having a fulfilling career, having great relationships, or staying healthy. Yes, smarts are part of it, and so is work ethic. But there’s more at play than just these two factors.
Here are seven reasons why you might not be finding success even if you’re smart and hardworking:
1. You don’t reach out to new people
It’s easy to stick to people you’ve known for a long time. You know each other’s histories and can laugh at inside jokes together. The problem with old friends, though, is that the same ideas are recycled over and over again, and you don’t get to learn new perspectives outside of your bubble.
It can be tough to reach out at first to new people, but starting small can help. Aim for a low goal initially, such as introducing yourself to one person a week.