10 Bad Habits of Unsuccessful People

Instead of looking for traits to emulate, focus on ones to avoid

Darius Foroux
Forge
Published in
5 min readJul 9, 2019

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Photo: Lena Meyer/EyeEm/Getty Images

TThe first successful person I ever met — truly successful, with accomplishments I admired and ambition I strove to emulate — was an entrepreneur in his forties, a client of mine in the first real business I’d ever started. I was 24 and eager to learn; he was constantly cheerful, and had more money than he could count.

We became close friends, and he told me eventually that he’d lost his wife, the love of his life, a half-decade before we met — the kind of loss, he said, that you never get over. It was a story that made his positive outlook seem all the more remarkable to me: Here was someone who had been through tragedy, and yet still made it a priority to do good things with his time and his money. He seemed to truly care about other people.

Often, he’d tell me what he saw as the secret to his success: “I just try to avoid being unsuccessful,” he said. He studied what made someone (avoidably) unhappy, broke, or unmotivated — and then he avoided making the same mistakes.

I knew in my bones that he was right. Too often, we adopt a plug-and-play attitude: “If I do x, I’ll be successful.” But if success was easy and predictable, we wouldn’t be seeking advice on how to achieve it. Instead of studying…

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Darius Foroux
Forge
Writer for

My new book, The Stoic Path to Wealth (Porfolio / Penguin), is coming out July 16th: stoicpathtowealth.com