When trying to understand this topic of success, one of my questions was wondering why there weren't more organizations that teach the principals of success. When I thought about this more, I realized it is not as easy as that. Maybe if your goal is to make more money, there is maybe not an overload of schools promising to make you a billionaire, but there are other success schools. In particular, for losing weight and learning English.
As part of these thoughts on success and happiness, success does not have to mean making more money. It an mean losing weight, learning English, or saving a marriage. As an American, there is no shortage of overweight Americans, and since I live in China, there is also no shortage of people wanting to learn English. Also, in American, there is no shortage of "weight success" programs and information, like books, TV shows, diets, and support groups. In China, pretty much the same thing for English, many schools, programs and support groups.
How successful is the "weight success" program in America? My general impression is that obesity is still a major problem in the US. So, despite all of the information, preaching, scolding, support, and every other possible method, the issue still exists. The positive mental attitude (PMA) philosophy might say that people should "think thin" and then they would lose weight. Or maybe it is because we focus too much on obesity and being overweight. If instead all the new reports talked about was being fit or healthy, then maybe we would all be healthy. Is it really that simple of just focusing all our attention on being healthy?
Living in China, I have a totally different perspective since much fewer people here are fat. From poor to rich, from lazy to hard working, they are pretty much as a society fit, at least not obese. So this seems to indicate to me that environment is a major factor in determine how much we weight. Because of environment, we develop certain tastes and habits, since that is what everyone else is doing, and based on that environment we become like others in that environment.
I really think this is a huge key. I also mentioned English above, because many Chinese people say they want to speak English, and they generally don't, and the same for many foreigners here in China that say they want to speak Chinese and they can't. I know a few Chinese who speak good English and everyone of them hangs out with native English speakers on a regular basis. Same thing for foreigners like myself who speak good Chinese, we hang out with native Chinese speakers.
If you want to be healthy or fit, hang out with healthy or fit individuals and do what they do. If they don't want to hang out with you because you aren't healthy or fit, then find another group of healthy or fit individuals, and also change your behavior to fit in with some group of healthy or fit individuals. If you want to learn a foreign language, hang out with native speakers of the language.
One caution is don't think that hanging out with people that want what you want will necessarily be helpful. I have seen this clearly where someone who want to learn Chinese hangs out with another learner of Chinese and they end up speaking English most of the time. Find a native speaker to hang out with, even if you have to pay them.
What group of people already have what you want and how can you hang out with them?