True story: the other day I was visiting a friend and I overheard her say to her son, "one day, when we're rich, we're going to..." When I heard her say this I had to bite my tongue. I bit my tongue not because I fault her for wanting more out of life but because she is doing nothing to actually get it.

Actually, she is doing one thing; she's hoping to one day become rich and successful. She, like millions and millions of other people, hope for a better tomorrow. But sadly, hope alone will get you nowhere.

If you are one of the millions who are looking forward to a more prosperous tomorrow but are relying on nothing more than hope to get there, I'm here to tell you that hope is not a strategy for success.

There's nothing wrong with having hope; it's a great place to start but hope alone will never - NEVER - translates into success.

So I ask you to be realistic, put hope aside for a moment and look at these five success pitfalls to avoid at all costs.

Success Pitfall #1
Excuses Equal Failure - Human beings are wired to take the path of least resistance. It's natural to run the other way when things become difficult. A lot of times what a person will do is encounter some difficulty, quit and justify their actions with excuses. Look, success is not easy; you will always encounter difficulties along the way. When difficulties do arise, stay true to your vision and refrain from making excuses.

Success Pitfall #2
Time Is Not Your Most Valuable Asset - Without question your personal freedom, not time, is your most valuable asset. Without the freedom you need to use your time the way you want to then time itself becomes worthless. Those who are truly successful would never do anything with the potential to compromise their freedom. Can anybody say Bernard Madoff?

Success Pitfall #3
Don't Believe Most Of What You Tell Yourself - You are your own worst critic. There is nobody who can hold you back from great achievement with one exception and that exception is you. For some reason, and I really don't know why, people are very critical of themselves. Be easy on yourself, treat yourself kindly and leave the self deprecation to others.

Success Pitfall #4
If You Fear Failure Then You Fear Success - Do you want the world's most important success strategy? Here it is: fail. You will never succeed at anything if you're afraid of failure. Success is not necessarily born of success but it is always born of failure. By the way, failure is an ugly word. From now on, do yourself a favor and refer to failure as what it really is: experience.

Success Pitfall #5
Thinking You Can Figure It All Out For Yourself - Why do people go to college? Obviously, to accelerate the time it takes to learn new things. People who attend college are making an investment in themselves. Are you doing the same in your quest for success? Don't think you have to go it alone - invest the time and money required to learn different strategies of becoming successful. Believe me, you are worth every cent.

Look at the preceding list as a start. There are many obstacles to success you'd want to be aware of. Certainly, don't be afraid of them but at the same time, you'd want to be aware of them. The number one best thing you can do to prepare yourself for success is to read. Read good quality books and read them frequently.

Now, keep your hope alive and go prepare to succeed.

Author's Bio: 

GET THE BOOK FREE: This article was taken from success principles as discussed in the book "A Plum In The Syrup". You can get the entire book free for a limited time by going to The book's author, Daniel Herzner, is a home business owner and consultant and serial entrepreneur.