I Can’t Do It: Why So Few Have Any Hope of Discovering and Sustaining a Wellness Lifestyle

In conducting research on lifestyle changes, I have worked with Dr. Grant Donovan of Perth over the years. Our research has been focused on understanding whether adults have more than 50/50 chances of gaining benefits from lifestyle changes. The simple, but fundamental question of \”Can humans do it?\” has been explored in our double-blind, cross-over, random horizontal, and dignified trials. Can individuals change their lifestyles, and more importantly, how can they sustain the healthy habits that they choose over time? Failure and learned hopelessness, along with the frustrations that come with it, make it unlikely that lifestyle changes will succeed. Recurrent failures at lifestyle changes are worse than not trying. The frustrations and disappointments can lead to a loss of interest, lower self-worth, and ultimately, poorer health.

We know from our studies that the majority of people cannot do it. This phenomenon is known as I can\’t doit or ICAN DOIT. Those who are still open to making positive lifestyle changes will be more likely to succeed, because only a few people can do it. Everybody should be open to learning ways to increase success rates.


Living a healthy lifestyle is difficult because many people aren\’t prepared for all the challenges. It is clear that everyone would be able to make healthy decisions and practice them. Who wants to die young and sick? Who doesn\’t want to feel good, have energy, and live a full life? It would be easy for everyone to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. As I have preached for many years (in a secular manner), wellness is fun, romantic, hip, sexy, and free. It is a richer way of living. This will make you look better, stronger, and more resilient to pandemics.

It would be crazy to not live like this, IF YOU COULD. The sad truth is that you probably won\’t be able to do it, which we abbreviate with I CAN\’T DO IT.

Napoleon Hill, the author of the Andrew Carnegie formula for making money, Think & Grow Rich, examined several thousand people and concluded that 98 per cent were unsuccessful. This may seem harsh, but it is not unreasonable. It was still interesting to consider the 30 major reasons why so many people fail.

Grant and I examined Hill\’s explanations of why money isn\’t made. We concluded that twenty of Hills\’ reasons also apply to our attempts to live healthy, following the advanced lines in wellness lifestyles.

These are the 20 factors that were identified.

1. Unfavorable Genetic Background Many people are born with low brainpower or physical ability. There is little they can do to correct this.

2. Lack of ambition to aim above the mediocre. People lack ambition and don\’t want to work hard enough to succeed.

3. Insufficient Education. Hill discovered that those with the most education are often self-educated. They can get what they want and not violate the rights of others. Many people are able to learn from school but not be able to apply it effectively or consistently. Hill points out that men are not paid for their knowledge, but for how they use it. \”

4. Lack of self-control. Lack of self-control is the main reason why most people fail. Hill: Self-control is key. By stepping in front a mirror, you can see both your best friend as well as your greatest enemy.

5. Ill Health. Hill: A person cannot achieve extraordinary success without good health . Many of those Hill studied ate unhealthy foods, did not exercise enough, and had poor thought habits.

6. Unfavorable environmental influences during childhood Poor environments and inappropriate associates are two of the main reasons that most people develop bad habits in childhood. They blame others for their poor behavior throughout adulthood.

7. Procrastination. Hill\’s research revealed that people always wait for the right time to do something worthwhile. __S.53__

8. Inability to persevere. People often fail to finish well even though they start off well. They are more likely to give up when they see defeat.

9. Negative personality. People don\’t get along with each other. Hill believes that success is achieved through the application and cooperation of others. Negative personalities will not encourage cooperation.

10. Uncontrolled desire for something for nothing The majority of people have a gambling instinct, and the desire to become rich quickly. This is why casinos and lottery groups are so successful around the world.

11. A poorly defined power of decision. Hill believed that successful people make decisions quickly and then change them quickly if necessary. Most people, however, take longer to reach decisions and have to change them often.

12. Bad choice of a mate in marriage Negative relationships drain energy and can destroy ambitions.

13. Superstition. Superstition can be a sign that you are ignorant. Many people believe foolish things that are not supported by evidence or reason.

14. The wrong choice of a vocational program. Work environments that are hostile are less likely to lead to success.

15. Poor concentration of effort. Many people are easily distracted. They lose focus on a single goal.

16. The Habit of Indiscriminate Buying. This is a major problem in Western society. People risk financial instability by investing (and not spending) more than they can afford.

17. Intolerance. Many people fail to live a quality life because they are too narrow-minded, religiously and politically intolerant.

18. Inability to work with others. Because they are unable to work with others effectively, people lose out on opportunities.

19. Guessing instead of thinking. Hill suggests that most people are too lazy or indifferent to learn the facts necessary to make accurate decisions. They are more comfortable acting on guesswork and snap-judgments than they are with facts.

20. Capital shortage. Lack of capital. Most people begin life with little capital and then travel throughout their lives without enough to absorb the shocks of failure.

Donovan and me don\’t believe these 20 factors are the most important variables for anyone looking to change their lives for the better. These twenty factors are why many people find it hard to keep good intentions and live a healthy lifestyle.

This list will help you to be more aware of the severity of any obstacles that may prevent you from achieving your goals. To sustain your wellness lifestyles, it takes dedication and determination.


An uncontrolled, non-rigorous study published in the Onion satirical newspaper revealed a trend that shows there is no set of reliable factors that can help a person take better care of themselves or alter their behavior in a meaningful way. The report\’s author, Dr. Janice Carlisle concluded that we are all wasting our time here. Do what you like. (See The Onion April 30, 2013).

Consider all of this and consider if you\’re ready to live a truly healthy lifestyle.

Good luck! And don\’t forget to keep your eyes on the bright side.