Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail

  • by Rom Brafman
  • Narrated by Rene Ruiz
  • 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For decades they assumed that people who face adversity - a difficult childhood, career turbulence, sudden bouts of bad luck - will succumb to their circumstances. Yet over and over again they found a significant percentage are able to overcome their life circumstances and achieve spectacular success.
How is it that individuals who are not “supposed” to succeed manage to overcome the odds? Are there certain traits that such people have in common? Can the rest of us learn from their success and apply it to our own lives?
In Succeeding When You’re Supposed to Fail, Rom Brafman, psychologist and coauthor of the bestselling book Sway, set out to answer these questions. In a riveting narrative that interweaves compelling stories from education, the military, and business and a wide range of groundbreaking new research, Brafman identifies the six hidden drivers behind unlikely success. Among them:

The critical importance of the Limelight Effect - our ability to redirect the focus of our lives to the result of our own efforts, as opposed to external forces
The value of a satellite in our lives - the remarkable way in which a consistent ally who accepts us unconditionally while still challenging us to be our best can make a huge difference
The power of temperament - people who are able to tunnel through life’s obstacles have a surprisingly mild disposition; they don’t allow the bumps in the road to unsettle them
By understanding and incorporating these strategies in our own lives, Brafman argues, we can all be better prepared to overcome the inevitable obstacles we face, from setbacks at work to challenges in our personal lives.


What the Critics Say

Advance praise for Succeeding When You’re Supposed to Fail: “From the business world to the battlefield, this book will take you inside the moments that differentiate success from failure. One of the most engaging books I have read in the last decade.” (Tom Rath, author of Strengthsfinder 2.0)
“Some ‘high risk’ kids who are supposed to fail instead turn out to shine with success. The secret of this amazing resilience has been scientifically investigated by psychologists. Now Rom Brafman brings you the three secrets of resilience in the stories of these amazing people who ‘tunnel through adversity’ and into success. Now these secrets can be yours. This book will change lives.” (John M. Gottman, Ph.D., coauthor of The seven Principles for Making Marriage Work)
Critical Acclaim for Sway: “A provocative new book about the psychological forces that lead us to disregard facts or logic and behave in surprisingly irrational ways.” (New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail takes a close look at people who had everything in life stacked against them, and yet somehow succeeded. By looking at not only the stories, but years of research, the book examines six characteristics these people share.

It's inspiring and life-changing.

Brafman describes these people, who can seemingly tunnel through the chaos that is their lives and come out the other end, as

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- Ruthanne

Simple, adaptable, concrete!

Liked the simple and concrete way of telling things. I work as a coach and find this very useful in my work.
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- Anna

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-27-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio