People fail in life because they program themselves to fail. Of course they don't do this consciously, but they do it non-the-less. Ways in which this happen varies: They decide on careers that they are not mentally and physically capable of handling; they don't apply themselves; they
feel unworthy of accomplishment; they listen to others instead of pursuing their own interests. These are the most obvious ways a person fails in life.
Another consideration when analyzing failure and why one fails in life, is defining exactly what is success. It may mean entirely different things to different people. If a person is one who knows and understands himself and is satisfied with a low paying job and finds life worth living, is a kind and giving and person and has many friends, who is to say he is a failure? Who is out there competent to measure failure for everyone?
Success in what? In a career, in a marriage, in motherhood, fatherhood, in one's vocation, attempts to get at what facet of one's life that one has met failure. In fact, it is true that failure in life at all steps onward often leads to success in another part of one's life. When seen thusly, then success and failure go hand in hand. While one may fail in one area of life, he may be quite successful in another. In fact, it may be his failure in one that directly assures his success in another.
Examples of this success and failure cat and mouse game, are abundant. Many successful scientists are failures when it comes to society. They may be recluse and abhor meeting the public and have fears, quite rightly, of not measuring up to the social skills required for successful conversations at dinners and other social gatherings. Instead of taking the time and effort to overcome this, they much prefer staying out of the limelight.
This behavior is understandable and even condoned. They make excuses such as he's too busy for small talk, or he too important to waste his time, but the truth is, he is just as lazy and ineffectual in his duties as others are. A truly successful person would make the effort to meet society halfway even when his heart was not in the effort. Getting along with others is part of any success, at least on the occasion when it is necessary to do so.
A truly successful person is one who is satisfied with his station in life. It may be nothing more than a toll taker on a busy highway who arrives on the job, gives it his best, then goes home and feeds his dog, invites a friend in for to watch a video, and then goes to bed for a good night's sleep. Life is no problem for him or her. They are in line for a better job when one is available.
Truth is, most people are both successful and failures at the same time. It is their failures and their attempts to right these, that lead on to successes.