「how to fail at almost everything and still win big」
Was my eventual success primarily a result of talent, luck, hard work, or an accidental just-right balance of each? All I know for sure is that I pursued a conscious strategy of managing my opportunities in a way that would make it easier for luck to find me.
Luck can be managed, sort of.
A smart friend can save you loads of timeand effort. Many of you have a smart friend or two already, and you are lucky to have them. But my observation is that a startling percentage of the adult population literally has no smart friends to help them in their quest for success and happiness.
My hypothesis is that passionate people are more likely to take big risks in the pursuit of unlikely goals, and so you would expect to see more failures and more huge successes among the passionate. Passionate people who fail don’t get a chance to offer their advice to the rest of us. But successful passionate people are writing books and answering interview questions about their secrets for success every day.
forget about passion when you’re planning your path to success.
If success were easy, everyone would do it. It takes effort. That fact works to your advantage
because it keeps lazy people out of the game.
If you know some extra successful people, ask some probing questions about how
they got where they did. I think you’ll find a system at the bottom of it all, and usually some
Whatever your plan, focus is always important.
Successful people don’t wish for success; they decide to pursue it. And to pursue it
effectively, they need a system.
1. Selfish 2. Stupid 3. Burden on others That’s the entire list. Your best option is to be selfish, because being stupid or a burden on society won’t help anyone.
We humans want many things: good health, financial freedom, accomplishment, a great social life, love, sex, recreation, travel, family, career, and more. The problem with all of this wanting is that the time you spend chasing one of those desires is time you can’t spend chasing any of the others.
Every second you look at a messy room and think about fixing it is a distraction from your more important thoughts. Cleaning and organizing your space is boring work, and you might never see it as a priority. One trick I’ve learned is that I automatically generate enthusiasm about tidying up if I know someone is stopping by. That’s why it’s a good idea to invite people over on a regular basis. It will inspire you to keep your space straightened up, and that might in turn cause your mind to have a bit more energy.
Another benefit of having a big, world-changing project is that you almost always end up learning something valuable in the process of failing.Let’s say you wake up tomorrow full of energy for your exciting new project. Over the course of the day you learn a few things in the process of doing your research, and you meet some new people along the way. If you accomplish that and nothing more, you’re succeeding, no matter what happens with your project.
Consider the biographies of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. As young men, both took legal risks in the field of technology. Bill Gates famously found ways to hone his technical skills by stealing time on a mainframe.2 Jobs and Wozniak’s first product involved technology that allowed people to steal longdistance phone calls. Where there is a tolerance for risk, there is often talent.
If the first commercial version of your work excites no one to action, it’s time to move on to
something different. Don’t be fooled by the opinions of friends and family. They’re all liars.
If your work inspires some excitement and some action from customers, get ready to chew through some walls. You might have something worth fighting for.
You can manipulate your odds of success by how you choose to fill out the variables in the
That will be easier if you understand how important psychology is to everything you want to accomplish in life. On a scale of one to ten, the importance of understanding psychology is a solid ten.
There’s one more pattern I see in successful people: They treat success as a learnable skill. That means they figure out what they need and they go and get it.
People who enjoy humor are simply more attractive than people who don’t. It’s human nature to want to spend time with people who can appreciate a good laugh or, better yet, cause one.
If your gut feeling (intuition) disagrees with the experts, take that seriously. You might be
experiencing some pattern recognition that you can’t yet verbalize.
Eat right. Exercise. Get enough sleep. Imagine an incredible future (even if you don’t believe it). Work toward a flexible schedule. Do things you can steadily improve at. Help others (if you’ve already helped yourself). Reduce daily decisions to routine. If you do those eight things, the rest of what you need to stimulate the chemistry of happiness in your brain will be a lot easier to find.
Any doctor or nutrition expert will tell you that eating a balanced diet will get you all the vitamins and minerals you need. That opinion is nearly 100 percent accepted by all smart people. The problem is that it’s mathematically impossible. You can prove that to yourself by Googling the nutritional information for everything you eat on any given day in which you’re sure you did a good job with both your food variety and healthy choices. I’ve done this experiment and found that you can’t get anywhere near the U.S. government’s daily recommended intake levels of vitamins and minerals. You would have to eat a wheelbarrow full of food to come close.
Further complicating nutrition science is the inconvenient fact that no two humans are alike. Does a 120-pound vegetarian woman who is trying to get pregnant need the same vitamins and minerals as an obese coal miner with gout? No two people have exactly the same lifestyle, health, and genetics. I find that most people who have poor diets believe healthy food has bland or unpleasant flavor.
You wouldn’t buy a book if it didn’t have the potential to change you in some way, even if that
change is just entertainment or an increase in your knowledge. Books change us automatically, just as any experience does. And if a book helps you see the world in a more useful way or amps up your energy level, it becomes part of the fabric of your personal luck.
Most important, understand that goals are for losers and systems are for winners. People who seem to have good luck are often the people who have a system that allows luck to find them.