Barking Up the Wrong Tree Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Barking Up the Wrong Tree Summary

About Barking Up the Wrong Tree Book

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Much of the advice we’ve been told about achievement is logical, earnest…and downright wrong. In Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker reveals the extraordinary science behind what actually determines success and most importantly, how anyone can achieve it. You’ll learn:


• Why valedictorians rarely become millionaires, and how your biggest weakness might actually be your greatest strength
• Whether nice guys finish last and why the best lessons about cooperation come from gang members, pirates, and serial killers

• Why trying to increase confidence fails and how Buddhist philosophy holds a superior solution
• The secret ingredient to “grit” that Navy SEALs and disaster survivors leverage to keep going
• How to find work-life balance using the strategy of Genghis Khan, the errors of Albert Einstein, and a little lesson from Spider-Man

By looking at what separates the extremely successful from the rest of us, we learn what we can do to be more like them—and find out in some cases why it’s good that we aren’t. Barking Up the Wrong Tree draws on startling statistics and surprising anecdotes to help you understand what works and what doesn’t so you can stop guessing at success and start living the life you want.

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Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker

4.6/5 (6179 reviews)

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What is takes to be successful? Many self-improvement books try to motivate the reader through phrases which are mostly meaningless. In this book, the author uses science and statistics to objectively show how to be successful (in our society).

What is success?

Success is not the result of any single quality; it’s about alignment between who you are and where you choose to be.

People often say that effort is the number-one predictor of success, but research shows it’s actually one of the worst.

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Invest in strength

Invest in strength versus lack of weakness. While improving yourself is noble and necessary, research shows that many of the more fundamental aspects of personality don’t change. Traits like verbal fluency, adaptability, impulsivity, and humility are stable from childhood through adulthood.

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The science of luck

The science of luck is about encountering new opportunities which can be simpler if you are an extrovert.

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Chapter 1: Should we do what we are told?

Following rules doesn't create success, it only eliminates failure.

  • People who play by the rules don't usually end up top

Intensifiers: Qualities which are usually negative but become positive due to some specific context.

  • Same qualities may seen awful in general but have specific uses in extremes

Being yourself and being different can help in context you can't think of

  1. Be/know yourself - know your strengths
  2. Be surrounded by the right people - pick the right place to apply your strengths

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Chapter 1: Should we do what we are told?

Following rules doesn't create success, it only eliminates failure. 

  • People who play by the rules don't usually end up top



Intensifiers: Qualities which are usually negative but become positive due to some specific context. 

  • Same qualities may seen awful in general but have specific uses in extremes

To be your best self,

  1. Be/know yourself - know your strengths 
  2. Be surrounded by the right people - pick the right place to apply your strengths 

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