Physicist Albert-László Barabási, in a TED talk, shared his thinking on the maths that goes into thinking about success.
He came up with a simple equation:
S = Qr
S stands for success, Q is that person's ability (to execute an idea) and r is the value of that idea.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
"I thought I wanted to be a scientist when I went to Princeton...halfway through, I figured out I wasn't smart enough to be a physicist."
Have you heard of the saying: and if it doesn't work the first time, try and try again?
Although perseverance may be seen as essential for success, Barabási argues that personal quality matters. The hard truth is that, however long you persevere and keep pushing the rock up a hill (think Sisyphus) "if you don't have what it takes, you just don't have what it takes".
This view seems to run in contradistinction to the 10,000 hours rule, where you put in 10k hours of practice and you become an expert in a given field.
Although it may sound all doom and gloom, knowing where your talents are, and being self-aware of your strengths, grants you the power to invest your energies into an activity that will:
You are paid in proportion to the perceived value of your work. Not based on how hard you work: A handyman may work hard, but his work is easily replaceable so he will make less money than a lazy accountant.
The most valuable employees are the ones working on the biggest problems. The richest people are those who solve a problem for billions.
If you want money, stop chasing money. Look for big problems and come up with solutions. The market will reward you generously.
One is what psychologists call “epistemic confidence,” or certainty. How sure you are about what’s true? If you say, “I’m 99% positive he’s lying” or “I guarantee this will work,” you’re displaying epistemic confidence.
Many of us have accumulated so many books and articles and podcasts we want to consume that it is impossible to get through them all.
A never-ending to read list is stressful. It also tends to lead to a lot of guilt-filled flailing between options.
"You can't keep up. There is no way. And trying to keep up will probably just make you dumber," cautions educator and author Kathy Sierra.
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