Patience and Idleness

The kind of patience that leads to success is not the same as waiting. Waiting has no benefits. Investing time doesn't do anything on its own.

The kind of patience needed for success is an active, self-doubting kind of patience. It's putting in enormous amounts of work, reviewing the work, questioning if it was the right work, then making adjustments and trying again.

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Self Improvement

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The key to long-distance running is pacing. If you're running faster than what your body can effectively sustain, you'll burn out. If you pick a speed just below that critical threshold, you can run for hours with the right mindset.

Set yourself up in a way so that sustaining effort for years is a viable option. It should include mental stamina. 

Dead-ends are everywhere, and many efforts go nowhere.

  • Periodically ask yourself whether you genuinely have better opportunities than the one in front of you. Avoid the thinking that leads you to believe that the grass is always greener on the other side.
  • Focus on the process of the pursuit itself, rather than the goal. The process should be tolerable, even exciting.

Stamina may increase the odds of success. However, life rarely involves a single pursuit. We are continually trading one activity against another. Those with greater endurance in one pursuit may miss a different one where success comes easier.

While there are many dead-ends and pitfalls, it is also clear that success requires stamina. One has to work on faith that everything will eventually pay off.

Success tends to accrue in two different modes:

  • Build up: It is the steady accumulation of improvements that you can see month after month, that will eventually help you reach your destination.
  • Breakthroughs: It requires a lot of effort with no visible benefits, but every once in a while, there's an insight that unlocks your potential.

We liken success to sports, exams or battles that have winners and losers, and that have an end. However, success means having the stamina to keep going.

There might be many people who are more talented than you are. What will make you successful in starting a business, building a popular blog or writing a book is how long you can keep on trying.

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Steve Jobs stated that life is not fixed and ready-made for you to live in. You can change and influence the world and leave your mark on it.

Most of us will have a far less impact than Steve Jobs did. But in the smaller sphere of our lives, there is enough flexibility if we understand that life can be changed.

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One of the biggest mistakes we make when we realize we have an addiction is to try to drop the vice entirely. However, that does not go very well. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, up to 90% of alcoholics will have at least one relapse during the first four years after they get sober. Unlike video games, alcohol creates a biological addiction. However, video game addiction statistics are somewhat similar. More research needs to be done to estimate how often gamers relapse.


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