Paul Graham

"One thing I've learned as an adult that I didn't realize as a kid is how precisely you have to aim at a goal to hit it. If you choose to optimize something even slightly off to the side, you'll sometimes achieve almost nothing toward your intended goal."

PAUL GRAHAM

Hashim I (@hashimi) - Profile Photo

@hashimi

🌻

Self Improvement

scotthyoung.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

When you feel you've lost your way:

  1. If you've walked far in the wrong direction, you don't have to continue in it. Ask yourself if you're willing to get back on track.
  2. You may just need a course correction. If you already wrote a book, back up a step, find an agent and write a proposal instead.
  3. Other times it may be better to pick a new destination entirely. Start today.

To learn the path early, ask people who've walked it before. Notice what matters to people in charge. The way forward is not creative. If you have an idea to pitch, write it into a business plan.

Creative work can rarely be measured by a universal yardstick. Thus gatekeepers rely more on signals. Artists, academics, and authors may find that their paths forward are more constrained.

There are many targets to aim at. You're never starting from scratch. Wherever you are, there are many possibilities within reach. All you require is to recognize the path ahead and stick to it.

Getting a book deal is narrow. But there's self-publishing, blogs, newsletters, and writing for magazines.

The path may be narrow, but there are more destinations than you can imagine.

The narrow path to success

Many of us don't want to face the narrow path to success. Instead, we prefer to hear the stories of rare misfits who managed to beat the odds.

To beat the odds, you have to understand the game you're playing. You have to know why success is so narrow.

  • Elite achievement is very hard. To be in the top 1%, you need effort, talent and strategy.
  • Specific results come from specific efforts. The smaller the target, the more carefully you need to aim.
  • Signaling filters create conformity. Knowing the requirements, candidates rush to meet those criteria, which creates even narrower signals.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Types of excellence

Excellence is worth pursuing more than money or status. However, the idea of excellence holds a subtle distinction.

  • Excellence can be considered as a universal standard. To get 99% is more excellent than 90%. We line up everything and measure them against a common yardstick.
  • Excellence can be thought of as a niche. The whale isn't better than a butterfly in a meaningful way. They need to follow different strategies to survive.
Two types of motivation

Motivation is categorized into two basic types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic motivation is related to external forces like money or fame.
  • Intrinsic motivation is something that comes from within like joy or pride.
Rejected Internal Candidates End Up Quitting

In most cases, internal job applicants who are rejected end up quitting: research indicates they are nearly two times as likely to leave their organizations compared to those who were either hired for an internal job or had not applied for a new job at all.

The lost productivity and talent, combined with the costs of finding replacements for these employees, is often substantial.

❤️ Brainstash Inc.