The Surprisingly Narrow Path to Success
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
Read more efficiently
Save what inspires you
"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."
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.
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.
When you feel you've lost your way:
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.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Motivation is categorized into two basic types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.
Money as a tool for motivation is limiting at best, and the 'carrot and stick' approach many managers use to motivate employees is will actually achieve the opposite effect of what was intended.
‘If, then’ rewards or conditional rewards are when we promise to give something to an individual when they complete a certain task.
These rewards can have a negative impact on motivation as the employees lose the will to work on that task for the sake of working.
3 more ideas
Nowadays people are mostly driven by the idea of making a lot of money in as short of time as possible.
However, one thing everybody should take into account is that unless you are really ...
There is no such thing as the key to success.
However, being ambitious, lucky and persistent can really work. While nothing guarantees success, finding what you like and trying to become good at it are definitely important steps in that direction.
There is a certain temptation we all feel when it comes to other people's success: check out exactly how they made it u to this level.
Nevertheless, this is not really the appropriate approach, as each individual has its own path in life: so better focus on your goal and how you plan to achieve it.
Willpower is known to be a limited resource.
Most people focus on how to increase willpower with exercises and strategies to make themselves more productive. That is useful, but wil...
You have conscious control of about 10% of your brain. Most of your judgments, prioritizations, decisions, and actions are happening in your subconscious. Many of these processes are running on default programs to maintain the current position.
One reason change is hard is that you're often working against these defaults. You can change the defaults by giving your brain a concrete goal.
A well worked out goal sets the compass in your subconscious. It's not going to change your bad habits instantly but will serve as a guide when you make a choice.
When your brain is set on a course, it helps those default programs work for you instead of against you.
one more idea
Excellence is worth pursuing more than money or status. However, the idea of excellence holds a subtle distinction.
As a whole, our working lives are more like niches. There are numerous professions, but the path for success in many professions are extremely narrow.
The more defined a field, the narrower the relevant dimension of competition.
3 more ideas
Academically speaking, happiness cannot be measured. It is really a mix of health, emotions, the way you evaluate your life, and the extent to which you live out your values....
Happiness can be thought of as a retirement portfolio. You want it balanced with short and long term investments.
Those in pursuit of purpose miss that there is value in the sum of positive emotions we experience every day. If you're only goal-oriented, you forgo today's joy for a perceived better future. But, chasing tomorrow might not give you the happiness you desire.
You can do several things to enjoy your life day-to-day. Positive psychology techniques of gratitude is generally a short-term solution.
More importantly is to optimize your environment so you're more likely to be happy long term.
2 more ideas
In the last few years, experts describe the current labor market as "candidate-driven," meaning that job seekers hold more power than employers. This means that you shouldn't ...
3 more ideas
Be specific on how you’ll implement goals into your daily life. Examining how you’ve responded to the situation in the past and determining what you can do to avoid reverting to the old h...
Even if you replace a “bad” habit with a better one, sometimes the original vice will have a stronger biological “reward” than its substitute. This is where the importance of having an intrinsic motivation comes into play.
If that is the case, find as many benefits to the change as you can and try to use them as extra motivation.
The more you suppress your thoughts, the more likely you are to think about that thought or even revert back to that bad habit. Instead of trying to stop doing something, it’s easier to do something else.
2 more ideas
Success mostly boils down to this: Do the real thing. Stop doing fake alternatives.
If you are a student, instead of creating multicolored folders for your class, sit d...
The truth is that we often think we are practicing one thing, but later find that we are not really accomplishing our goal.
Several studies show that students are not able to perform on tasks that their classes should have prepared them for. For example, studying economics, but then not able to do better on questions of economic reasoning. Physics students that fail to solve a problem that differs slightly from those taught in class.
When you examine case studies of people with major accomplishments, you might expect some involved technique they used that others were not smart enough to notice. But often, they only did the real thing.
Polyglots are able to speak a language because they spend a lot of time speaking it. Playing on apps alone doesn't count.
one more idea
We normally leave our ‘special moments’ to chance. Our cherished memories are usually unplanned, apart from the big occasions like our graduation or the day of our wedding.
We need to lear...
Certain experiences make us feel joyful, engaged, amazed and motivated.
The number one reason for employees to leave their jobs is the lack of recognition, praise and appreciation.
In research spanning decades, employees were asked about their motivation factors at work and had only one common factor across 46 years, which was the appreciation they got from the employer for their hard work.
2 more ideas