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These Five Steps Will Help you Succeed in Anything

Achieving Success in Life Depends on How you Define Success, Not What Others Tell you.

Step 1: Ignore every step to success, even this one

I know you want to be successful and have a name behind your name, but let’s be honest. Success is achieved by doing something special and extraordinary.

Photo by Chichi Onyekanne on Unsplash

To achieve extraordinary and extraordinary things, you have to do something that few or no one else is doing or willing to do. Therefore, only by actively doing things different from what others are doing, or believing that you can do things that others think cannot be done, can you achieve wild, crazy, spectacular success. Therefore, anything on the internet that codifies an exact step-by-step systematic formula for success is bullshit and will not help you achieve this kind of success.

Do you think Steve Jobs ever Googled “how to revolutionize the way everyone communicates”? How is that possible, do you think Thomas Edison would go to the library and look in a book for “How to make something that will change the world?”

No, they went directly to do things that they thought were important and that few people could imagine and consider.

There’s a big problem with the success stories you read in some articles. They suffer from something called the “narrative fallacy.” The narrative fallacy refers to the human tendency to substitute causal explanations into events that may not necessarily have any relationship.

For example, if you read a biography about Buffett, Einstein, or Eleanor Roosevelt, you’re bound to learn a lot about their childhoods in the first few chapters. These early chapters are filled with some cute and profound-sounding little stories about their parents, teachers, and the series of events that “led” them to become the kind of geniuses they later became.

But there are two problems here.

1. No matter what Albert Einstein went through as a child, there are thousands of little boys who went through the same thing, but they did not become Albert Einstein.

2. Just because two events in a famous person’s life seem to be connected does not mean that they are really connected. Biographers connect them because they form a good narrative, not necessarily because they reflect reality.

If you think about it, for every event that is written down in someone’s biography, there are thousands of similar events that happened to ordinary people. In short, the impact of these events is likely to be the same as what you actually saw, or even more. Therefore, these narrative devices, although they allow us to write good books and write good articles, do not actually help us understand what makes incredible success.

If there really is a first step to success (and there probably isn’t), it’s to ask yourself: “What is something crucially important in the world that few people know or do?” And then… Let’s start working in that direction!

But understand that even if you do it, there is no guarantee of success. Because let’s be honest, our definition of “success” is a bunch of fairy godmother made-up bullshit. Screw the dreams, let’s face reality…

Step 2: Understand that “success” is just something you and others make up — it doesn’t really exist

You see, most of your dreams are not real dreams; they are just imaginary overcompensation for your attempts to avoid your shortcomings.

A person who has an extraordinary desire for wealth or fame does not do so out of the joy of having wealth or fame. No, there is a hole in their psyche that they try to fill with enough stuff so that they no longer feel so inadequate. Maybe they were pushed into the closet as children. Maybe they always feel that they are the stupid kid in the class and that there is one teacher who is the embodiment of Satan.

Whatever it is, no one gets through childhood without some emotional scars (and if you’re one of the lucky few, congratulations). These scars cause us to see the world in a distorted, unbalanced way, as if everything is magically targeted at us in some imagined way. They cause us to overestimate the value of things like sex, money, adoration, or prestige, so that our behavior becomes obsessive. These biases cause us pain because they cause us to do stupid things.

Ultimately, our definition of “success” becomes skewed based on this mirror view of the world. Dad was always broke and spent his money in casinos, so you grew up unconsciously over-emphasizing money and material possessions. You feel like unless you have at least eight figures, you’re a broke, miserable loser and no one will ever love you. As a result, you made a mess of your grandma’s retirement.

Although you may think that your definition of success, such as making lots and lots of money, is objective and reasonable, in fact it is just an illusory game you are playing in your mind. Many people’s definition of success has nothing to do with money and they live happy and healthy lives. Many people have money but feel like they are pathetic losers who will never have enough. There is no inherent “success” in money, fame, love, or anything else, it’s in our thinking.

Yes, each of us develops a meaning of “success” for ourselves, and then we measure ourselves against that definition throughout our lives. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t actually define success for ourselves, we just adopt the definition given to us by our family, environment, and culture.

When you are a child and you see people around you obsessed with honor, prestige, education, or having fun, you follow their lead. Also, after so many years, you forget that you did the same thing. You start to believe that this is how the world works: this is success.

When you’re faced with people who have different definitions of success, or people who point out that your precious definition doesn’t really mean much… it can drive you crazy, I mean, if you’ve been measuring this Your own things don’t really exist for so many years, so how do you live?

This thought is often unbearable…

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Step 3: Surrender to existing despair by realizing that your self-definition is completely arbitrated and self-invented

Most people resist the idea that their definition of “success” is made up and driven primarily by their emotional dysfunction, for several reasons. One, it threatens to render meaningless a lot of what they have spent most of their lives pursuing. Second, it’s really fucking sad to realize that something you care about so much might not actually matter. Third, because if the things you spend your whole life caring about may not be important… then what else is important in life?

Yes, realizing that your definition of success is arbitrary, made up by you or those around you, can lead to an existential crisis.

Historically, most middle-class yuppies hit step three around middle age. Many people have such an experience when they are in their forties or fifties, which is called a “midlife crisis.”

You spend your life defining success as a good job, a nice house, two kids and a dog. You work for over twenty years to finally make it happen, and then one day you wake up and realize you’ve achieved everything you’ve ever wanted… but you’re still the same sloppy, smelly bastard you were twenty years ago. You don’t feel successful, you don’t feel any different, you’re still as irritable and anxious as before, you’re still constantly questioning and doubting yourself, you’re still frustrated and insecure… just a different kind of depression. and unsafe.

“Damn, all this work for what? What should I do now?”

When you ask this question, there may not be a right answer, but there is certainly a wrong answer.

The wrong answer for this is: “Do more of what I’m doing now.”

Many people who define success as money have an existential crisis when they wake up in middle age with a lot of money, and they conclude that the answer must be more money. This is what happens to millionaires, who live in perpetual emotional poverty, a feeling that no matter what they do, it’s never enough. Don’t be such a person.

This conclusion of “never enough” follows almost all secular definitions of success: money, status, prestige, fame, power, honor, there will always be more achievements. Therefore, never feel like you are enough. It’s like living on a never-ending treadmill… except, the treadmill is stuck on the elevator to hell.

Step 4: Eat some popcorn, drink a fresh water, and you’ll be fine

When mired in an existential crisis, it’s easy to feel like the world is ending. This ideal of pure, sacred fortress-like beauty that you spent so many years within has collapsed, revealing itself to be just another of your own illusions. As a result, you feel directionless, you start to question everything, you fall into despair, and you feel as though nothing makes sense.

But then something happened. Life goes on, work bonuses are paid, and while you still realize that, on some cosmic scale, money is meaningless, it feels pretty good. Birthdays come and go. The holidays are still fun. That great new TV show you and your partner are watching together.

Wait a minute… Actually, life is pretty good.

Slowly but gradually it becomes clear that you begin to realize, “Wait, I don’t have to define success to have a great life!” And this epiphany is quickly followed by another, deeper epiphany, “I I can have any values I like!”

Then your brain starts thinking. What is your definition of success? What is the standard by which you measure your life?

For some, this turns into ideals: being a good parent, having integrity, integrity, and treating others with dignity.

For others, it’s a perspective: Success is about being fully present and appreciating every moment that comes. Joy and excitement can be found in any experience, and success is choosing to allow yourself to embrace it.

For others, the definition becomes very mundane: get up and go to work every day, cook for friends, and be a good person. And the amazing thing is, these mundane definitions of success seem to be somehow more effective than the ambitious, world-changing definitions of your former self. They are easier to implement. They are delightful. When this success is repeated week after week, year after year, incredible things start to happen.

Photo by Lena Taranenko on Unsplash

Step 5: Focus on what matters most right now

Great achievements happen not just by having a grand vision for the future, but by doing what feels most important and meaningful in the moment.

Let’s go back to the example of Steve Jobs, because he was the epitome of what most people consider “crazy success.” Jobs didn’t sit there and think, “What will make me as famous and successful as possible?” No, he was always working on products that would improve his life. The focus is on solving everyday problems for people.

We think big leaps in innovation or creativity come from these huge moments of inspiration. But in reality, they simply question the assumptions before us.

This is how scientific breakthroughs often happen. As Thomas Kuhn discussed in his famous book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the biggest breakthroughs in science rarely come from veterans of academia. This is because scientists who have built their careers and reputations on current paradigms of understanding are less likely to challenge tradition.

The biggest breakthroughs come from outsiders, people without the baggage of career or prestige, people like Einstein who look at current assumptions and ask only one question: “What if this isn’t true? What could be a better explanation?”

What we think of as “great success” in hindsight usually starts with something small, something unexpected at the moment. And as Steve Jobs once said, while we can look back and connect the dots, at the time, the path ahead was never clear.

The bottom line is that people who adopt poor definitions of success often do so because they want to give their lives meaning and a sense of purpose. But it turns out that the way to give your life meaning and a sense of purpose is to engage directly in solving the problems of the moment, working tirelessly on what thrills and excites you now, rather than harboring visions of possible future prestige.

Because not only is this a healthier definition of success, but it’s a definition that actually helps you get things done.

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