BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker: Chapter 4


The Surprising science behind why everything you know about success is mostly wrong.

Chapter 4: It’s not what you know, It’s who you know (unless it really is what you know) What can we learn about the power of networks from hostage negotiators, top comedians and smartest person who ever lived

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  • Paul Erdos loved to collaborate. He lived out of a suitcase and routinely traveled to 25 countries, eventually working with 500 other mathematicians. ‘Erdos Number’ – a measure of how close you are to working with Paul.
  • Research shows that you don’t actually need to know more to be seen as a leader. Merely by speaking first and speaking often – people come to be seen as El Jefe and those who initially act shy in groups are perceived as less intelligent.
  • To get ahead, you need to self-promote. This comes naturally to extroverts and is actually more important than competence when it comes to being seen as a leader.
  • Having a large network opens you up to more opportunities, it exposes you to all kinds of other new possibilities.
  • Introversion predicts academic performance better than cognitive ability.
  • If you can’t stand a moment aloe, get that MBA and chase that leadership position over a passive workforce. But if people drive you crazy, dive deep into your passion, earn those ten thousand hours and be renowned as the best in your field.
  • Adam Grant: Read each situation carefully and ask yourself: What do I need to do right now to be most happy or successful?
  • When we collaborate – the gains can be exponential. But when we don’t communicate, we can end up not only missing those benefits but also getting our efforts jammed.
  • Adam Rifkin: Be a friend. It is better to give than to receive. Look for opportunities to do something for the other person, such as haring knowledge or offering an introduction to someone that person might not know but would be interested in knowing. Do not be transactional. Do not offer something because you want something in return. Instead, show a genuine interest in something you and other person have in common.
  • The Rule of Thumb in friendship: Be socially optimistic. Assume other people will like you and they probably will.
  • The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become.
  • Thank the people around you. Relationships are the key to happiness and taking time to say ‘thanks’ renews that feeling of being blessed.

 

Fundamentals of Friendship

  1. You like Ironman? I like Ironman too. – Introduce yourself. We all choose to be friends with people who are like us.
  2. Listen and Encourage other toddlers. – Ask them questions and listen. You’re likely to hear something you can connect over. Asking people questions about themselves can create a bod as strong as lifelong friendship in a surprisingly short amount of time. Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying now. Don’t be afraid to pay the person a sincere compliment. Asking for advise can really help others warm up to you. Ask what challenges people face. Everyone loves to complain a little about the things that stress them out.
  3. Be a giver. Share yout twinkies. – Offer to help people. When people say they’re having a trouble about something, find a way to help.

How to get an Amazing Mentor right for you? 

  1. Be a worthy pupil – When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
  2. Study them, really study them – Spend time and be intimately familiar with someone’s work and you want someone who scares you a bit.
  3. Wasting a mentor’s time is a mortal sin – Asking great questions is a perfect way to build a relationship. Never ask a mentor a question Google can easily answer for you.
  4. Follow up – The key is to stay relevant. You need to consistently hit them with a conversation to keep the relationship alive but without being a nuisance. Do what they said, get results and let them know they made a difference.

 

We all have stuff we can learn from someone else. 

BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker; Chapter 1


The Surprising science behind why everything you know about success is mostly wrong. 

Chapter 1: Should we play it safe and do what we’re told if we want to succeed? Does playing by the rules pay off?

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  • When are our weakness actually strengths? Is it better to be an outlier with both handicaps and superpowers? Or do we live better lives at the middle of the bell curve?
  • Differential susceptibility hypothesis: The same genes that lead to bad stuff can actually lead to great stuff in a different situation.
  • David Dobbs in The Atlantic: the very genes that gives us the most trouble as species causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success.
  • Hopeful Monster: an individual that deviates radically from the norm in a population because of a genetic mutation that confers a potentially adaptive advantage.
  • Pixar Experience: pixar is thinking that they are starting to lose their edge after ‘Finding Nemo’. They hired a new CEO so that they will have a new strategy. This new CEO’s tactic was to hire the BLACKSHEEP of the company and give them absolute liberty to be creative. Result? a blockbuster The Incredibles”. ‘The same traits that make people a nightmare to deal with can also make them the people who change the world.
  • Idea of Intensifiers: qualities that are universally awful have their own uses in specific contexts. Example, Formula 1 cars are undrivable on city streets but break records on a track. When it comes to the extremes of performance, averages doesn’t matter. What matters is variance, those deviations from the norm. Almost universally, we humans try to filter out the worst to increase the average, but by doing so, we also decrease variance.
  • Mad Genius Paradox: mildly creative people are mentally healthier than average – but extremely creative people have a far higher incidence of mental disorders.
  • Venture Capital Business Mindset: Invest in strength versus lack of weakness. The companies that have the really extreme strengths often have serious flaws. But if you don’t invest on the basis of serious flaws, you don’t invest in most of the big winners.
  • Leadership Filtration Theory: reaching the heights of success requires a dip into qualities that are otherwise problematic.
  1. Know Thyself – In terms of achieving what you want in life, means being aware of your strengths. What are you good at that consistently produces desired results?
  2. Pick the right pond – You’ve got to pick the right environment  that work for you. When you choose your pond wisely, you can best leverage your type, your strengths, and your context to create tremendous value.

 

Too often we label things good or bad when the right designation might merely be different. We spend too much time trying to be ‘good’ when good is merely average. To be great, we must be different. And that doesn’t come from trying to follow society’s vision of what is best, because society doesn’t always know what it needs. More often being best means just being the best version of you. In the right environment, bad can be good and odd can be beautiful. 

BOOK THOUGHTS: The Magic of Thinking BIG


***I’m only on Chapter 2 and I find myself nodding while reading every line. I’m sharing you the most important ones from what I’ve read so far….

Chapter 1: Believe you can succeed and you will

  • Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life
  • A person is a product of his own thoughts. Believe big and grow big.
  • Believe in yourself and good things will start happening.
  • Those who convert opportunity into reward will be those wise people who learn how to think themselves to success.

How to develop the Power of Belief

  1. Think success, don’t think failure. Thinking success conditions your mind to create plans that produce success.
  2. Remind yourself regularly that you are better that you think you are. – Never sell yourself short.
  3. Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief.

 

Chapter 2: Cure yourself of Excusitis, the failure disease

The Four most common forms

1.‘But my health isn’t good’

  • The perfect specimen of adult life is nonexistent. There is something wrong with everybody
  • The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude with two arms everytime.’

HOW TO CURE:

  1. Refuse to talk about your health
  2. Refuse to worry about your health
  3. Be genuinely grateful that your health is as good as it is
  4. Remind yourself often, ‘it is better to wear out than rust out’

 

2. ‘But you’ve got brains to succeed’

  • Two common reasons: We underestimate our own brainpower & we overestimate the other fellow’s brainpower
  • What really matters is not how much intelligence you have but how you use what you do have

HOW TO CURE:

  1. Never underestimate your own intelligence and never overestimate. Concentrate on your assets. It’s how you use your brains that counts
  2. Remind yourself daily: ‘My attitude is more important than my intelligence’
  3. Remember that the ability to think is of much greater value than the ability to memorize facts

 

3. ‘It’s no use. I’m too old. Or too young’

  • What matters is how well you know your job. Age has no real relation to ability, unless you convince yourself that years alone will give you the need to make your mark

HOW TO CURE:

  1. Don’t be age conscious.
  2. Don’t take advantage of your new gold bars
  3. Get used to having older persons working for you
  4. Your age won’t be a handicap unless you make it one

 

4. ‘But my case is different. I attract bad luck’

  • Just concentrate on developing those qualities in yourself that will make you a winner

HOW TO CURE:

  1. Accept the law of cause and effect
  2. Don’t be a wishful thinker. Success comes from doing those things and mastering those principles that produce success