The Surprising Science Behind Success

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As I mentioned before, Eric Barker’s book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree is definitely worth reading. Most of the book consists of interesting case studies to prove points (importance of networking, believing in yourself, risk-taking, being kind vs. ruthless, perseverance and the company you keep). However, his final chapter does a nice job of wrapping things up tightly.

In a nutshell, here is what he (and tons of research) find:

You must define success for yourself.

There are four quadrants to everlasting happiness:

  • Enjoyment, winning (achievement), feeling significant (to others) and one’s legacy (extending oneself).

Barker recommends creating an actual grid and listing action items for each category. Also, he believes there is value in tracking what you are actually doing against this grid (Netflix marathon would not qualify for “enjoying” – rather, being in the flow of work is true enjoyment).

Lastly, Barker says scheduling your to dos is much more effective than a list!

The Big 5

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A simple tool I learned from Tim Ferriss which has kept my day in alignment to my (true) goals:

Write the 5 most important tasks on an index card each morning.  At the end of the day, discard the card and the next morning, begin again.

In this day and age of highly distractible events, it helps me stay focused on the most important tasks I want to accomplish.

 

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