I write a lesson I wished I had learned 10 years earlier, to feed our brains with intelligent content to start our week. I also share interesting articles, book quotes, and the occasional speech or TED talk to help us all get smarter, wiser and live better.

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Happy Sunday!

I came across a speech this week that has forever changed the way I view success. It’s an old speech that was delivered to life insurance professionals in 1940. But it has the most important life lesson that I have ever come across and remains relevant today.

Throughout our lives, we’re told that the secret to success is hard work. Yet, many people are successful without working hard. While many work hard, but remain largely unsuccessful. Therefore, hard work can’t be the secret to success. Working hard does not guarantee success.

“The common denominator of success --- the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful --- lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do.”

In other words, you don’t become successful by only doing what you want to do. You become successful by doing the things that nobody else wants to do. And making this thing a habit in your daily life.

It’s not that successful people like to do these things too. They hate doing them just as much as everyone else. But they just get on with it. This is what separates the successful from everyone else; the successful do what nobody else is willing to do.

The resemblance between this finding and Chamblis’ extensive research is striking. In his study of amateur, professional and Olympic swimmers, he concluded that the only thing separating swimmers of all levels - from amateurs, right up to Olympic gold medalists - is that the elite swimmers enjoyed doing what other swimmers hated the most. Things like the super early morning monotonous swim along the lanes to improve their technique and endurance. I’ve written more about this study here.

If you spend 10 years doing the things that no one else in your field wants to do, you will be successful. Make it a habit, and eventually, you will enjoy it.

Have an awesome week ahead,
Samuel


Featured Article

Why the Past Six Weeks Have Made Me Tired
Over the past six weeks, it’s been difficult to give a meaningful response to the question “how are you feeling?” So I’ve taken the time out to give my response to that question, along with things we can all do to make the world in fairer, more equitable and a better place for all.

How To Wake Up at 5 A.M. Every Day

I’ve been getting up at half 5 each morning for several years. There’s some magic in getting up before most people and getting a good chunk of work done before everyone else has even stumbled out of bed. This article explains how to do it, it’s benefits, and also why it’s something that everyone can do.

Read article


How to Use Occam’s Razor Without Getting Cut

“Occam’s razor states that the simplest explanation is preferable to one that is more complex. Simple theories are easier to verify. Simple solutions are easier to execute.”

We should avoid looking for complex solutions to a problem. The simpler a solution, the simpler it is to execute. This gives the greatest chance of achieving a successful outcome. However, this model isn’t a substitute for critical thinking. It’s merely a tool to help us remove bias in our decision making.

Read article


The 1 Principle Jeff Bezos and Amazon Follow to Fuel Incredible Growth

The principle is the flywheel, a topic I wrote about a fortnight ago (see here). A flywheel is an important concept that helps us understand how “easy” it is to become successful - it just takes time. The concept of the flywheel is a core facet of long-term thinking, and it also explains why everything in life compounds.

Read article


Tweet of the Week


This Week's Wisdom

“...genius often really is just persistence in disguise.”

— In the book, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

I use readwise to resurface content I've previously highlighted. My followers can get an extra month for free by following this link.


Final Word

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