Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Eric Barker
What does it take to be successful? Many self-improvement books try to motivate the reader through phrases which are mostly meaningless. In this book, the author uses science and statistics to objectively show how to be successful (in our society).
What is success?
Success is not the result of any single quality; it’s about alignment between who you are and where you choose to be.
People often say that effort is the number-one predictor of success, but research shows it’s actually one of the worst.
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Invest in strength
Invest in strength versus a lack of weakness. While improving yourself is noble and necessary, research shows that many of the more fundamental aspects of personality don’t change. Traits like verbal fluency, adaptability, impulsivity, and humility are stable from childhood through adulthood.
The science of luck is about encountering new opportunities, which can be simpler if you are an extrovert.
Dealing with others
Dealing with other people is a huge part of what most of us do, and how we get along with others is often key to success.
As a rule of thumb for meeting new people, assume the other people will like you, and they probably will.
The art of giving
It is better to give than to receive; therefore, look for opportunities to do something for other people (e.g., sharing knowledge).
Mentorship is essential
Find a mentor! You don’t have time to make all the mistakes yourself, and of course, making those mistakes can mean failure.
It’s better to let others make those mistakes so you can learn from them. Great mentors and great teachers help you learn faster.
Pessimism and ambition
When pessimism teams up with ambition, it often produces outstanding performance.
To be the very best at anything, you will need to be your harshest critic, and that is almost impossible when your starting point is high self-confidence.