Talent is luck, the important thing in life is courage. Oh, and luck also…

Thursday, 20 April, 2017

This ties in with what I call my pub (or bar) band theory. I’ve seen plenty of great bands performing in a bar. They play well, and their music is fantastic.

Yet somehow they don’t make it big. I know the definition of success varies, but some bands are destined to remain to pub bands, whether they want to, or not.

So what do the groups who make it big, those who score recording deals, and play to packed stadiums across the world, do right?

Two things possibly. They may have connections. Friends in the right place. And they are also, quite likely, lucky. Someone who can make things happens, hears their music, and likes it.

For the most part, creative success has little to do with talent or hard work. Lots of people are talented and hard-working. Talented and hard-working people are nothing special, for better or worse. To be successful, you need more than just talent and hard work. You need luck. Or, even better than luck, you need connections.

Not something that happens to everyone. In the meantime, if you’re short of connections, and luck, keep on keeping on.

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Speed reading tips to help you become as well read as Tyler Cowen

Tuesday, 21 February, 2017

Anyone who reads Marginal Revolution, the blog of US economist and writer, Tyler Cowen, will know he is an avid reader. The lists of books he publishes every month or so, suggest he chews through five or six titles a month.

That may not seem like much to some people, but it’s a pace I’d have no hope of matching. Unless I stopped working all together, and devoted myself solely to reading.

In the last two years, I’ve picked up five books. That’s right, five books in two years. And unfortunately, I didn’t finish reading all of them, either. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, and Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, were in that category.

Perhaps it was because they were books – even if they are classics – that were written for another age. I had more success with Fruit of the Lemon, by Andrea Levy, and Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

I’ve just started in on The Lake, by late Argentinian author and neuroscientist, Paola Kaufmann. That might push the book rate up to six in two years.

Anyone trying to boost the amount of reading they do, may benefit from these tips by Lifehack writer Erica Wagner. This advice will only be helpful though, if you really want to read more. That is key, I keep reminding myself.

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Seven pieces of shite advice to steer clear of this year

Wednesday, 11 January, 2017

New York based author sarah knight, who styles her name in lowercase, as I do with disassociated, says it is time to turn much of the seemingly conventional wisdom, or motivational advice, that we hear day in, day out, on its head. Things like:

  • Think Positive!
  • Look at the big picture.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Act like a lady, think like a man.
  • Follow your gut.
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
  • Failure is not an option.

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” might be the only one I disagree with. While it’s possible to overwhelm ourselves with tasks, sometimes it seems like too many of us are looking for an excuse to take no action, do nothing, until tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the following week, maybe. What’s the old maxim? If it takes less than two minutes, do it now.

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Get out of your own prison, it’s Monday morning after all

Monday, 12 September, 2016

Since matters productivity and motivation are often on my mind on a Monday morning. To get anywhere, one must go with the flow of the universe. Yes, there is such a thing, except I often seem to find myself trying to resist it.

Best you read David Ams‘ article, than take too much notice of what I’m saying though.

You don’t have to think, if you feel it’s the right thing to do, just do it. You don’t have to know every steps of the way, just go for it. If it’s in alignment with your true self, the universe will conspire to help you in your path. Once again, you don’t have to know “how”, just take the leap, have the vision, and let life do what it does best. Look at nature, everything is accomplished, everything is perfect, yet no elements resist to what is.

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The three things you need for a successful life

Thursday, 7 July, 2016

Take risks, work hard, and get lucky. And you too will succeed in life, says US venture capitalist Fred Wilson.

Everyone gets lucky breaks in their life. I can’t tell you when your lucky breaks will come. But I can tell you that they will come. You must be able to see them for what they are, you must be in a position to act on them, and you must not miss them. Pay attention, look carefully, and be prepared for your lucky breaks.

Much of getting lucky, as it were, depends on being able to recognise lucky breaks when they come along, and seize, or run with them. That can be a manifestation of good luck in itself.

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To take yourself seriously, you mustn’t take yourself too seriously

Friday, 10 June, 2016

Either you’re taking yourself too seriously, or you’re not all. Neither is desirable, so how to find the always elusive happy balance between the two?

I didn’t take myself seriously for a long time. I still struggle with taking myself seriously. I couldn’t even put a finger on what it was I was doing to myself until about a year ago. But finally I realized there’s this thing some people have – this ability to get excited about something they’re doing and go for it with some sort of crazy abandon. This ability to remain focused and stand firm and get on top of a mountain and shout out what they want for all to hear (so to speak).

Therein lies the rub. As I see it anyway. To take yourself seriously, you need to not entirely take yourself seriously. How else can you pursue something with crazy abandon otherwise?

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There are six ingredients in a dream job

Wednesday, 8 June, 2016

There are six ingredients that make up the would-be dream job, according to 80,000 Hours, an organisation that assists people to find work that they feel will make a difference. You might be surprised just how straightforward, in theory at least, the requirements are.

A job that meets your basic needs, like fair pay, short commute and reasonable hours.

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The manifesto of a doer, because we all need a little motivation

Friday, 22 January, 2016

A manifesto of a doer. I’m only posting this, because I think I don’t do enough in a day.

Days however just about always include a couple of hours of procrastination, an ideal way to while away bus or train trips, or the walk down to the running track, and I take the scenic route, so it’s not as if every minute is spent trying to be productive anyway.

Then again, maybe it’s the heat that’s making doing things difficult at the moment.

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Why we should enjoy Mondays, let us count the ways

Friday, 18 December, 2015

Not that I really want to be thinking about the first day back at work next year, which will be a Monday, but there are a whole lot of reasons to like Mondays, writes David Ams.

Because days, weeks and weekends are a human creation and mostly an illusion. The people who created our calendar, are no smarter than you and me. That does not mean we want to reject the weekdays as we know them. That just reduces the differences between days and how we perceive them. They are all the same and are all as important. I don’t want to look for an excuse to push things back to the next day.

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What you need to know before you make success one of your goals

Tuesday, 15 December, 2015

Some might call this part of the year the silly season, for others it will be life and business as usual. I know I have a break, three weeks hopefully, coming up, starting Friday, and regardless of what else is happening out there, that’s my main focus right now.

That said, there’ll already be one or two people casting their minds ahead to the new year, and giving thought to what they want to do. I’m not talking about resolutions, but real goals, with actual outcomes. If that’s you, then you ought to read 35 Things You Should Know Before Becoming “Successful”, by Benjamin Hardy.

There’s so much good stuff here, I don’t know where to begin, but these ten points especially resonated with me:

  • You have enough already
  • You have every advantage to succeed
  • Every aspect of your life affects every aspect of your life
  • If you need permission to do something, you probably shouldn’t do it
  • Your vision of who you want to be is your greatest asset
  • Almost everything in life is a distraction
  • Don’t seek praise. Seek criticism
  • If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you’re playing by the rules
  • Your work should be a performance
  • Retirement should never be the goal

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