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Exactly what does it require to become an expert in your specialized field? Is nature, or nurture? Exactly what does it take to achieve excellence like people such as Albert Einstein, Mozart, or Leonardo da Vinci?
Discover your calling and achieve success.
Success is within anybody’s reach if one has persistence, discipline, and adhere to a few essential actions. Most people know what they are best at. Frequently, they are dismissed from their passion by other people. It is important to trust yourself and map your own career path according to what is unique about yourself.
Leonardo da Vinci did not become an artist on his own. However, he followed his curiosity about everything and he eventually became an expert in subjects from anatomy to architecture. Rather than competing in a saturated field, look for a niche that you can dominate.
Discover your own niche, and achieve excellence in it. Famous neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran used to be an agitated and disappointed professor of psychology. His passion became a job. Then he started the research of anomalous brain disorders and phantom limbs. He discovered the connection between the brain and the consciousness. It fascinates him even to this day.
Fight for what you believe in.
Do not let others dictate what you should do. Mozart was a gifted child in the piano. His father tried to suppress his talent for music composition at his young age. It was until he totally rejected his father that he truly became a master of his craft and achieved success.
We are often tempted by the wrong things, be it approval, fame, or money. Be passionate at the most basic level. The little things that fascinated you as a child, was not just a passing fancy, it was a hint about what your calling is. Marie Curie wandered into her father’s lab and was instantly transfixed by his instruments.
Observe deeply, practice endlessly, and experiment rigorously. You need to watch people, not impress them. By studying the ropes, you can achieve excellence. Our brains are wired to learn skills. By practicing something repeatedly, our neurons are called up to mirror and hardwire the new skill.
That is why you never really forget how to ride a bicycle.
You will not know if you are an expert until you test your skill. Cherish learning over money. Thereby you are not enslaved by people’s opinion. Rather than a more financial rewarding job, Martha Graham accepted a lower paying teaching job which afford her time to practice and develop dance innovations that made her famous.
Those highest-paying jobs lead you to pleasing others instead of learning, training, and mentorship opportunities. Daniel Everett, a talented linguist, failed to learn the Paraha language which puzzled scientists for many years. The reason he failed was because he came at it as Christian missionary and a linguist, from a person of superiority.
Be humble in order to really learn. He did not master the language till he humbled and learned it as though he was a child. Having bias or feelings of superiority hinder your opportunities to really learn.
Engage in extreme training with discomfort.
Bill Bradley was fit for basketball only because of his height. He could not jump and was sluggish. But he practiced hours and hours after school. He would put weights inside his shoes and even went as far as taping cardboard to the base of his spectacles just so that he could not see the ball when he was dribbling.
Those were only the start of his intense regimen. Extreme training with discomfort can double the effectiveness of what is easy. Always do trial and error. Paul Graham had always been fascinated by computer systems. He ultimately discovered that he achieved success by dealing with problems, failing, and then trying again.
The experience ultimately led to the conception of Ycombinator that offers business owners the assistance to achieve what he did. Apprenticeships are less formal now. You need to modify your own training based on your own style of learning.
Soak up a master’s knowledge.
A right mentorship is the most effective way to learn because you concentrate on one outstanding source of knowledge rather than casting for many. This way, you can achieve a skillful way of processing that takes others a lifetime to establish in the quickest time. However, your goal is to surpass them.
Pick a teacher who will challenge you intensely. Carl Jung adored Freud as a leader in his field. However, Jung was doubtful about some of Freud’s theories. Although they eventually split, Jung achieved better understanding through Freud’s mentorship. In areas where he disagreed, he learned a lot, and honed his own concept and identity.
Soak up your teacher’s knowledge entirely, and then improvise it. Alberto Guerrero had a brilliant piano student, Glenn Gould. Gould would use what Guerrero taught him and moved it in a completely different direction. Despite many years after Gould was out on his own since the age of nineteen, Guerrero could see the techniques he taught Gould, utterly absorbed, but totally altered by his genius.
It can be intimidating to learn from someone accomplished.
But you can achieve this by learning everything. Then you can go further by improving your knowledge. Welcome criticism and acquiesce to hierarchy. Ignaz Semmelweis was among the earliest pioneers in practicing antiseptic techniques. Something which might have and has since saved countless of lives.
It was not fully adopted during his time. Due to the arrogant way he handled his superiors and also his refusal to prove his concepts. He was abandoned at forty-seven years old and died penniless. Capitalize those in power, do not alienate them. Otherwise, it is just a waste of skills and intelligence.
Build on your own uniqueness. Metal sculpting was mainly a male dominated industry. Teresita Fernandez might have been considered a novelty but she would not let other people define her. By building her personality on her art, she successfully won the MacArthur “Genius Fellowship” achievement. Awareness of your own uniqueness enables you to become more effective in mastering your craft.
Tolerate fools, and put them to good use.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe invested his youth in a distinguished Duke’s court but found himself entrapped in a petty court culture. Instead of engaging, he turned their behavior into characters in his novels and plays. There are too many fools in this world.
Do not engage or stoop to their level. Think outside the box. The brain has a natural tendency to classify things in simple categories. Creative minds will resist the use of this mental shorthand.
Putting an effort to change perspective, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed Google by recognizing a minor flaw – bad search engines results that showed pages by how frequently something was mentioned. An anomaly led them into a more effective innovation.
Do not let impatience get the better of you.
John Coltrane used to imitate rather than innovate. After many years of absorbing other people’s styles, he improvised the knowledge into something personal and unique. The greatest obstacle to creativity is impatience. Persevere and develop your own authentic style.
Mechanical knowledge is important too. The world’s smartest engineers failed to build a flying machine. A simple insight of bicycle mechanics helped the Wright brothers beat engineers who got stumped by the issue for many years. A flying machine had to have the ability to bank like a bicycle instead of moving in a straight line like a ship. Mechanical intelligence, the focus on functionality, can be just as important and innovative as the abstract.
Avoid getting wrapped up in technical artistry. Neurobotics leader Yoky Matsuoka had a task to build a lifelike robotic hand. It was a learning process to comprehend the human hand rather than solving mechanical puzzles for her. Relatively unimportant physiological information ended up being incredibly essential for function.
Technical lock can make people lose sight of bigger questions.
Matsuoka exceeded those who had been engrossed in technical artistry for years. Integrate intuition with logic. Immerse deeply in a specific field. Study under a mentorship and unleash creative ability to rapidly and intuitively react to any circumstance.
Integrating that instinct with logic enables people to realize their greatest potential. Albert Einstein did not like experiments or how physics was taught. His greatest insights originated from somewhere else. His theory of basic relativity was partially inspired by thinking about images of trains, lights, and people.
Einstein removed conventions that held him back by choosing to steer away from traditional, experimental science and did something that felt intuitive, seemed illogical, however was intensely rational. What makes you tick? We all aspire for something deep and meaningful.
We are all plagued with problems.
But it should not prevent us from becoming everything we could be by creating value to our lives. What do you really want? So many things you want to do with your life but so little time. Find something that you are good at to realize that tiny step towards improvement.
Hard work is the key to know that it is worth it. Have you done enough for yourself? Or is there something more you want to do? Dissatisfaction can be dangerous in large amounts, but in small dosages you will have the ability to see and do things you could never think of doing.
Are you comfortable with what you are doing? So how does blindly following trends fit into your lifestyle? If life has taught us one thing, it is be true to yourself. Should you change yourself? There is always an easy way and the right way when it comes everything.
Variety makes the world interesting and life exciting.
Everybody is unique or we will all be exactly the same in everything we do. What is the silver lining in all of this? With so much happening around us, life can seem bleak. If we could let loose and not scrutinize so much, we can actually see something positive in everything.
Are you attractive? Perhaps you do not think so but that does not mean you cannot try. Be it shaping up, changing the way you wear your clothes or hair, or even your attitude towards people. It will be for your own good. Are you happy at where you are today? If not, then take your life up a notch! Everybody will love you and you will love you too.
What inspires you? That is an answer you need to find out yourself. There are so many different things that can make anyone happy. It is not like you can only have one serving of your favorite food in a buffet and that is it. Just try one piece of everything.
What really makes you tick?
You can be practically anything you wished to be. But to think that achieving something seems difficult is already giving up before you even start that journey. Self-improvement is not only about the physical or philosophical change you undergo, but it is something that you really want.
How much can you have? There is no such thing as having something too much or too little. It is more on how badly you really want it. The question is, how much are you willing to work for it? You complain about not being appreciated by your company, but have you been contributing value to your organization?
When a company pays you salary, they expect your value to worth that amount. A company is in business to make money. Every dollar spent is an investment to generate more profits. If an investment makes money, it is an asset. If an investment loses money, it is a liability.
So are you an asset or a liability?
If you contribute value less than your salary, you are a liability. You will be ousted very soon if you keep up losing money for your company. If you contribute value exact worth to your salary, nothing more, nothing less, then you are an asset. But you are a dispensable asset.
Sure, you may be promoted over the years to become a manager, but that is all you will ever be. By then your salary will be too high for the value you are contributing. Your company can hire someone younger, cheaper, and contribute the same value as you do. You are dispensable.
If you contribute value more than your salary, you are an asset, and you are an indispensable asset. You bring in a lot of value and you grow the company. You will be appreciated and placed in top management to further grow the company.
In times of recession, guess who are let go first?
In times of recession, the indispensable assets not only do not get retrenched nor pay cuts, they get pay increments to be retained in the company. So which type of asset do you want to be for your company?