Yup this is late. Looks like I wrote this post earlier in the week and made it up in my head that I actually submitted it. Clearly that didn’t happen. Maybe had I followed the instructions that I listened to on a Ted talk, I would have been successful in posting this on time and not deluding myself into thinking that I did things when I actually didn’t.

Any who, the Ted talk that I listened to was Richard St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success. Given the fact that we are all about to graduate and officially be out in the real world on our own, I figured that we could use all of the advice that we can get. The talk listed 8 simple reasons for success. They are: Passion, Work, Good, Focus, Push Yourself, Serve, Ideas and Persist.

The first one was passion. In order to be successful, you have to be passionate about what you do. You can’t do it for money, but he said that the funny thing was if you do it for love, money comes anyway.

The second was work. Nothing comes easy and you have to work hard at it. But he also emphasized that you have to have fun while working. You can’t be a workaholic. Instead, you should be a workafrolic.

You also need to be good at what you do. You can’t half-ass something and except it to be successful. Natural talent will also only take you so far, so you have to practice, practice and practice until you are perfect.

Obviously in order to be successful you need to be focused. Otherwise, you won’t accomplish your goal, or the work you’re doing won’t be your best. Focus on your goal and how best to attain it, and then work hard to achieve it.

The next thing to consider is that you always have to push yourself. Especially when things are hard, you need to have the mentality to not give up and push yourself to finish what you set out to do. You can’t be shy or have a feeling of self-doubt, and if you do, you need to tuck those feelings away and push through the struggles to accomplish your goal.

One thing that he mentioned that I didn’t really think about was the notion that you have to remind yourself that you are here to serve others. While the success you get is for yourself, you achieved it by serving and helping others. Remind yourself that people other that yourself benefit from your success.

To be successful, you need to come up with original and innovative ideas. You can’t copy someone else’s ideas, so in coming up with your own, remember to listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve and make connections. Through all of this, you should be able to come up with your own original idea.

The last thing the talk mentioned was potentially the most important reason for success. It is persistence. Similar to push yourself, you need to persist through he struggles and obstacles you will face in your line of work. In his own words, you especially need to persist through the CRAP (criticism, rejection, assholes, pressure).

These 8 simple tips should be enough for anyone to be successful in life, but this is all in theory. To be successful, you actually need to do this; the ideas in theory are not alone. So when we graduate in a month (eek!!!) and are off starting new jobs or grad schools, try to keep these tips in mind and look back in a few years to see if they paid off.


One response »

  1. Jordi says:

    There are some overlaps with his advice and Hinnamen’s treatment of the “hacker work ethic” in your next readings. Work-a-frolic is similar, especially…

    What an odd link. You found the _deleted_ wikipedia entry!

    What often goes through my mind is whether this kind of advice tends to obscure what we get from our sociological imaginations: understanding our troubles as also public issues, understanding our lives in the context of larger forces.

    The worst hucksters and snakeoil salesmen of self-help advice pump people up with frivolous ideas about how they “can do anything.” No, sorry, you can’t. That is the Rorty-like language of a movement that chases the infinite idea of total individual control over life. You can’t get there through only focusing on self-improvement. You need to see the larger picture too and work on “campaigns” that can change your context.

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