Discover more from Weekend Wisdom - Dan Isaacman
How To Win Life Without Trying
The Secret Advantage
The Easy Win Fallacy
You have to love the catchy headlines.
They hook us in with the promise of an easy win.
We quickly spend half our life savings on $999.99 courses that promise rewards beyond our most incredible imagination.
What's better is there is a "No Risk, Money Guarantee" that if you follow the 10 steps, you will make a Quintillion Shekels.
You know the ones:
5 steps to make a million dollars without moving a muscle
3 easy ways to seduce anyone, even if you forgot to brush your teeth
The one trick to build an empire with the Secret that they failed to tell you
It appears that now, more than ever, we are bombarded with snake-oil salespeople trying to rob us of everything we have worked for.
The latest craze that seems to be emerging is a mass exodus of the workforce, better known as the "great resignation".
While it is good to see some people who hate their jobs leave for a better opportunity. The result is that masses of people are misled into believing that becoming a multi-billionaire is a walk in the park, perhaps even easier than working your stable day job.
The unrealistic expectations preach that all you have to do is, pursue a mediocre idea, like selling used batteries on Amazon, and money will rain from the heavens.
The Secret (No, not that Secret)
I too have searched for the El Derado of easy money.
Spending a significant amount of cash on courses, programs and, seminars that promised to take me pro in one-click.
The ironic thing is that I learned there is a surprising secret.
It took me half a decade to truly appreciate this discovery seemingly hidden in plain sight until recently.
The disappointingly obvious and somewhat harsh truth is the only shortcut to success is hard work and focus.
Expressed as a formula:
Time Commitment + Repetition/Iteration + Quality = Opportunity
(If you want a more detailed explanation, let me know, and I will dedicate an entire article to the formula)
As Thomas A. Edison said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
This is a hard pill to swallow, especially for a generation that has access to a little bit of everything all of the time.
We treat Google like an ATM machine as we type in "How To Make a Million Dollars". Expecting that there will be a Free Printable PDF that allows us to mint solid gold from a standard colour printer.
People who fail to become an overnight success think that their idea was terrible when really, it was the execution.
Do Things, Many Things, Any Things
There seems to be a startling advantage for those who are willing to work hard and focus.
The ones who are get catapulted into the top percentile of humanity.
The populus will not commit, repeat and create quality as a result.
Most will burn out due to an unrealistic expectation of hard work, confusing it for doing work that is hard.
The trick is discovering what you are willing to sacrifice your precious time for and crafting compelling reasons why, starting with your intention.
He who has a Why, can bear any How - Friedrich Nietzsche
If you find joy in your work, you will not feel the need to try, and when times are tough, you will have a compelling reason to drive you forward.
Let us realize that: the privilege to work is a gift, the power to work is a blessing, the love of work is success! -David O. McKay.
Let the pursuit of joyful experiences help you find your vocation because, as far as we know, this is the only life we get.
Finding Enjoyable Pursuits
Have you noticed that successful people almost seem nonchalant, while people that avidly chase success seem frantic?
It almost seems like they are not trying.
It’s seemingly similar to genuin love, where your relationships that seem effortless are the ones that are the most fruitful.
True friends have the ability to sit in silence and feel comfortable.
Developing these meaningful relationships takes significant experimenting, but once you find someone special, you double down and do the work of developing a connection.
Mastery and The Try-Hard Paradox
So now that you know the Secret, what are you going to do?
Should you wake up at 3 am and make cold calls until your ear looks like Vincent van Goghs'?
A law of diminishing returns means that working more will not directly correlate to earning more money at a certain level.
My suggestion is don't try. Do.
When I was growing up, I would often tell my mother that I will “try” to do something like clean my room.
She would say “try lift your hand”.
Then I would start lifing my hand to which she would reply, “no, no, no I said try lift your hand”
In the literal sense of the word, try is a meagre attempt where you are likely to take a half-arse shot that leads to a closed door.
There is a differenc in momentum between saying, "I will try", and "I will commit".
Everyone wants to eat, but few are willing to hunt.
Learning Opportunity From Lions
The alpha predator, the apex of the Savana, is a majestic symbol of strength and power.
The Lion's survival depends on successful hunting. Unfortunately, Lions consistently fails to catch their prey, but they don't seem waiver.
It takes time, effort, and focus to become the leader of a pack of lions, and battle scars are inevitable.
Yet, a lion spends most of its day resting and playing conserving their energy, so they do not need to hunt as often.
Focus Hard. In Reasonable Bursts. One Day at a Time
A Bodybuilder knows that they will get to their goals quicker if they look after their body and take a rest day.
Our minds are no different.
To remain creative and consistent, we need to have some space and silence in our life.
Cal Newport succinctly titled one of his articles in this way "Focus Hard. In Reasonable Bursts. One Day at a Time."
Each day, make a conscious effort to chip away at the formula for an opportunity.
Time Commitment + Repetition/Iteration + Quality = Opportunity
Choose to enjoy what you do and hone your skills one day at a time.
Keep going, fuelled by your why, knowing that most people will be left in your dust.
Creating quality and value in your pursuits will eventually lead to discovering the few things that matter and lead to significant progress. Then, we can essentially ignore the rest.
Ignore the 5 step Gurus because you now know the secret is simply hard work and focus.