“Success leaves clues.”
As someone who has been reading more and more books on performance and self improvement over the years, I have seen this as a recurring theme.
You can literally just study the people who have been successful at the exact thing or something similar to what you want to do and then do it yourself.
There may be some exceptions
Of course, if you're Elon Musk, it's hard to just model after successful people when you're trying to do things like colonize Mars when it has never come close to being done before. For people like him, they just have to study the principles of how their idea would work and experiment.
But, for most of us regular humans, we want things like financial freedom, great relationships, big muscles, etc. There are probably countless examples of someone else doing something successfully that is similar to what you want to do.
You just have to know who the right people to study are. Not all successful people leave good clues behind. Let me prove it…
Want to be a successful basketball player? Study the most skilled players in the NBA.
Also, notice how I said the most skilled and not the best overall. What you don't want to do is try and dunk like LeBron James (both skilled and ridiculously athletic) or emulate players that rely on athleticism more than skill.
The average person can learn from the clues of success with the understanding that some people have certain advantages you'll never have. Now, if you are an average person who studies a player that isn't very athletic, but had to learn crafty moves and skills to make it in the NBA, you would probably give yourself a better chance of being a good basketball player.
Don't try and do the same things that people do who have huge advantages over you. Instead, find the people who overcame disadvantages and succeeded anyway. Those are the successful people you want to study the most.
This is why people love rags-to-riches stories. The stars of these stories had to overcome many disadvantages to succeed. They weren't born rich with lots of money and opportunities. The average person can probably learn more from the rags-to-riches person than the trust fund kid who turned $1 million into $2 million.
How I would tweak the quote:
My alternative version of this quote would be:
“Study the people who overcame a lot and defied the odds to become successful. You'll learn more from them than successful people born with lots of advantages.”
I also want to give Tim Ferriss credit here. He's the one I learned this strategy from years ago. I just wish I could find the Podcast episode, book, etc. where he mentioned it.
Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn have tons of courses, books, quotes, and other things to help you understand how to be successful.
Here are a few books I've read from Tony Robbins that should help with becoming more successful:
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