Understanding the roots of success or failure
Tim Ferriss has a podcast called The Tim Ferriss Show where he interviews “top performers”.
He is questioning them about their habits, routines, and story, to understand what makes them good at what they do.
They could be business people, comedians, athletes, philanthropists, doctors, etc…
I have been fascinated by his ability to probe his guests to identify inflection points in their lives, which explain why they became who they are.
There could be:
- Specific original personality traits which developed and led to develop certain useful abilities
- Hobbies / Sports / martial arts that taught us certain values
- People who showed us the way, lead by example or were mentors to us
- Key failures (business or personal) that became the cause of a later success
- Hard times in their life (e.g. the loss of relatives, bullying, sickness) that triggered a positive reaction as they developed key positive attributes
- Events of our lives (encounters, decisions, changes of place, friends)
- Successes that built on additional successes
- Books we read
Using the lessons to better guide ourselves and the people we care about
After a few hundred episodes, it is clear that the same patterns repeat, and it is incredibly useful to guide us.
Firstly, after seeing patterns repeat in other people, we can look back at our past and identify trigger points that lead to our current situation.
There are clear indicators to be identified or emulated
While we are living our lives, it is hard to see through current events and identify patterns that could lead to success or failure.
It is always clearer looking backward.
However, after listening or reading many references from successful people (The Tim Ferriss Show, the books /Tools of Titans/, or /Tribe of Mentors/ etc.), we can either guide our lives to emulate positive triggers or identify our life events as positive or negative.
Small triggers can have a large impact
Another aspect of the triggers that they can be seemingly insignificant, and have a dramatic impact on our lives, in the short or long term.
It can be as small as reading a book during a couple of hours, and could lead to a radical change of life, or teaching you a skill that will affect your whole life.
It could be meeting a person at a random moment, and developing a long-lasting relationship that creates a massive impact on your life.
The effects of triggering events can be cumulative
The effects of a triggering event could also be compounding with other effects.
Typical combinations could be:
- The combination of an encounter with the reading of a book
- The moving to a new city combined with the meeting of new friends
- The reading of a book and the start of a habit
For instance, you may meet a new friend that recommends you a book, that will make you see things in a very different way, or teach you new skills that will increase income opportunities.
After reading a book and starting a habit of healthier eating can lead to increased life expectancy throughout many dozens of years.
We need to choose our actions and people surrounding us carefully
The consequence of the impact of a small trigger can cumulate to form extensive effect.
As a consequence, we need to carefully determine our actions, and also the people we surround ourselves with.
Depending on the course of actions we chose, we could end up in very negative or positive situations.
Our words and actions can massively impact our relatives
A corollary of the impact of external of small triggers also imposes us to be aware that our words and actions can lead to a massive impact on our relatives’ lives.
That imposes on us to tread with care, empathy and good intentions.
We could potentially make or break our friends and family’s dreams.
On the other hand, we could support them and allow them to achieve their maximum potential.