How To: Success

Sam Altman’s post on how to be successful is making the rounds on the internet and it’s not a bad read; although, it can be difficult to extract tactical things to do with the information.

For instance, in his advice on how to “compound yourself”:

You also want to be an exponential curve yourself—you should aim for your life to follow an ever-increasing up-and-to-the-right trajectory. It’s important to move towards a career that has a compounding effect—most careers progress fairly linearly.

That sounds nice and all, but, how do you actually become an “exponential curve” and how would you know, really, what opportunities or actions are actually making you “less linear”?

Hard to really know, right?

I totally agree that compound interest is one of the most powerful forces in all of creation, but, applying this to oneself can sometimes feel more like an intellectual exercise than anything else (not that those types of things are bad…).

I’ve also talked about ROL (“Rate of Learning“) in the past as well and I really do believe that one should optimize for that, nearly all of the time:

In any case, go for it and give z and give it some thought – it’s stimulates and tickles the mind and you may need some of that right now in your own life.

It’s never a bad thing to think about one’s trajectory and where they are headed – but, I wouldn’t worry too much about how to define “success” and I wouldn’t worry too much about worrying if one is “doing it right”.

Instead, I’d make sure that you are asking the simple questions, like: “Does my current role maximally leverage my skills to positively impact the most people possible?

And, if that’s not the case, then, one should start looking elsewhere as your own success depends on how much success you bring others.

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