Success. Where does it come from? Why is it that sometimes two brothers from one family are immensely successful while there is no single successful person in another family of 10.

This post contains some of my general observations and thoughts about Success. You may or may not agree with what I think, and that's alright.

To start with, I believe success comes from association with people. The more smart people you surround yourself with, your odds of success increases vastly.

I remember a story of Sam Altman from one of his interviews with his brother Jack. When he and his brother were little (20 years ago), his grandmother bought equal shares of Apple and Applebee’s for Sam and Jack respectively. While this may not seem like a huge thing, it sure reflects a growth mindset. In the early stages of your life, the environment you were born and brought up in takes a huge impact on your mindset. That's why I believe 90% of your character is built up by friends and family. Friends you can choose, so you have to make sure that you surround yourself with friends who are always in some ways superior than you. There is a saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

There is also this "Lone Wolf" mentality which many people have continued to believe. For a long time, I have been one of them. Like many others, I believed that you need to be a lone wolf in order to achieve greater things in life. I thought that being a lone wolf, I don't have to depend on anyone else and as a result I can achieve great results quickly. Although this might be true in some cases, but in order to leave a greater impact, you need to surround yourself with people equally and even smarter than you. There is nothing bad in being self-dependent, but as a wolf, you would need your pack of wolves to have your back. And once you find your tribe, you can achieve greater things than what you can even imagine .

One great example of finding your tribe and sticking with them is the story of MS Dhoni. MS Dhoni is the former captain of the Indian Cricket Team and captain of Chennai Super Kings, a franchise cricket team. I don’t think MS Dhoni would have gone ahead to become the G.O.A.T captain on Indian Cricket team if it wasn’t his tribe of carefully chosen men in Blue, and I don’t think he would have won 3 IPL trophies while entering 8 out of 10 grand finales of the Indian Premier League either. It was his pack of wolves who helped him achieve these greater things at the professional level, because he was compatible with his pack on all sorts of level, and he supported and stuck with each one of them even when they were well past their prime.

“The way things get done in the world is through a combination of focus, and personal connection.” — Charlie Rose

Another major factor to success is your mentors, the people you look up to. They also tend to leave a mark on your character, so it’s really important to admire true geniuses and not some Instagram’s celebrity Entrepreneurs who flood your Instagram profile with useless motivational content and cry about hustle and grind all day. Most of them probably want to sell you something at the end of the day.

I personally look up to people whose work I admire. Most of them are not millionaires because it doesn't matter, but the insights they provide are very much valuable. Some of them are Sam Altman, Naval Ravikant, Derek Sivers and Daniel Bourke, and I love reading their essays.

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."  — Isaac Newton

Self-belief is another element that determines your success. In the words of Sam Altman, “you really have to have a deep-seated personal conviction that this thing you’re going to do that a lot of people say is really stupid is going to work and going to be important.” I don’t think I would have put it better than Sam himself.

And lastly, don’t fall for all sorts of porn that YouTube and Instagram are feeding the young generation, which is, Productivity Porn and Hustle Porn. These were made up to sell you useless things, sold by Instagram’s Celebrity Entrepreneurs.

Thanks to John Damilola for reviewing drafts of this blog post.

Copy & Share: