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The Four Pillars of Success in Work and Life

The variety of human talent is endless. How do you define success and what can you do to attain it?

Success is a fleeting term, spelled differently for every individual. The external manifestations of success are usually superficial and temporary. When I think of success, I think about the internal processes that can later be translated into any kind of accomplishment.  

Self-Exploration

I think that what people do in this world (especially those who have the privilege to do so) is mostly get to know themselves on a deeper level. Especially during their adolescent years, people learn more about themselves by acquiring experiences, and by exploration rather than exploitation.  I think that success, to a large degree, is dependent on proper management of this process. That way, as time goes by, one gets to know oneself better and can navigate life in the most appropriate and effective way.

Finding Your Superpower

My vast experience in recruiting, from hiring to watching individuals perform in their work, has taught me about the endless variety of human talents. When we are young, we have the desire to be the best at everything. Sometimes, we’ll even feel jealousy and anger toward those who might be better than us. As we grow up, we realize that every one of us has their own unique superpower. We are all exceptional individuals. If a person applies her superpower directly in her profession, she is much more likely to succeed. For example, if I know myself to be a wolf, I must work in an environment that involves a pack. However, if I understand myself to be a cat, I need to immerse myself in a stealth-like environment.

Releasing New Versions of Yourself

Constant and infinite improvement: A few days ago, I went to watch Louis CK perform at Madison Square Garden. All his material was brand new. The man is an artist on every level. I was full of envy. My wife saw him perform in 1996 – she said his performance back then was just average; he was just another comedian. But today, at age 49, after hundreds of versions of material and performances, we finally get the Louis I saw perform. There is no doubt that he is always evolving and learning how to improve himself. There is also no doubt that he knows himself quite well, and unequivocally recognizes his own superpowers (for example: he’s just not as good an impersonator as Eddie Murphy). I truly believe that the definition of success is to be in a constant upward trend. People who achieve significant success at a very early age often experience misery later in life, because they cannot maintain that upward trend.

Outgrowing Your Genetics

Even though we each have our own superpowers; the beauty of mankind is that we can defy our genetic bounds and evolve into something different. Using that intangible notion of motivation, desire, stubbornness, and a never give up kind of attitude we can raise ourselves by our bootstraps. We evolve into something different, but we still hold on to our sense of identity and individuality.

As I reflect on these four pillars of success, I see they are all deeply connected. Each one is the same dish, but with a different sauce. Only if you truly and deeply know yourself (pillar 1) will you be able to find your superpower (pillar 2) and know how to release newer versions of yourself (pillar 3). Only as you release new versions of yourself will you be able to outgrow and overcome your genetics (pillar 4)!

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