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The Only Path To Success Is By Being A Dork

There are some subjects that people always seem to spend money on, year after year. How to get in shape. How to get rich. How to be successful. Every year new research is done, new people publish more books on these topics, and people keep buying them. However, each of these topics is easily answered.

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How to get in shape?

Get some exercise.
Eat healthy.
Keep it up.

How to get rich?

Spend less than you earn.
Keep it up.

How to be successful?

Figure out what you would define as successful.
Work consistently toward that.
Be nice to others and help them toward their goals.
Keep it up.

“Psh, I knew all of that trite cliché crap,” you might sneer as you buy another fad diet book. “I want cutting edge details that get me there quicker!”

Unfortunately, nothing will. Every book that is released that has any decent information just rephrases these concepts in new ways, possibly introducing some fine-tuning aspect that doesn’t really matter.

One example that everyone seems to know: “Don’t eat after 8pm!”

That’s ridiculous fine-tuning that will only make a difference if you are already in olympic-level shape and need to shave off an extra 0.025 pounds for an edge over the competition. Forget it.

“Never eat eggs!”
“Eat more eggs!”

If people relentlessly argue about whether something is good for you, that means it’s fine and people want to argue about something. Go ahead and eat eggs, just don’t gorge yourself on them. Or anything, for that matter.

However, what I’m saying right now is not what people want to hear. It isn’t sexy. You don’t get to say “I followed Paris Hilton’s all-hot dog diet and lost 485 pounds in a week!” and then go right back to gorging on eggs with it magically staying off. You have to make little life changes over long periods, adding in exercise and changing your meals slowly as you figure out what you think is fun and delicious while still being healthy.

People love the details. They think it makes them look smart to spout random research studies that contradict common sense. Those studies were likely sponsored by people who wanted certain results, which is how they defy common sense. These same research-spouters tend to constantly find new information that keeps contradicting old information, and they never actually do anything.

Never listen to anyone who has lots of information but never does anything with it. The only reason that ever happens is because someone wants to seem smart, cool, or make other people jealous. None of these are good reasons, which is why the person never gets anything done.

One of my favorite stories is about Henry Ford. Yes, the famous one who invented the assembly line and brought cars to the masses. I’ve heard a lot of people make a fuss about how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other famously successful people dropped out of college. Henry never even graduated from high school.

At one point during his career, a big newspaper started saying horrible untrue things about him, and he sued them for libel. During the court proceedings, the lawyers tried to leverage his lack of education against him, asking him questions about history and math, trying to make him seem ignorant and uneducated.

When Henry decided he had enough, he leaned forward and said “If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”

Now that’s an answer.

The courtroom went silent after he said that, and the attorney had no more questions.

Henry Ford was a man who knew his goals, and worked relentlessly toward them. He didn’t let the details bog him down, or people who thought he was wrong. He knew what he wanted, and just kept working toward it. He wasn’t concerned about being cool, sexy, or trendy. He just cared about what he knew needed to be done, and he did it, one step at a time.

Now, what are your goals, and what is the next step you are taking to get there?

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