Having finished the absurd collection of things Jeff Bezos has put to paper in the aptly titled Jeff Bezos: In His Own Words, it took all of my not inconsiderable restraint to not scream out loud. A 6 year-old doodling for a week would probably produce better results than the steaming pile of garbage that is touted as an insight into Bezos’ success. His mind seems to be a bigger mess than Riley’s from Inside Out. We know he has no empathy. Equally — if not more revolting — is this article which claims to be a 38-word masterclass from the man himself.
We know that luck plays a significant part in success (I highly recommend you watch this). In fact, acknowledging ones privilege makes one more likeable. I’m privileged. I probably sit somewhere in the top 5–7% of the world population (please like me). Success isn’t simple. And I have no recipe for success. If you think this is about an astonishing turnaround of failure to success, turn back now.
Go to Sleep
Every successful person has one thing in common. They wake up before the birds do. Wake up after 5am? Nah, you aren’t going to be successful. Never. Sleep more than 4 hours? Unsuccessful. Don’t hustle? You’re screwed buddy. It turns out, hard work only works if you have amazing luck. Millions toil 16 hours a day but will make less in a thousand lifetimes than Bezos made just this pandemic. If not hard work doesn’t work, what works? Well it depends.
What is Success?
Success isn’t a one size fits all solution(I promise this is the last video I jam down your throat). Today success for me was cleaning my laptop screen. For you, getting out of bed could be success. Make it your own. More power to you. Success doesn’t have to mean a billion dollars. So we define our own success. But in itself, that’s an art. Not everyone appreciates themselves. We’re all beautiful in our own way. The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, smile and tell yourself that you’re beautiful. Twice. Once from my side too. But that isn’t enough. You won’t be successful just doing this will you? Is it that easy? Nope.
Humans are awesome at a lot of things. But we’re awesomest at learning. From the day we’re born, we learn learn learn and learn. We never stop learning. And good for us. Success, at its heart is essentially learning. Some of most successful people I have had the fortune to meet never stopped learning. PhDs with incessant self-doubt are my favourite breed. Stephen Hawking bet against himself and won. Einstein doubted the possibility of nuclear weapons and then contributed to build the first one. Self-doubt is as important as self confidence. Maybe even more. If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s successful, understand and acknowledge your luck. Your privilege. Your luck. Just make sure the learning never stops. It could be as simple as reading this article and watching the videos in it. Learning builds perspective. It makes you happier and helps your mental wellbeing, take it from the NHS. So no matter what you do. Learn. Watch a TV show, learn about a culture, take a wrong turn on your way back from work. Chase failure. You have to fail to be able to learn . But do it and don’t be afraid. You’re beautiful, you magnificent bastard.
Rise and Shine
The incroyable Trevor Noah flips the routine on its head and wakes up at 6 p.m. So wake up when you want, so long as you wake up to learn. Learn about your community, contribute in any way you can and go try something at the weird little restaurant you’ve been eyeing. We live only once but if you learn everyday you live everyday.
Bonne chance mon ami.