EppsNet Archive: Success

Lost in Translation

26 Jul 2016 /

Via Philip Greenspun:

Tel Aviv cab driver: “I told my kids that the only place ‘Success’ comes before ‘Hard Work’ is in the dictionary.” (works better in Hebrew, presumably)


EppsNet Book Reviews: Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

22 Dec 2015 /

Carol Dweck’s research is part of a tradition in psychology that shows the power of people’s beliefs. These may be beliefs that we’re aware of or unaware of but they strongly affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it. This tradition also shows how changing people’s beliefs can have profound effects.

Dweck’s insight into fixed mindset (bad) vs. growth mindset (good) is powerful but there’s really not enough to it to sustain a book-length exposition without a lot of repetition and illustrational anecdotes, the problem with which is 1) they tend to be overly simple tales of triumph and failure with clearly identified causes; and 2) they ignore the inevitability of regression.

For example, two of the people Dweck identifies as exemplars of the growth mindset are Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez. Mindset was published in 2006, after which Woods’s career imploded in the wake of extramarital affairs with 100 or so women, and Rodriguez was suspended from baseball for cheating.

Among the companies singled out as possessing a growth mindset is Circuit City, which announced in January 2009 that it was going out of business.

Don’t get me wrong here, I think Dweck’s work is insightful and illuminating, I just don’t think it works well as a book. For a shorter introduction, try, for example, “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” recently published in Scientific American.

Rating: 3-stars


People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

12 Jul 2014 /

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .

Trudeau's book Natural Cures Updated Edition

And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”


One Piece of Advice From T. Boone Pickens

7 Jul 2014 /
T. Boone Pickens

If I had to single out one piece of advice that’s guided me through life, most likely it would be from my grandmother, Nellie Molonson. She always made a point of making sure I understood that on the road to success, there’s no point in blaming others when you fail.

Here’s how she put it: “Sonny, I don’t care who you are. Some day you’re going to have to sit on your own bottom.” After more than half a century in the energy business, her advice has proven itself to be spot-on time and time again. My failures? I never have any doubt whom they can be traced back to. My successes? Most likely the same guy.

— T. Boone Pickens

Why Do (Some) Smart Kids Fail?

29 Mar 2014 /
Bored of Education

A woman is telling me about her two sons . . . they’ve grown up to be fine young men, she says. It’s disappointing, of course, that neither of them managed to finish high school but it was really unavoidable because the older boy was much smarter than his peers and so he was always bored and academically unengaged and finally dropped out completely, and the younger boy just imitated whatever the older boy did.

I’ve heard this type of woulda-coulda-shoulda before and I have to admit I’ve never been totally receptive to it: this happened . . . then that happened . . . the kid did such-and-such . . .

It sounds very passive. Parents aren’t supposed to be passive observers. There are intervention points every day. If things aren’t going in the right direction, you do something to take them in a different direction.

Look in any classroom in America . . . you’ll see kids with a range of abilities. Are you telling me that all of the smartest kids are destined to fail because they’re smart? That because they’re smart, they have no option but to get bored and check out and fail?

Lots of smart kids do very well in school . . . they get good grades and test scores and they go to good colleges. What is the difference between those kids and the kids who get bored and check out and fail?

Think about it . . .


Some Links

26 Jan 2014 /

Success is Not (All) About Money

10 Jan 2014 /

But I think American liberals have also made the mistake of focusing too much on income and wealth as the measures of success. Every chart and graph we see about America’s increase in “inequality” is about either money, or the likelihood of getting money. Sure, disparities of wealth are distasteful. Sure, money is one thing that confers social status. But by focusing on it obsessively, I think liberals are helping to cement its paramount importance as the end-all and be-all of social outcomes.

Related links


Another Saturday Night

6 Aug 2013 /

“Have a great rest of your night,” the waiter says. “And a great Sunday.”

What about Monday? What about the rest of my life? Pretty limited success you’re wishing me here . . .


The (Limited) Importance of Success

26 Sep 2012 /

I don’t have a problem with someone using their talents to become successful, I just don’t think the highest calling is success. Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal. Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it it is a shame to keep striving for that, instead of for truth, beauty, or justice.


Rand Paul at the RNC

31 Aug 2012 /

Highlights

When I heard the current president say, “You didn’t build that,” I was first insulted, then I was angered, and then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around.

Anyone who is so fundamentally misunderstanding of American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation.

 

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Tang family owns The Great American Doughnut Shop. Their family fled war-torn Cambodia to come to this country. My kids and I love doughnuts, so we go there frequently. The Tangs work long hours. Mrs. Tang told us they work through the night to make the doughnuts. The Tang family have become valedictorians and National Merit Scholars. The Tangs from Cambodia are an American success story, so Mr. President, don’t go telling the Tang family that they didn’t build that.

 

When you say they don’t build it, you insult each and every American who ever got up at the crack of dawn. You insult any American who ever put on overalls or a suit. You insult any American who ever studied late into the night to become a doctor or a lawyer. You insult the dishwasher, the cook, the waitress. You insult anyone who has ever dragged themselves out of bed to try — to strive for something better for themselves and their children.

 

To overcome the current crisis, we must appreciate and applaud American success. We must step forward, unabashedly and proclaim, you did build that. You earned that. You worked hard. You studied. You labored. You did build that.

And you deserve America’s undying gratitude, for you, the individual, are the engine of America’s greatness.


Great Moments in Government Regulation

23 Aug 2012 /

To paraphrase President Obama:

Look, if you’ve been unsuccessful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you were unsuccessful at opening or operating a small business, some government official along the line probably contributed to your failure. There was an overzealous civil servant somewhere who might have stood in your way with unreasonable regulations that are part of our American system of anti-business red tape that allowed you to not thrive. Taxpayers invested in roads and bridges, but you might have faced city council members who wouldn’t allow you to use them. If you’ve been forced to close a business – it’s often the case that you didn’t do that on your own. Somebody else made that business closing happen or prevented it from opening in the first place. You can thank the bureaucratic tyrants of the nanny state.


Jeff Haden: 9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People

Posted by on 2 Jul 2012

“Am I a Success or Failure?” Is Not a Very Useful Question

19 Feb 2012 /

To be overly preoccupied with the future is to be inattentive toward the present where learning and growth take place. To walk around asking, “am I a success or a failure” is a silly question in the sense that the closest you can come to answer is to say, everyone is both a success and a failure.


Success will never be a big step in the future; success is a small step taken just now. — Jonatan Mårtensson


Why People Don’t Succeed

12 Aug 2010 /

In summary, I claim that some of the reasons why so many people who have greatness within their grasp don’t succeed are: they don’t work on important problems, they don’t become emotionally involved, they don’t try and change what is difficult to some other situation which is easily done but is still important, and they keep giving themselves alibis why they don’t. They keep saying that it is a matter of luck.


Failure is an Orphan

1 Feb 2009 /

For centuries, historians have debated whether history is propelled by Great Men (and Women), human forces of nature who bend events and systems to their will, or by vast impersonal forces (communism, capitalism, globalization) that render even the most powerful of us a mere reed basket floating in a massive river. There’s no session on the subject at the World Economic Forum in Davos. But at least with regard to finance and business, the consensus seems to be clear: Success is the work of Great Men and Great Women, while failure can be pinned on the system.