A Twitter thread by Douglas Craig.

A thread on the things I took from "what I wish I knew when I was 20" by @tseelig (~75 things)

1) All problems can be viewed as opportunities for creative solutions

2) In school students are usually evaluated as individuals, when they win someone else loses. However in life most people work in organisations where it’s teams that are trying to be successful.

3) School is mostly right or wrong, situations outside of school there are normally a multitude of answers to every question.

4) Failure is an important part of life’s learning process

5) It is helpful to know that we don’t have to be right the first time

6) The key to success is the ability to extract the lessons out of each of these experiences and to move on with that knowledge

7) Attitude is perhaps the biggest determinant of what we can accomplish

8) New products grew out of focused need finding, identification of a clear problem and then turning it into an opportunity.

9) Assumptions are so integrated into our view of the world that it’s hard to see them

10) Being entrepreneurial means seeing the world as opportunity rich

11) People are often much more comfortable staying in a role that’s “good enough” vs higher uncertainty for higher upside

12) We always make our own prisons, with rules we create for ourselves and locking us into certain roles

13)It is often easier to have big goals than to have small goals

14) What if you challenge the underlying assumptions? What are the consequences – good and bad – of getting off the prescribed path? What happens to those that break the rules?

15) When the challenge was to come up with the worst business idea, the suggestions were boundless

16) It helps to challenge the assumption that ideas are either good or bad, and demonstrates that, with the right frame of mind, you can look at most ideas and situations and find something valuable

17)Sometimes the craziest ideas, which seem impractical when they are initially proposed, are most interesting in the long run. They might not work in their first iteration, but with a bit of massaging, they might turn out to be a great solutions that are feasible to implement

18) It doesn’t cost any money to generate wild ideas

19) All the cool stuff happens when you do things that are not the automatic next step. The well-worn path is there for everyone to trample

20) “Nobody told me I could or should do this, I just did it”

21) “Over time I’ve become increasingly aware that the world is divided into people who wait for others to give them permission to do the things they want to do and people who grant themselves permission.”

22) Constantly reframe skills to create new opportunities

23) Those who are willing to stretch the boundaries of their current skills and willing to try something new are more likely to be successful than those who believe they have a fixed skill set + innate abilities aka growth mind set

24) Learn how to pay attention. Opportunities are everywhere, it’s not that hard to find them when you look, propose solutions + get quick and dirty feedback. Then for little work, few resources + little time you have gained a lot, lost little. Either go forward or next idea

25) Pay attention everywhere, home, work, doctor’s office, the bus, the street, the shop, the bathroom etc etc etc, what could be better? Where are opportunities

26) “People who get to the top work harder than those around them, they have more energy that propels them forward and their markedly more driven to get their”

27) Those who are successful find ways to make themselves successful. There is no recipe, secret handshake, nor magic potion. Each person has a unique story. The consistent theme is that they pay attention to current trends and leverage their own skills to build their influence.

28)Write a failure resume (CV), biggest screw-ups in personal/professional/academic life. Describe what you learned from them. It is a good way to come to terms with failures. (would be interesting if companies judged people on the strengths of failure resumes)

29) If you aren’t failing sometimes you aren’t taking enough risks

30) Failure is a part of innovation

31) You don’t learn how to ride a bike by reading how to ride a bike, you have to go ride one – apply this logic to all your endeavours

32) Even though it’s always difficult to abandon a project, it is much easier in the early stages before there is an enormous escalation of committed time and energy.

33) Sometimes quitting is the bravest alternative, because it requires you to face your failures and announce them publicly

34) How to know when to quit: do you have the fortitude to push through the problems in front of you to reach a successful outcome, or are you better off taking another path?

35) Don’t sit around waiting for a yes that will never come

36) Seelig had a friend who wasn’t that funny, charming, good looking or smart yet had endless luck with women. His secret was asking every attractive women he met for a date. He was happy to take many rejections for his many successes

37) Failures can serve as incredible opportunities in disguise, they force us to re-evaluate our goals and priorities, and often propel us forward much faster than continued success

38) There is evidence that ratio between individual successes and failures stays constant, so if you want more success you got to take more failures

39) Doing small, incremental experiments with predictable results is much less valuable than taking a big risk that will potentially lead to a much bigger reward

40) You don’t have to kill projects if they don’t work out, you can often morph them into something else instead

41)Five primary types of risks: physical, social, emotional, financial, intellectual.

42) Fully prepare for the downside before doing anything risky, have a plan in place if everything goes wrong

43) Learning from others can significantly reduce your failure rate, you don’t have to figure out everything yourself

44) You are not personally a failure if you took a risk that failed

45) “I took detours that might look to others like a waste of time. But this wasn’t the case at all. Not only did the twists in my path give me a fresh perspective on my goals, they also gave me time to experiment with options that helped confirm what I wanted to do.”

46) Planning a career should be like travelling in a foreign country. Even if you prepare carefully, have an itinerary and a place to stay the night, the most interesting experiences usually aren’t planned”

47) Ideas can be so attractive they actually impede progress. People latch onto them and don’t see the other viable alternatives

48) When building a career optimise for the quality fo people with whom you work. This increases the quality of the opportunities that flow your way.

49) Reassess your life and career frequently

50) Being observant, open-minded, friendly and optimistic invites luck your way

51) If you go somewhere and don’t meet someone new, you have certainly missed out on making a friend as well as on the opportunity to make a million dollars

52) Every day you should go through life like a foreign traveller by being acutely aware of your environment

53) You never actually know which experiences will prove to be valuable

54) This is a sharp reminder that the more experiences you have and the broader your base of knowledge, the more resources you have from which to draw

55) Be fearless about asking or opportunities to do things you have never done before, with each successful leap additional insights and knowledge helps you take on the next bigger challenge

56) Your reputation is your most valuable asset, guard it wisely

57) Craft your immediate future on how you want your soon past to seem. Live the story you want to tell

58) A good skill to develop is how to make yourself useful to others. Too many people spend time in situations where you win at the expense of others, so aren’t very good at genuinely just helping someone out

59) Your actions affect how others see you

60) Too many people take on too many responsibilities which leads to far worse outcomes than focusing on a few things

61) Activities at the intersections of hobbies are a good way to do more. E.g. you like cooking and seeing friends, so cook with friends. 2x hobbies in 1x time

62) Limits are often limiting (grades for example, no incentive to work beyond a certain level)

63) Life isn’t a dress rehearsal

64) Go beyond what is expected often

65) Focus 100 percent on meeting your goals, anything less and you have only yourself to blame

66) You are ultimately in charge of your own life

67) Driven > competitive, to be productive as entrepreneurship

68) We each determine how we view the world, often this depends purely on our emotional state

69) Don’t take yourself too seriously, nor judge others too harshly. Be more tolerant of the mistakes others and yourself make

70) Most of your errors aren’t earth shattering despite how they may feel today

71) Failures are as important as we think they are

72) Success is sweet yet transient

73) Uncertainty is the essence of life and it fuels opportunity

74) In conclusion: have confidence problems can be solved, embrace uncertainty, interesting things off the predictable path + give yourself permission to do things – don’t wait.

75) Or as I wrote when I first read it at 18: “it ain’t all doom + gloom – perspective, attitude, work ethic + a bit of banter (failure too) = good times ahead” haha // the end x

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