Don’t Imitate Your Heroes. Adaptation and Expansion

As we strive to improve our lives and advance our careers by learning from those wiser and more experienced than ourselves, it is important to remember that not every success is worthy of emulation. You should choose the tip that works for you. It’s interesting to know how the billionaire entrepreneur got to where they are, but that doesn’t mean you should try to follow their path.

You are probably not a genius (and that’s okay)

Any Lifehacker reader knows that there is a whole genre of writing that explores the workflows of unique, brilliant people and shares their tips for increasing productivity ( I know this well! ) And yet, I think it’s important to always keep this famous entrepreneurs, writers in mind. , artists and people who have achieved great success are unique. Explosive success is rare, and imitating every aspect of someone else’s work just because they’re a genius may not necessarily benefit you. For example, I wonder if Albert Einstein had a dirty desk, but that doesn’t mean that a dirty desk will help you with your work. You can experiment and see what works for you, but don’t use that as a mistaken excuse not to clear your table.

Steve Jobs is a classic example of a charming man whose methodology may not necessarily deserve to be followed, despite the fact that he founded the most valuable company in the world. Steve has a lot to learn , but – there is always one but – he was also notorious for his harsh attitude towards his employees, and his harsh and direct criticism inspired fear on the Apple campus. I would not adopt his style of communication, even if it could motivate people to move forward in their work. Just because it worked for him doesn’t mean I have to follow suit.

If you look at our How I Work series, it will be interesting to see what tools Ira Glass uses to get her job done, but accepting every aspect of this workflow does not necessarily raise my writing level to that level. I won’t be able to systematize the ideas in this post with pen and paper, but there is certainly value in understanding its methods.

Take a look at the greats, but there is no magic bullet for success

So how do you know when to follow your favorite productivity hero and when to ignore his quirks? You should focus on what is important to you and is relevant to the problems you are currently facing, and not use strange tactics just because someone famous did it. In discussing the Pacific Standard creativity myth , Casey N. Chap made it clear that there is no magic bullet for greatness and that every productive mind works with the same tools that we do:

They all live and work with the same materials that we do. They use pen, paper and notebooks; they eat food and drink coffee; they live in apartments and houses; write in coffee shops and libraries.

But there is something to be said in favor of the fact that the best tool, gadget or application for the job is what you have with you . Sometimes this is directly related to the precedents set by legendary heroes – I carry a Moleskine notebook with me because Hemingway did it, and the romantic dream of Paris in the twenties made it attractive, but it’s actually a good tool that I like to use. However, it would be foolish to think that it helps me write like Hemingway. And his other way of life, perhaps, it would be better to avoid.

Choose what works best for you, and remember that the accomplishments of charismatic historical figures or modern geniuses were not the result of some simple trick. I admire the way people work, and it is often very rewarding to learn the procedures and specific tools used by exemplary people – just be aware that what worked for them may not be the best for you.


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