Good Habits

I’ve been leisurely reading Tribe of Mentors, and I wonder about its applicability. I consider a book worth it1 if I get a single idea from it,2 so its not that value I wonder about. I wonder whether copying a single good habit or thought technology will even increase the likelihood of a reader’s own success.

I am on record as one who attributes a lot of life’s happenings to chance3, so these successful people are really just lucky people. Sure, they have worked hard, made good decisions, and are smart, but many unsuccessful people have worked hard, made good decisions, and are smart.

The common nerd-response to this kind of thin is to yell out selection bias4, but I’ve been wondering about a different aspect of the problem. How many of these successful people developed their good habits and deep introspection after they achieved success. Even if we asked them this very question, we wouldn’t be able to trust the answer completely.

The past sometimes changes.

  1. It being the time and money invested in the reading. 

  2. Everything is an input to my adjacent possible

  3. As a believer in God, chance in my head is bound up with—perhaps equal to—God’s will. The point is stuff happens, and we effectively have no control over what stuff happens to us. 

  4. In this case, the selection bias is that Tim Ferriss hasn’t written a book about middle managers who work at the local dog-food factory somewhere in the Midwest US. Middle managers who may have some of the same habits, favorite books, or billboard ideas. 

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