[July 23, 2022] Who are you trying to be? This question is relevant if you want a truthful answer to this question of how to become radically successful. To illustrate, if you desire to be exceptionally successful in your career and focus on it, you can get a long way in it and advance to the top of your profession.
However, choosing this strategy is preferred by a minority of men. But that’s all they do. They work 70, 80, or 100 plus hours per week. They go flat out on their career and are steaking everything on the probability of exceptional status in a narrow domain of their career. It is no secret that this strategy is hard on them. They don’t have a life. It’s difficult to have a family or close friends. They don’t know how to take leisure time. These are very one-dimensional men.
And that may be the price for wild success in their career. If you are going to do this and be at the top of your game, then you are working at least 70 hours per week and likely more, and you are on-call all the time, and they take on great responsibilities. They are intelligent, dedicated, but unidimensional. That is how you get to beat all the other people who are doing that. It’s the only way.
The problem for these men is they don’t get a life. They sacrifice a lot; they pay a considerable cost for extraordinary success.
If you are interested in a healthy life, that is not what you do. You spread yourself out more. You have a family, some things you do outside of work that are meaningful to you and valuable, and you have a network of friends. Then, if one of these collapses, your life is not destroyed. Now, there is a price for that as well. The more you strive to optimize that balance, the less likely you will be fantastically successful at any single one.
Dr. Jordan Peterson says, quoting Carl Jung, that men go after perfection and women go after wholeness. Perfection would be to stake it all on one thing and look for radical success and being great. The wholeness idea is you want many things in your life to be good, but not necessarily any one of them great. There is far more richness in life when many things operate at a good level, but you’re not operating any one of them at the great level.
Maybe you want to be a great scientist or high-ranking military officer. Okay, do you really want this? If the answer is yes, that means that is what you do, period. You’re competing with other smart and hardworking people, and if you want to be at the top, you have to be smarter and work harder than any of them. And working hard means working long hours.
If I’m smart and hardworking and can crank out for 70 hours per week, and you (as my competitor) only do it for 40 hours a week, then in two years, I’m so far ahead of you; you will never catch up to me. You get to choose your poison.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).