Superstar Friends – by Gary S. Smolker

Connecting the Dots

I have a group of friends who are super achievers.

The one thing my super achieving superstar friends share in common is that they are fantastic at connecting the dots.

Superstars Out-Perform Competitors

My super achieving superstar friends dream big and have productive ways of thinking.

Having an active imagination and productive ways of thinking enables my super achieving friends to out-perform other people.

Make Good Choices

Common traits possessed by my super achieving superstar friends:

  • They see the whole picture.
  • They picture in their minds what they expect to see in GREAT detail.
  • They visualize what they expect to see with specificity.
  • Then they compare what they see with what they expected to see.
  • They compare what they actually see with what they visualized (predicted) they would see.
  • This enables them to see opportunities and to recognize problems that others don’t see.


  • (A) They create mental models.
  • (B) They are habitual forecasters.
  • (C) Having mental models enables them to process information as it arrives.
  • (D) They engage in constant forecasting.


  • They daydream about the future.
  • When life clashes with their imagination, they pay attention.


  • They are careful about how they invest their time.
  • They sign up for/they seek to work on projects that require them to seek out new colleagues, they seek out projects to work on which demand that they develop new abilities and skills.
  • They avoid tasks that leverage their existing skills.
  • They are drawn to risky assignments, especially new idea projects in their early stages.
  • They love to generate theories.


  • They are obsessive about trying to explain the world to themselves, to their colleagues, and to everyone else.
  • They constantly tell stories about what they have seen and heard.


  • They are much more prone to generate working mental models than people who don’t constantly tell stories about what they have seen and heard.


  • They push themselves to do a lot of “what if” exercises before an event.


  • Superstars build robust mental models at a near constant rate.
  • As a result of building robust mental models, including “what if models”, superstars “know” what their options are at all times.


  • They know where to focus their attention (they know what is important and what is not important to pay attention to).
  • They can figure out what they should turn their attention to and what they can ignore.
  • When and if their mental model comes apart, they shift their mindset, they replace the failed mental model with a new mental model.


You can’t delegate thinking.

To become genuinely productive you must take control of your attention.

You must focus on what matters most.

The most productive highest achieving people build the most robust mental models.

Action Implications

Get into the habit of telling yourself stories.

Get into the habit of day dreaming.

Get into the habit of “forecasting”, anticipating what is going to happen next, what is going to happen in the future.

Dream big.

Ideas to Daydream About

A good hockey player plays where the puck is.  A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. – Wayne Gretzky, hockey player

Your focus determines your reality. – George Lucas, movie director

Fools ignore complexity.  Pragmatists suffer it.  Some can avoid it.  Geniuses remove it. – Alan Perlis, computer programmer

It is not the strongest of the species who survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin, naturalist

Everything starts as somebody’s daydream. – Larry Niven, writer

Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow.  You doze off and die in your sleep. – Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher

What’s dangerous is not to evolve. – Jeff Bezos, CEO

Life without imagination would be utterly boring. – Shereen Hart, sex therapist

Creation is a drug I can’t live without. – Cecil B. De Mille, film director

How far would Moses have gotten if he had taken a poll in Egypt? – Harry Truman, 33rd U.S. President

If you don’t begin with big dreams, you can never fulfill them. – Donald Trump, real estate mogul and Republican Primary Candidate

You don’t win championships by just being normal, by just being average. – Bill Walton, basketball player

Don’t live in the past.  There’s no point.  You can’t change anything. – Bob Newhart, comedian

Photograph of Patrick Gisler

I asked my superstar friend to send me a photograph of himself to include in this post.

Pat sent me the two photos below with the comment, “Pick the one you like  the best.  In the picture on the right, I am the one with the pink nose.”





As you can see from the two photos (above) that Patrick selected to send to me, Patrick is not normal or average.

Not being normal, not being average, having a sense of humor, being brilliant, being well read, being a thinker, being a risk taker, having a robust mental model of how the world works, being lucky and being a high energy guy who perseveres through thick and being in the right place at the right time has made Patrick a super achiever.

By the way, as a hobby, among other things, Patrick breeds highly pedigreed race horses.

Copyright © 2016 by Gary S. Smolker, All Rights Reserved





About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail

Posted on April 30, 2016, in Super Achievers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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