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.
CREATING MENTAL MODELS
- (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.
INVESTMENT OF TIME
- 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.
WHAT IF EXERCISES
- 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.
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.
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, Amazon.com 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
Posted on April 30, 2016, in Super Achievers and tagged Alan Perlis, average, Bill Walton, Bob Newhart, Cecil B. De Mille, Charles Darwin, Donald Trump, George Lucas, Harry Truman, Jeff Bezos, Larry Niven, Louis Pasteur, Ludwig Wittgenstein, normal, Patrick Gisler, Shereen Hart, Super Achievers, Superstars, Wayne Gretzky. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.