I’m a regular listener of the Tim Ferriss Podcast, where Tim “deconstructs the habits of world-class performers” to the tune of 2- and 3-hour interviews that get very in-depth (Tim’s is one of the most popular podcasts on the planet). I was surprised, then, to see a 17-minute episode posted to Tim’s podcast feed a couple weeks ago.
The in-between-isode in question was a clip from a talk given by a man named Astro Teller. I had never heard of Astro Teller, but Tim introduced Astro as a well-accomplished science guy and businessman (read the show notes at that link to see Teller’s impressive resume) who’s worked with several big companies whom I’ve heard of, but couldn’t tell you exactly what they do.
Astro’s talking clip was all about not competing.
That’s not a typo. Astro explains how competing puts a business or an individual in a (intelligence / skill / money-spending / selling / beauty / politicking) contest, one which we usually won’t win — and even when we do, there’s always another competitor coming along. I listened to the episode four times in a row, then went on YouTube and added ten of Teller’s speeches to my Watch Later queue.
Astro beseeches his audiences to not build a ladder to the moon, which, though a sound plan, would simply take too long, but instead to solve problems that are 10 times bigger than what anyone else is even considering.
I connected with Teller instantly because I love this mentality. Grant Cardone wrote a book about the mentality that’s in my personal Top 5. Seth Godin wrote a post about it in 2012 that I still read to this day. Tim Ferriss himself had a quote about it in his first book. Danny, Rusty and 9 other guys did it in Ocean’s 11.
Go to the level that no one else wants to go to. Aim for the goal that no one else is even trying to accomplish. There’s much less resistance, and you’ll be more motivated to keep after it.
For Your Game
- Slow and steady does not win races — speed (moving faster and more often than anyone else) and quantum leaps (achieving your 5-year plan in 12 months, for example) do. Speed is a matter of energy and activity. Quantum leaps are a matter of thinking on a level above mere incremental, one-day-at-a-time progress and seizing opportunity when opportunity is present. Look at anyone who’s famously successful, and there’s a quantum leap (which may or may not be public knowledge) somewhere in that story. Read The Super You if you haven’t yet, and follow that with ASAP Confidence to build your belief for those leaps.
- What about something like a job promotion, or playing a sport, where the competition is right there in front of you? Well, yes — in basketball for example, you do need to score more points than the other guy to win. But your existence outside of that particular game is not based on what the other guy is doing. Your standards are not centered around be better than this player or score more than the player ranked ahead of me. Your standards are based on you being the best that you can be, which is probably way ahead of merely beating him, them or her. Don’t anchor yourself to other people. Read about that in The Mental Handbook.
- Everyday discipline and sticking to the program still have their place. It’s the doing of the daily work that prepares and conditions you to be ready when that quantum leap opportunity comes. Can’t take a quantum leap if your legs aren’t trained for jumping, or you’re too heavy to propel your body forward, or if you’re not in good enough cardiovascular shape to quickly jump again if the first jump doesn’t work. It all works together. That’s what 30 Days To Discipline is for.
How can you take a quantum leap in your life right now? What would it do for you? Reply and let me know.