The Success Equation

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    99 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    The equation for success at anything:

    1. Try something and fail.
    2. Learn as much as possible from that failure.
    3. Speed up the feedback loop of useful failures.
    4. Repeat indefinitely.

    If you want to be successful: find the failure that feels fun.

    Most people don’t succeed because they’re either unwilling to fail or they get tired of failing before those failures pay off.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Four things for you to ask yourself

    What do you have fun failing at? How has that paid off for you? What do you keep trying to excel but hate failing at? How has that held you back?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Give up something where the failure feels uninspiring. Instead, double your focus on something where failure feels fun.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    New This Week

    How to Overcome Your Biggest Fear – Back in September, I met up with two fans who are afraid of driving. I worked with them for three days and by the end of it, I had them driving supercars on a racetrack, drifting, and taking a cross-country road trip. We documented the entire process on video, so head over to the YouTube channel to check it out!

    7 Paradoxes That Will Change the Way You Think About Everything – Paradoxes are a fan-favorite and in this podcast episode, I break down seven of the most impactful paradoxes that I’ve come across in all of my years of research. Whether it’s the fact that having more optionality reduces a sense of freedom, that discomfort makes life easier, or avoiding problems multiplies them, we have some intellectual fun on this mind-bending episode.

    Get a Free Life Audit for 2024 – Start the new year off right with a worksheet that helps you evaluate where you’re giving your fucks and where you should give more/fewer in 2024. The PDF is free to anyone with one small string attached. We’re running a promo to help promote the podcast on Apple and Spotify, so all I ask is that you listen to an episode, leave a rating/review and send in proof of that review. My team will then send you a copy of the Life Audit PDF. Hit the button below for more info.

    Last week’s breakthroughs (and a question answered)

    In last week’s newsletter, I pointed out that the best things in life are found on the other side of your fears and asked you to dive into something that scares you, then see what happens.

    My challenge prompted Zoe into action:

    Your last email about fear couldn’t have landed in my inbox at a better time. For months now, I’ve been miserable at work: many of my colleagues refuse to collaborate and communication is all-around horrendous. I’ve been wanting to leave but I’ve been so afraid to say anything for one big reason: I work for my dad’s company.

    I took your advice: talked to my dad about my desire to leave the company and I was honest with him about my fear of causing him pain. He reacted with more empathy and understanding than I ever could have hoped for: he was honest with me that he was sad to see me go, but instead chose to focus on the bright side of it, reminding both of us that we were lucky to have had the opportunity to work together for years.

    I’m so glad I finally had the courage to face my fear rather than continuing to let it control me. I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and for the first time in a while, I feel hopeful about my professional future.

    A different Zoe also made it to the other side of her fears:

    For years I was rejecting the idea of being a teacher, I was terrified of it. I was terrified of all the stories of teacher burnout, of so many teachers leaving the profession, of high workloads, high stress…. but since I enrolled on a teacher training course this year, my life has changed significantly for the better. Everything has flowed for me in a way that they haven’t for years, and I am significantly happier. You are so correct that the best things in life are on the other side of fear!

    This next reader survived a difficult conversation and has a message for all of you:

    I read this email moments after breaking up a two-year on-off codependent situationship. I had put off having the hard conversation for months due to fear about how it would be received, and, if I’m being totally honest, what making this decision would say about me. I had to take some deep breaths and push through some uncomfortable moments, but the relief and pride I feel for honoring myself and doing the hard-but-right thing feels absolutely incredible.

    To anyone reading who might be putting off a big conversation, let me tell you, the fence is the most uncomfortable place to be sitting.

    Sabina shared her current fear and asked a great question:

    I am on the verge of a major change in my life—moving my whole family across the country. I struggle with the question: How do I know if the anxiety I am experiencing is because of fear of the unknown or if it is because the decision is wrong in the first place?

    I’ve experienced the difference between these two fears as one having a mixture of excitement and one having a mixture of dread.

    Any major life change should be accompanied by some fear, but that fear should be mixed with a genuine excitement and hopefulness. The positive reasons for the change should be clear and feel worth the accompanied anxiety.

    Where you run into trouble is when the major life change doesn’t have clear or obvious benefits, or you thought you would be excited but aren’t, that’s when there’s a red flag, in my opinion.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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