Notes: Barking Up the Wrong Tree – The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong -By Eric Barker



Notes (mostly from the first half):

  • School teaches kids to conform and become generalists. However, both of those traits are not aligned to achieving success in the real world. They just become very average
    • e.g. it’s like telling someone to always drive below 50 km/h, it’ll be much safer but they’re not going to be the first to get anywhere
  • No such thing as “bad” traits, it just depends on the context. In the right environments, bad traits can be very good and vice versa.
    • e.g. how anti-social or obsessive many geniuses were contributed to their mastery
  • For high performance it’s the variances that matter, not the averages. However, as a society we keep trying to filter out the variances through school and how we reward people in their careers.
  • To perform and gain fulfillment one of the most important decisions is to just “pick the right pond”. Find the context and environment that leverages your strengths and will fit your type of personality
  • Three classifications for ethical decisions – Right, Wrong, Everybody Does It
  • People start cutting corners if they see others doing it. Bad behaviour is infectious
  • Pessimism kills Grit.
  • We are what we pretend to be. The stories you yourself tell define your experiences.
  • Motivation and happiness plummets when we feel what we’re doing is futile
  • Luck is just a function of people capitalizing on opportunities

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