..........on being a success from Sam Altman
You don't want to be in a career where people who have been doing it for two years can be as effective as people who have been doing it for twenty—your rate of learning should always be high. As your career progresses, each unit of work you do should generate more and more results.
Most people get bogged down in linear opportunities. Be willing to let small opportunities go to focus on potential step changes.
Self-belief is immensely powerful. . . . If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to let yourself have contrarian ideas about the future. But this is where most value gets created.
Self-belief must be balanced with self-awareness. I used to hate criticism of any sort and actively avoided it. Now I try to always listen to it with the assumption that it’s true, and then decide if I want to act on it or not. Truth-seeking is hard and often painful, but it is what separates self-belief from self-delusion.
Grit comes from learning you can get back up after you get knocked down.
Most people overestimate risk and underestimate reward. Taking risks is important because it’s impossible to be right all the time—you have to try many things and adapt quickly as you learn more.
Once you have figured out what to do, be unstoppable about getting your small handful of priorities accomplished quickly. I have yet to meet a slow-moving person who is very successful.
You have to figure out how to work hard without burning out. People find their own strategies for this, but one that almost always works is to find work you like doing with people you enjoy spending a lot of time with.
I have never met a very successful pessimistic person.