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Accumulation of Advantage

Harriet Zuckerman, a sociologist, was investigating the roots of scientists who do top-class work leading to breakthroughs and discoveries.

After researching and digging in, the answer she came to was that the scientists who did the most groundbreaking work were not necessarily smarter or harder working, but rather built up an "accumulation of advantages."

By getting slightly ahead earlier in their careers, they'd get more opportunities to make interesting connections, present at events and conferences, get onto interesting research projects, connect with luminaries, find mentors, receive funding and grants, etc.

Any one of those, in isolation, wouldn't make the difference. But over 20 years, the gradual accumulation of advantages put them into places where they had the skills, connections, mental models, resources, credibility, etc, etc, to be working on the right problems with the right people and the right resources/tools at their disposal. And so they'd do breakthrough work.

If you buy the hypothesis, it suggests that it's not any one major point that leads to breakthroughs -- it's about gradually accumulating important, relatively small advantages, and watching them stack up and work as multipliers for you.

"Total Focus; Total Enjoyment" by Tynan

I'm thrilled that Tynan is coming to you with two things -- first, he's offering a breakthrough session through GiveGetWin. It's geared around doing more of the kind of excellent work you want to do, becoming more internally focused with your emotions, having a more enjoyable life, building great habits, and producing a lot of value in the process. There's five spots, so check it out now.

Second, we have this wonderful tour-de-force interview: it starts by covering how Tynan made the shift from unfocused to focused, how to derive internal enjoyment from things, useful actionable exercises you can do right now, Tynan's method and mindset for producing creative work consistently, how to set up great habits and an excellent mental and physical work environment, and how to make blogging work and similar endeavors work for you. 

Total Focus; Total Enjoyment by Tynan, as told to Sebastian Marshall

When I turned 30 and I had a minor freak out… I thought, "I'll be 40 in not long, and then 50… there's things I want to do in my life, and they're not happening at this pace."

Before that, I had a general idea of things I wanted to do and have in my life, but I went about in an unstructured way. It was good in a lot of ways. It made be a broad process, but not much depth.

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