Success = Positioning + Opportunity

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” - Bob Dylan

I figured it's important to frame the conversation with a definition of this elusive "success" we all talk about. So far I haven't come across an answer that resonates better than this quote.

What I've come to realize over time is that building good habits and eliminating bad ones is the primary driver of success. There isn't one specific thing, this unicorn we all seem to seek, but instead consistent small steps forward. Now I think it's important to understand the differences and relationship between habits, position, and opportunity and how they relate to "success."

Habits are actions that you consistently take and that can be intentionally designed. Often times it is the sum of many good habits and the removal of bad ones that positions someone for greatness.

Position is being in the right place at the right time. Through habits you can create Position. This is why success is more ambition than luck.

Opportunity in this context is what I think many people refer to as luck. It is the X factor which cannot be controlled. Yet similar to sunny days, almost everyone will experience it. The question is not, will Opportunity present itself, but rather, when it does will you be paying enough attention to notice and in a Position to take full advantage of it?

To illustrate this, let's think about an example.

Habits: You choose to put away a portion of your income every time you get paid, without fail. You don't turn around and spend this money on frivolous crap.
Position: Over time you acquire $10k in cash savings.
Opportunity: You are approached by a close friend looking for seed investment money for her new company. After careful evaluation, you choose to invest $1,000 in exchange for a portion of the company.

Whether or not that particular company succeeds doesn't even matter. Maybe it grows to a $10MM company and life suddenly gets pretty sweet. Maybe you lose a $1,000 but it's no big deal because you were in a position to risk it. What is important is that through a consistent set of good habits, you repeatedly position yourself so that you can afford to take risks.

Related Stuff Worth Checking Out:
Naval Ravikant on Happiness Hacks and the 5 Chimps Theory
This podcast episode is what got me thinking about habits and is incredibly interesting.

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