The Seven Secrets of Success

Here it is: how to get, achieve, and have anything you want.

1) Neglect
Just don’t do it. Ignore things. Let ’em rot, because there’s something more important. You can only achieve something good by not doing a million other good things.

2) Never plan anything
Plans are alright, I suppose, if you have to keep some bureaucrat happy, but boy do they waste time. Ditch the plan, jump in the ditch, and start digging. Learn on the job.

3) Do what works
If it’s not working, why waste your time? See what gets results, and do that. Use your precious time as if it was precious.

4) Committees are for talking, not doing
I’m on stacks of committees and groups. They’re great, they give me a chance to get to know and work with all kinds of interesting people. One thing I’ve learnt: never try to work out details in a committee. Get the general outline, the sense of the direction, and appoint one or two people to go away and work stuff out.

5) Don’t listen to your guitar teacher
Mine was great – Barry Weeks, a patient teacher and skilled musician. But he said to me, ‘Don’t make what you love your life’. Sorry, Barry, but I did. And I never regretted it.

6) Old is better
It just is. Except for Ubuntu, which is awesome.

7) No-one beats the Buddha

12 thoughts on “The Seven Secrets of Success

    • I think he had been an inspired musician in his youth – but then spent his life teaching ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to spotty teenagers like me…

    • Maybe he meant “don’t make what you love your living”. I love playing music, especially for the enjoyment of other people, but I’d hate it to be a job.

    • And I was foolish enough to have tried pursuing that path. After making 3 of my instruments while incurring huge medical expenses to deal with the toxic materials used, it finally occurred to me that there was more to life than leaving behind autographed instruments for posterity. I was obviously not destined to be a Stradivari…

  1. Bhante

    I like what you have written here or more precisely the sentiments expressed.. If you dont mind i will use them in a business coaching , consultancy I want to start.

    Marcus Aurelius is quoted as saying that that once you start something you are half to the end….it’s getting started that is the issue 🙂

    If that’s true of enlightenment….maybe I am halfway there 🙂

    Bill Cuneo

    • Cheers, Bill, that’d be great. Of course I’ve been greatly inspired by all the masters of business inspiration – Tony Robbins and other scary people. Inspired, that is, to think, ‘How can they make so much money from simple platitudes? I could do that!’

    • I had a boss once who just let things ride…..when I would have acted…..funny thing was everything turned out well in the end . His policy of “do nothing ” seemed to work as things just sorted themselves out.

      When I look around at all the people in this world trying to save the world from climate change, starvation, pestilence , 2012 etc.. …..maybe they are making things worse….?..

      The thing that has always intrigued me was that the Buddha wasn’t a social activist…….he seemed to have a policy of do nothing and meditate… Worked out him………hmmmmm

  2. The old, ditch digging nun who dislikes planning and is getting used to ignoring most things agrees entirely.

    I believe that you need to spend a little time reflecting so you can decide on what is the most important thing to be doing right NOW, ditch everything else, plan a bit if that is what is required and then just go for it. I think the benefit of old is that you can get by with less planning because often you just know – you’ve probably been there, done that before many times.

    Although I don’t like planning, experience tells me that there are some circumstances, such as developments in the natural environment, where it is essential. Very large developments that impact the safety and livelihood of many people are also worthy of a bit of planning – the very projects that of necessity create slow, unwieldy bureaucracies.

    Now, should I have ignored some other more pressing priorities, in order to spend time responding to a blog post? Absolutely since it was entirely unplanned!

    • Yes, Ven, we shifted over to Ubuntu at Santi a few years ago. No copyright issues, no paying for software, fast, secure, no viruses. And, as you so well put it in your blogpost, it’s part of an astonishing, sustained work of dana by thousands of people over decades. A truly Buddhist project!

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