Sam Altman on speed, Steve Jobs' life advice, and the 4 types of luck

Jun 17, 2024
Z Fellows

1: Sam Altman on Speed

“Focus is a force multiplier on work.

Almost everyone I’ve ever met would be well-served by spending more time thinking about what to focus on. It is much more important to work on the right thing than it is to work many hours. Most people waste most of their time on stuff that doesn’t matter.

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.” — Sam Altman

Source: How to Be Successful

2: Steve Jobs’ Life Advice For Young People

Don’t be a career. The enemy of most dreams and intuitions, and one of the most dangerous and stifling concepts ever invented by humans, is the “Career.” A career is a concept for how one is supposed to progress through stages during the training and practicing of your working life.

There are some big problems here. First and foremost is the notion that your work is different and separate from the rest of your life. If you are passionate about your life and your work, this can’t be so. They will become more or less one. This is a much better way to live one’s life.

The risk factor quotient goes down as you encounter the real world. Many people find what they believe to be safe harbors (lawyers and accountants), only to wake up ten or fifteen years later and discover the price they paid.

Make what you love your work. The journey is the reward. People think that you’ve made it when you’ve gotten to the end of the rainbow and go the pot of gold. But they’re wrong. The reward is in crossing the rainbow. That’s easy for me to easy — I got the pot of gold (literally). But if you get to the pot of gold, you already know that that’s not the reward, and you go looking for another rainbow to cross.

Think of your life as a rainbow arcing across the horizon of this world. You appear, have a chance to blaze in the sky, and then you disappear. The two endpoints of everyone’s rainbow are birth and death. We all experience both completely alone. And yet, most people of your age have not thought about these events very much, much less even seen them in others. For me it’s the opposite: to know my arc will fall makes me want to blaze while I am in the sky. Not for others, but for myself, for the trail I know I’m leaving.” — Steve Jobs

Source: Make Something Wonderful

3: Naval Ravikant on The 4 Types of Luck

“A lot of people think making money is about luck. It’s not. It’s about becoming the kind of person that makes money. In 1,000 parallel universes, you want to be wealthy in 999 of them. You don’t want to be wealthy in the 50 of them where you got lucky. We want to favor luck out of it.

There’s four kinds of luck that we’re talking about.

1/ Blind luck

The first kind of luck you might say is blind luck. Where I just got lucky because something completely out of my control happened. That’s fortune, that’s fate.

2/ Luck from hustling

Then there’s luck that comes through persistence, hard work, hustle, motion. Which is when you’re running around creating lots of opportunities, you’re generating a lot of energy, you’re doing a lot of things, lots of things will get stirred up in the dust.

3/ Luck from preparation

A third way is that you become very good at spotting luck. If you are very skilled in a field, you will notice when a lucky break happens in that field. When other people who aren’t attuned to it won’t notice. So you become sensitive to luck and that’s through skill and knowledge and work.

4/ Luck from your unique character

Then the last kind of luck is the weirdest, hardest kind. Which is where you build a unique character, a unique brand, a unique mindset, where then luck finds you. You created your own luck. You put yourself in a position to be able to capitalize on that luck. Or to attract that luck when nobody else has created that opportunity for themselves.

Make luck your destiny. Build your character in a way that luck becomes deterministic.” — Naval Ravikant

Source: How to Get Rich