Smash Your Idols
Tim Ferriss had a great piece in the Huffington Post today on his productivity routine. I've read a lot about different people's productivity hacks, but there was something I particularly liked about this piece: Tim's list of failures.
Tim has three best-selling books and has been extremely successful. There are a lot of people who hang on to his every word and religiously follow his activities and advice, and he's earned it. So for him to write a post that makes him feel like he's "walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind" is quite remarkable.
And it also sets him apart.
It'd be so easy for someone like Tim Ferriss to take on a god-like persona. There'd be a lot of people out there willing to help him reinforce that - to treat him as some sort of super human being. In fact, a lot of people less successful than Tim try to act that way, and they often end up losing touch with reality (that's a topic for another time).
This piece reminded me of what has set my best teachers apart from the mediocre ones. The best teachers are the ones who are willing to expose their own flaws and mistakes to their students. This is a crucial step that makes the difference between the student thinking there's something "special" about his teacher that lets him/her be successful or thinking that he, too, can be as great as his teacher.
The same holds true for the successful people you admire... the minute you realize they are exactly like me and you and there's nothing that sets them apart from anyone else, you are empowered to achieve the same success and more.