Ed Latimore on Success: Scott Adams’ Periscope Session – 3/21/19

Watch the Periscope here

Key Takeaways

  • Focus hard on finding one thing you can become really good at through practice
    • Once you know it’s in your power to learn a skill and become good at it, you start to adopt the mindset of – “Oh, I can do this in other areas as well”
  • Superpowers in the modern age:
    • Not caring what other people think
    • Not being easily embarrassed
    • Being able to manage, control, and break addictions
  • “All success comes down to is trying to make something cool for the world and then presenting it”
  • Hit the gym if you aren’t already
    • Your fitness influences a lot more than commonly realized:
      • The way you think
      • The type of challenges you’re willing to take on
      • The amount of embarrassment you can handle – “Every bad feeling that limits you is decreased after a good workout”
  • “A lot of people are stuck in life because aside from not acting on the advice they do get, they don’t actually find any new advice”
  • One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a personal project that gets you out of bed in the morning
  • You are NOT static. You can change your circumstances if you want to.

Intro

Ed’s Life Story

  • He grew up “right in the heart of the worst housing project in Pittsburgh, PA”
  • When he was 18, Ed went to college, but ended up failing out after 3 semesters
    • This is when Ed first started drinking heavily (he stopped at age 28 – “I had to put the bottle down or I was gonna do something unforgivable or irreversible”)
  • During his 20s, Ed started boxing – he eventually went pro (his overall record was 13-1)
    • In a way, boxing replaced drinking for Ed
    • Around this time as well, Ed joined the militarily and headed back to school to major in physics and minor in mathematics (he graduated with a 3.9 GPA)
      • Oddly enough – Ed says he actually failed most of his math classes in high school
  • Ed has since retired from boxing after several injuries
    • He definitely misses the sport, but not so much the huge time commitment (~20-30 hours/week of training time)

How did Ed come to be who he is? Where did his mindset come from?

  • Consider – He came from a very poor area, he’s black, and he had a drinking problem
    • “You pretty much were starting in a deep hole” – Scott
  • Ed says boxing really helped transform hum
    • “Prior to boxing I had a fixed mindset – where I was in life was where I was and I couldn’t improve it”
    • Ed realized that if he could improve his physical abilities in boxing – well, he could probably do the same for his mind
      • Ed the translated this mindset to his mental state and his own emotions
        • “I now understand that nothing’s going to kill me. Most of the things that people freak out about…I’ve seen people get killed! Come on – how bad can life be?”
    • Related – Scott often advises people to focus hard on finding one thing they can become really good at through practice
      • Once you know it’s in your power to learn a skill and become good at it, you start to adopt the mindset of – “Oh, I can do this in other areas as well”

Ed’s Family Influence

  • For the most part, Ed was raised by a single mother
  • What did Ed’s mom teach him?
    • “My mom taught me not to be afraid of people and things”
    • Another lesson – She taught Ed to face his problems head-on, rather than run away from them
  • Here’s what Scott’s mother taught him:
    • That he could be the best at anything he truly wanted to be the best at
    • To have a bias for action
      • Acting > thinking too long about a decision
    • To figure things out on his own

Personal Superpowers

  • Ed’s superpower (that’s he’s gotten a lot better at) – not caring what other people think (like his book) – how did he come to be this way?
    • Back when Ed was younger, he structured his personality around trying to fit in/be liked
      • “I didn’t care so much about being respected as being invited to the next party”
      • He was trying to create an image…someone that other people liked
    • At 28, Ed didn’t like the path he was on and knew something had to change
      • He joined the military and eventually went cold sober because of it
    • Now instead of trying so hard to be liked, Ed focuses on just being respected and accomplished
  • Naval Ravikant, in these Podcast Notes from his recent appearance on Periscope with Scott said that it’s a superpower today to be able to handle your own addictions
  • Scott says his superpower is his inability to be embarrassed
  • On not caring what others think, Scott adds:
    • Everyone has their own problems and issues – NO ONE cares about you/what you’re doing/what you look like as much as you think they do

Success

  • “Successful people are usually successful because of a flaw, not despite a flaw” – Scott
  • “If you like everything about your self, what the hell are you going to try and improve?”
    • Successful people often have a constantly unfulfilled desire to better themselves and their careers
      • On Elon Musk – “That guy is too driven to not have some issues”
      • Successful people tend to have this constant thought running in the back of their minds that says something like – “If you don’t do X – you know you’ll feel like a piece of shit, so you better do it”
      • Use your insecurities to push you to better yourself, rather than as something you try to run away from
  • “All success comes down to is trying to make something cool for the world and then presenting it” 
  • A great quote – 
    • “Running is hard, but being fat is harder”

What advice would Ed have for a troubled teen?

  • Figure out what your natural advantage is and then become the top 10% in the world at that
    • For Ed, it’s teaching/public speaking – he absolutely loves it
  • Get in the gym
    • “You’re whole life can go from 0 to hero just by spending 6 months taking care of your nutrition and fitness”
    • Scott adds – Your fitness influences many things:
      • The way you think
      • The type of challenges you’re willing to take on
      • The amount of embarrassment you can handle – “Every bad feeling that limits you is decreased after a good workout”
    • “Working on your body just puts you in a place where you don’t even have the time to do a lot of the other bullshit [like drinking] that you’d do otherwise”
  • As the song says – “Never trust a big butt and a smile”
    • Avoid dating (and being friends with) the wrong people

Intellectual Curiosity

  • Scott describes Ed as a “seeker of knowledge”
  • Ed always tries to make sure his mind stays sharp – how?
    • Reading books
    • Listening to/watching a PBS series on YouTube where they break down different physics problems
    • By spending a lot of time learning Portuguese (Ed’s moving to Portugal in the summer)
  • In a way, Ed says he had a deprived childhood – he never played youth sports or learned any skills (like playing chess, or the piano etc.)
    • For this reason, he’s trying to make up for it as an adult
  • Scott adds:
    • “It seems to be the biggest obstacle anyone could ever have is to not be curious”
  • “Intellectual curiosity, to me, is the most important thing in evaluating another person”
    • Prior to dating his current girlfriend, this is something Ed looked for in a partner
  • “A lot of people are stuck in life because aside from not acting on the advice they do get, they don’t actually find any new advice”

Dissecting Some of Ed’s Tweets

  • “Every time I read one of your tweets, I end up almost hurting my neck from nodding in agreement so hard” – Scott
  • The tweets:
    • “People really have the ass-backwards nerve to think THEIR problem with you is your concern”
    • “Your personal future should make you excited. If it doesn’t, then something is very wrong.”
      • Scott advises that everyone have at least one personal project they’re working on that truly excites them – something that could change the world (or change you)
      • “If you don’t have something to get you out of bed….I can’t imagine that”
        • “You need a dream – something you’re going after”
    • “Success shows you who is really rooting for you and who is hoping you’d fail. Not all of your friends will be happy you made it and it will show.”
      • Scott relates this to his concept of “cultural gravity” (which means – your friends are either picking you up or dragging you down)

Wrapping Up

  • Life can get hard, but realize that you CAN change your situation. It may suck for a while, but if you put in the work, your life will change for the better.

Random

  • Ed is currently a physics and math tutor in the school district where he lives
  • Scott was valedictorian of his high school class
    • He was often called a “nerd” or made fun of, what got him through it? – He always thought to himself – “One day you’re gonna work for me”
  • Ed is a fan of homeschooling
    • The biggest reason being is you can move at your own pace, rather than at the pace of your peers

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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