The School of Greatness

How to Find Your Highest Potential with David Epstein

The School of Greatness

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE BEST. So often we feel behind. Other people have already figured out what they want. Other people got started earlier. They’re sure of the path they’re on. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. I would have never thought I’d end up where I am now. My whole life I’ve been a generalist. I’ve never been the best at anything. There was always someone bigger, faster, and stronger. But I had heart and vision, and I was willing to work just as hard. This allowed me to collect a lot of different skills. Those skills, even though they seem random, make me successful on the path I’m on now. If you take your time and follow your inspiration, you’ll end up somewhere you couldn’t have even imagined. On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about finding your perfect career path with an expert on fulfilling work: David Epstein. David Epstein is a New York Times bestselling author and a science and investigative reporter. He co-authored the story for Sports Illustrator that revealed Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had used steroids. His writing has been honored by an array of organizations, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, to the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Center on Disability and Journalism, and has been included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. David gives example after example of people who had diverse backgrounds that seemed unrelated to the thing they ended up being famous for. He says that his most important projects are things he never could have planned. So get ready to learn why setting rigid long term goals may actually hold you back on Episode 817. Some Questions I Ask: How do we know what our best skills are? (22:30) What advice would you give your son about figuring out his career? (23:30) How do we do the matching process for ourselves? (43:00) Why do we have an obsession with being the best? (57:00) How do we know when we’ve found fulfillment? (1:04:00) In This Episode You Will Learn: About the concept “skill stacking” (10:00) Why David wrote his book on generalists (11:00) About The Dark Horse Project (13:30) Why “self-regulatory learning” is the most beneficial (16:00) About the “end of history allusion” (25:00) How David uses a “book of experiments” (48:00) Why we get stuck in the rut of competence (52:00)

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