may 21, 2022
Retrofitting Genius: When Successful People Overestimate Their Own Exceptionalism
That same person could have done all of the exact same things, at a different time of their own life, and seen very different results.

I frequently see this sort of behavior on Twitter, in the “I did this and succeeded so if you want to succeed you should do these same things” type of posts.


When someone succeeds, whatever that particular success looks like for the person, it’s all too easy to attribute it to their own exceptionalism.


I appreciate it when someone who has walked the walk tries to help others along their path.


The problem?

The road to success looks very different from person to person.


Sure, successful people have some influence over their own fate. Smart, talented, driven people will likely outshine the lazy, uneducated, quitter.


Don’t Discount Other Factors

That same person could have done all of the exact same things, at a different time of their own life, and seen very different results.


Don’t underestimate the role of luck and timing. Sometimes a product or service comes at the precise right time and taps into the perfect moment.


Other times, it’s just dumb luck. The stars align and when the person tweets, it happens to be seen by someone with influence who then amplifies it, and away we go.


That turning point may not have happened the day before or the following week.


Guidance? Yes. Gospel? No.

Sure, see if any of the advice is applicable and give it a try if it seems like it could work for you.


But don’t treat it like a recipe, that when followed, will get you the same results as the “exceptional and successful genius”.


Nick Simard
I'm a bit of an eclectic misfit. You'll find everything from writing, to ADHD, technology, psychology, apps, family, automation, and anything in between. Enjoy!

@nicksimard on Twitter