In today’s global economy, competition is fierce. From an early age, we are taught that if we want to succeed as adults, we must do well in school and enroll in prestigious universities. But let us assume that much of the advice we have been given to succeed has been misleading.
More than following rules, breaking rules is the key to success. It’s about following your heart and not the crowd. Of course, self-confidence and hard work are also important, but they are of no use if there is no compelling goal in sight.
This book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker, shows you what you need to stay ahead of the crowd and achieve your goals in life through a few examples of success.
You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book review will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.
At the end of this book review, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree Book Summary
Lesson 1: It is very likely that the nice guys will come out on top in the end.
American doctor Michael Swango murdered at least 60 of his patients in the 1980s and 1990s. His co-workers all knew he was guilty of these crimes, but no one did anything to stop him.
This is another example of how wrongdoers routinely escape punishment. But does luck really favor the bad guys who dare to act on their own initiative?
One thing is certain, however: nice people are consistently paid less and evaluated less favorably than their evil counterparts. For example, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study showing that men who score low on the agreeableness scale can earn up to $10,000 more a year than men who score high.
Not only that, but nice guys who go the extra mile tend to get lower performance appraisal scores than their lazy counterparts who impress their superiors with adulation. In fact, studies have shown that the sincerity of the recipient makes no difference in the effect of the compliment on the recipient’s supervisor.
In other words, the good guys rarely win. Paradoxically, however, both have an equal chance of winning. For example, Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School, found that those who actively sought out others were overrepresented at both the lowest and highest levels of success, in engineering, sales, and medicine.
‘Takers,’ people who try to take from others and give nothing back, tended to be found in the middle, while ‘givers’ were more evenly distributed between the two extremes. It has been found that the most successful people in fields as diverse as engineering, science and sales are generous people.
While counterintuitive, this makes sense when you think about it: everyone has heard the story of a martyr who gave their all to help others, only to be taken advantage of in the end. We all know the benefactors who became successful thanks to the debt they incurred.
In other words, it’s not always bad to be nice. Even bad guys do not always succeed in their ventures. Michael Swango, the serial killer who was caught in 2000 and sentenced to three life terms, was finally caught.
Lesson 2: You can get through difficult times by telling yourself stories.
Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, better known today as “Dr. Q,” is considered one of the world’s leading experts in brain surgery. His laboratory is located on the grounds of Johns Hopkins Hospital, widely regarded as the finest medical facility in the United States. However, he was born into extreme poverty and spent his entire life as an illegal farm laborer, an occupation that required great courage and perseverance.
That sounds like something that could help anyone who possesses it, but where do you find such tenacity?
An interesting side note is that this is largely the result of positive self-talk. Research has shown that the average person uses between 300 and 1,000 words per minute when talking to themselves. Words like “I can do this” and “I can’t do this” are acceptable here.
One need only look to the military as a model. Since September 11, 2001, the United States Navy SEALS has been actively seeking new members. They’ve begun teaching aspirants to use positive self-talk to increase the success rate of the arduous initiation ritual known as “Hell Week.” Nearly 10% more students passed Hell Week after introducing this practice.
People can persevere because of their optimism, but there’s more to true perseverance than that. The stories people tell themselves about the meaning of their lives also play an important role.
Psychologist Viktor Frankl, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in 1944, is a good example of someone who thrived under these conditions. He soon noticed that some camp inmates lasted much longer than others, even though they showed no greater signs of physical or emotional strength than their shorter-lived fellow inmates.
Frankl observed this phenomenon and concluded that the people who survived were telling themselves stories about a meaning in life that went beyond their immediate circumstances. Frankl had one such meaning, which was to see his wife again. He often had imaginary conversations with her.
Lesson 3: While extroverts tend to make more money, experts tend to be introverts.
Is it possible for an individual to succeed in a work world that is increasingly focused on teams and networking? Is extroversion a prerequisite for professional success?
The odds are more likely for those who are gregarious and popular, at least if studies are to be believed. In the workplace, extroverts have a much better chance of financial and professional success than their more introverted colleagues.
A single study found that the top 20% of high school students earn 10% more as adults than the bottom 20%.
Moreover, even the negative behaviors typical of extroverts contribute to their greater financial success. For example, extroverts are more likely to socialize and form connections with others in social settings, such as bars. In another study, alcoholics were found to have a 10% higher income than non-alcoholics, so this could explain the difference.
Simply put, having a large social circle is beneficial, but it also carries significant potential for distraction. For this reason, introverts have a much better chance of becoming experts. For example, author and Olympic medalist David Hemery found that 89% of top athletes describe themselves as introverts and only 6% as extroverts.
And why? We all know that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to reach the level of an expert in any field. The simple fact is that extroverts do not have time to do the hard, solitary work required to acquire such expertise because they are too busy maintaining a large social network. Introverts, on the other hand, can concentrate and develop their talents without interruption.
Lesson 4: Success requires self-confidence, but arrogance can harm those around you.
A software error caused “Deep Blue,” the supercomputer against which chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov competed in 1997, to make a seemingly random move. Kasparov then doubted his own abilities and concluded that the computer was working with a strategy he could not decipher, which cost him the game.
This is a good example of the dangers associated with low self-confidence. When you succeed, your self-confidence rises.
Even when less successful workers have the same or higher levels of competence, those who have inflated self-esteem are more likely to be promoted. A number of studies have found that people who are confident in their abilities are more productive and willing to take on more difficult tasks, making them true showcase employees in the workplace.
So confidence is important, but how can you get more of it?
Attractiveness is a surefire way to boost self-confidence. Attractive women earn 4% more than their peers, and attractive men earn 3% more, likely due to this correlation.
In other words, those who believe in their abilities have more influence in their personal and professional lives. But this comes at a price: a person’s integrity can be compromised by overconfidence and power.
Some research has shown that people in leadership positions are less empathetic and more likely to treat their subordinates with contempt.
This may be because people in leadership positions often have to make decisions that harm some people in the short term, but are ultimately necessary to achieve greater long-term benefits. Generals, for example, are tasked with leading troops into battle to achieve military victory. Victory would be impossible if every general felt guilty after making such a decision.
Finally, studies have shown that people are more selfish and better liars when they feel powerful. This is because a person who has authority and self-confidence feels less guilty about lying to others because they are less worried about causing them harm. The connection between a sense of superiority and the likelihood of having an extramarital affair can be explained in this way.
Lesson 5: To achieve your goals, you must be willing to work long hours and constantly challenge yourself.
You’ve made it this far, so you must also be willing to develop the skills and attitudes mentioned in the previous blinks. But if you only work when inspiration strikes, you won’t become rich and famous. A solid work ethic is essential.
The time you invest in your work is the deciding factor between mediocre and spectacular results. While a high IQ is undoubtedly beneficial, it becomes increasingly irrelevant once it exceeds 120. Therefore, the most intelligent people who achieve their goals are also the most dedicated.
An example of this is a Harvard study that found that the highest-performing managers in various industries regularly work more than 60 hours per week. The results show that a person’s success is directly related to their productivity level, which in turn is directly related to the amount of time they spend.
Even more, studies have shown that the top 10% of workers in any complex occupation are 80% to 100% more productive than the average worker and 700% more productive than the bottom 10%.
Hard work isn’t the only requirement, however. How hard you work is directly proportional to how successful you’re. Keeping this in mind is critical, because people rarely make an effort to improve themselves as part of their normal jobs.
To take just one example: Studies have shown that medical professionals such as doctors and nurses don’t get better with experience. In another groundbreaking study, Benjamin Bloom examined the lives of prominent scientists, artists and athletes. A key finding was that the presence of someone whose expectations would push the mentee beyond his or her limits was more valuable to the mentee than access to insider knowledge or emotional support in these areas, where these factors were less pronounced.
Regardless of how you envision your success, prepare to invest the time and effort necessary to achieve your goal. You’ll be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree Book Review
Barking Up The Wrong Tree is a great book I’d like to recommend to anyone who is interested in personal development. If you spend some time digesting the ideas, it might make a positive impact on your life.
It is commonly believed that those who “make it” in life are of above-average intelligence and ability. However, to succeed, you need to focus on factors that are more within your control, such as your effort, motivation, and self-confidence. This means that anyone who puts in the effort can achieve phenomenal success.
Did you know that you increase your own likelihood of being happy by 15% by surrounding yourself with positive people? By doing good for those around you, you can increase your own sense of fulfillment. Try it sometime by helping a friend without expecting them to return the favor.
This will improve your friend’s opinion of you and also boost your own self-esteem. Sooner or later, you will return the favor to your friends and acquaintances.
How To Get Rich By Reading and Writing?
You must be an avid reader who is hungry for knowledge if you are reading this book review. Have you thought about making money using your reading and writing skills?
Thanks to the Internet, the world has undergone a massive change in recent years. Blogging has now become the best way to make money online.
Since no tech experience is required, as long as you’re good at writing, you can easily start a blog that generates cash flow for you while you sleep.
Warren Buffet said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
Instead of looking for a 9-5 job and staying in your comfort zone, it’s better if you become your own boss as soon as possible.
Find out how to build a blog and become a wealthy blogger today!