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5 Life Lessons from Tucker Max for Achieving Success

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Vince Wong of Project 1% recently directed me towards a transcript of a speech given by Tucker Max.

Regardless of popular opinion of Tucker Max and his antics, he makes some excellent points about mindsets, goals and habits. They were a great reminder for me to start off 2013, so I thought I would share.

#1. Courage is the recognition of your fear, and the decision to face it anyway. How do you get courage? Demonstrated performance. I developed courage by experimenting, taking risks, failing, and then trying again and again until I succeeded. Through risk and failure, I found my courage, and that’s how you can do it too.

This is a similar mindset to Agile Results. Whatever you choose to do, iteration is always the fastest way to the best results.

We may be taught in school through exams, pop quizzes and term papers that we only have one chance to get things right, but the real world doesn’t work that way.

If you do something and it isn’t quite there yet – do it again. And again. And again. Until it is. Iteration is the most efficient way to get the best result – tweaking for hours and hours when something is 99% “done” is not.

#2. Remember this: If someone can’t explain “why”, then they are a pawn in someone else’s game. There is always a reason why… the only question is if you know it.

Tucker Max is referring to asking why of other people, but don’t forget to ask it of yourself too. Every goal or outcome you have should have a why. A strong why. If you can’t answer why you are doing something, then you should really be asking if you should be doing it at all.

One of the secrets to productivity is spending as much time as possible doing things that progress you towards your goals. Asking why you’re doing any given task is a mechanism that we use to make sure that we’re doing that.

#3. There is no finding passion, just like there is no finding yourself. You don’t find yourself, you make yourself. You don’t find passion, you make passion.

Absolutely true. I don’t think any piece of advice has hurt more people in recent years than “follow your passion”. Most of us know numerous people out there trying to start businesses or careers based on their “passion” rather than simply doing something that provides value to others and growing to love it over time. This is not to say that there are not people out there who do what they love and are well-compensated for it (of course there are!) – but those people should be regraded as the exception rather than the rule.

#4. I mean this very literally: You decide who you become by what you do. The accumulation of decisions you make about where you focus your time and effort is what determines who you ultimately become. Excellence is not a single act, it is a habit. I don’t think most people really understand this.

Paraphrased from Charles Ngo: “Success is the result of doing the same small things every day over a long period of time.”

We also call these habits. Some great new habits that will make you more productive in 2013:


#5. Here’s the thing: No ones going to do this for you.

That sounds an awful lot like doing the right thing (most of the time).

Be sure to read the full transcript of the speech here!

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Posted by James Meuwissen  | January 24, 2015 at 12:07PM | Reply

I agree with Vinny. An excellent post, especially if you need help getting back on the rails, and moving your train forward to become successful.

Posted by Vinny  | January 11, 2013 at 1:29PM | Reply

Love this this post! It really has immediate applications, thanks!

Posted by Aaron Lynn  | January 16, 2013 at 5:03AM

Cheers mate!

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