Whatever career you are pursuing, you have an ambition to succeed. That success is measured by your aspirations, and not everyone has the same idea of success. We have been learning about it our whole lives, but let’s see what eccentrics can teach us about success. Maybe you’ll find something that you haven’t heard or thought about before.
1. Quentin Tarantino on never giving up and staying true to yourself
“There are two ways: my way and the highway.”
Quentin Tarantino is one of the best and most famous directors in the world. His success didn’t happen overnight and without effort. We can learn a lot from Quentin Tarantino, but the most important lesson he has taught us is to always be original and not to stop after the first bad review.
Because of his eccentric nature, and an incredibly unique point of view on how films should be made, he has faced many bad reviews from critics in the past. Even his film True Romance was rejected many times by the studios. No matter what some people from the movie industry said, he stayed true to himself and his work; he never changed to fit a mold and he never gave up on his work.
Just like Quentin Tarantino, you should always stand up for yourself, stay true to yourself, and proudly fight for your work. On your path to success, you will face many rejections and not everyone will say nice things about you. The most important thing is not to get discouraged and never give up if you want to succeed.
2. Hetty Green (aka “The Witch of Wall Street”) on thinking smart and being determined
“There is no great secret in fortune making. All you do is buy cheap and sell dear, act with thrift and shrewdness and be persistent.”
Hetty Green was the richest woman in the world 100 years ago. She inherited a lot of money from her father, but she reached true success on her own. She was the textbook definition of a miser and she didn’t really enjoy her fortune. But, what she enjoyed even less was the idea that someone else would get their hands on her wealth, so she made a will to ensure that her relatives didn’t inherit a cent of her vast fortune.
There are many funny stories about her and her temper, but she made it possible for women to get into the business world. She was fierce and many men were were afraid of her — they just couldn’t keep up with her smart moves and strategies. She taught us is that there is no secret in fortune making when it comes to Wall Street, you just need to buy cheap and wait for the hype to build, then sell for a lot of money.
What we can learn about success from “The Witch of Wall Street” is that, no matter how hard it is out there, a smart strategy combined with determination can take you to the top.
3. Hunter S. Thompson on luck in life
“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”
Hunter S. Thompson was an eccentric journalist who never regretted his way of life and, as he said, had a different perspective on life. One of his most famous works, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was based on actual personal experiences and is a perfect testament to the man’s exquisite eccentricity.
As Hunter knew very well, luck constantly swings back and forth, and most of us cannot control it. However, what we should learn is to take the best of what luck brings us, and try to find a solution when it betrays us. Many people are just surviving in the business world, and many of them, unfortunately, give in to disaster.
Success doesn’t depend solely on luck, although luck can significantly contribute to it. We have to learn to get the best out of the good times, when luck is on our side, and prepare for the hard times equipped with knowledge and solutions.
4. Björk on believing in happiness
“You can’t say no to hope. Can’t say no to happiness!”
She is an eccentric singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who released her first album with when she was 27 years old. Björk had released an album previously, in which she sang covers of popular songs, but when offered another record deal, she refused. Instead, she bought a piano with the money she’d earned and started composing her own tunes.
Through her music and life choices, she always believed in nature, goodness, hope, and happiness. When she went to music school and released an album, she didn’t give up on making it on her own by infusing it with her unique and eccentric style. Björk managed to do everything she wanted, because she never stopped believing in happiness and hope.
Those are the two things you need to have all the time. Otherwise, you will give in to disaster and not be able to keep the balance. If you don’t believe strongly that you will succeed, why start your career at all? Becoming successful in any field is tough, and you will fail many times before you find your way to the top. What will keep you motivated and determined is your hope.
Believe, hope, work on your success, and always choose happiness.
5. Nikola Tesla on failure
“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more”
The textbook example of an eccentric genius inventor, Tesla paved the road for many of the technologies we take for granted in this modern age. He knew a thing or two about solid work ethic. As Nikola Tesla said, our virtues and failings are inseparable, and there’s no successful person in the world who hasn’t failed. You cannot simply got through life without making a wrong move, because it’s the only way to learn.
In short, there’s no success without failure.
6. Lord Byron on being a leader
“When we think we lead, we are most led.”
When you get to become a leader of a team, you will probably have a lot on your mind. By reading about being a great leader, you can get a basic grasp of the core principles, but you won’t truly become a great leader until you’ve been in the trenches with your team and made tough judgement calls.
A good leader isn’t focused on leading, but on being led by their team members. This doesn’t mean being manipulated by them, but having open conversations and meetings with them and, together, coming up with solutions. Your employees will lead you through their advice and comments on how to make them the best they can be.
A great leader is constantly learning, while being led by their employees.
7. Woody Allen on the key to success
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
According to Woody Allen, the key to success is showing up — this is a rule everyone should follow. There is no way to catch a good opportunity if you don’t show up. Even if you think some interview or meeting is meaningless, show up and find out for sure. It may be a waste of time, but it may also bring you success. Never assume you won’t get some opportunity. You never know who you might meet and who can help you out.
This formula applies to other spheres of your life, like achieving your fitness goals and learning new skills. The way to guarantee steady results is to show up for work, show up for the classes, and drag your butt to the gym. You have to stay consistent with your efforts and put in the work. The rest will come naturally.
These famous eccentrics never gave up on their unique points of view, and they all succeeded in their fields. Some of their traits and strategies might have been wrong, but in the end, we will always know them as great minds. Always stay true to yourself, fail, believe, and only then will your success become an inevitability.