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Anyone who follows professional basketball knows the name Kobe Bryant.
He’s the name you obnoxiously yell when attempting a fadeaway in a pickup game.
Kobe is well-known for obvious reasons. He is third on the all-time NBA scoring list. He played in 18 All-Star games. He won five championships.
But there’s one stat that people have a tendency to gloss over: Kobe has missed the most shots of any NBA player in history.
He missed a record 13,766 shots during his career.
Yet, none of us seem to care. We admire his successes and ignore his failures.
The older I get, the more I have noticed this trend in other areas. When people succeed, their success tends to stick with them. When they fail, their failure tends to fall by the wayside.
J.K. Rowling received a dozen rejection letters for her first Harry Potter book.
Tom Brady has lost three Super Bowls.
Lebron has lost five NBA Finals.
Steve Jobs has a list of failed tech ventures. The Apple Lisa. The Powermac g4 cube. The Apple III.
Yet, all of these people are defined by their successes, not their failures. I like to think of this phenomenon as sticky success.
When you succeed, that success sticks with you and propels you forward. You gain recognition. You receive more demand for your work. More opportunities. Failures, on the other hand, are largely ignored and forgotten.
I have applied this insight to my blogging habits.
Last summer I decided to start writing every day.
I don’t write a lot purely for the sake of quantity. I write a lot because I know that it’s the best way to produce one or two pieces of content worth sharing each week. The articles that are good will get shared. The ones that are mediocre will just be forgotten.
Over time, my writing will get a little better and my readership will slowly grow. The good articles will push me forward while the mediocre ones will just become irrelevant.
I think this approach can be applied to any field.
Write more. Send more cold emails. Apply for more scholarships, more internships, more jobs, more freelance gigs. Try more side hustles, more business ventures, more blogging techniques.
Over time, you’ll rack up a list of failures as well as successes. Success will stick with you and help you advance. Failures will fall away.
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