An Estimate For Success

Everyone wants to be successful, but what exactly does success mean? One common interpretation is success means leading a life completely free of trouble. No mistakes. No failures. Success means a life of absolute triumph. This is completely unrealistic, but if it’s what you want, then here is how to get there.

Mad Scientist

Actual results may vary.

First, if you want to live a life free from failure, then you need to make sure you never, ever overestimate.

You should never overestimate the situation you are in. Things might seem dire. You could be facing a deadline or a monster, and not know what to do. But things aren’t that bad. If you feel like you are up against the end of the world, then you are overestimating. You will know when the world is really ending. No situation is a bad as the worst situation. As long as you don’t overestimate and freak yourself out, then you should be fine under any circumstances.

You should not overestimate other people, either. Everyone will be trying to sell their skills to you. Like you, they want to be successful. Or at least be seen as successful. So they are all projecting an aura of confidence. This is fine, but not to be automatically trusted. Few people are as good at things as they say they are. Especially the people who say they are good at things! It is better to assume that everyone makes mistakes, instead of overestimating that they won’t.

While you are not overestimating other people, make sure you remember not to overestimate yourself. There are many times when we focus on what we are good at, and are blind to what we are bad at. It is ok to be skilled, and better to know you are skilled. But if you truly think you are the best at something then you are overestimating yourself, and it will really hurt when you fail.

Crashed Skier

“I thought I could make it…”

Of course, a life free from failure is about more than not overestimating anything. In order to achieve absolute success you have to make sure to never underestimate anything either.

Never underestimate the situation you are in. Some mountains are indeed molehills. Others are Everest. It would be bad to prepare for a molehill, and find yourself on Everest. It would be a disaster to prepare for Everest, and find yourself on Olympus Mons. Some things that seem easy can become difficult, especially if you are unprepared. If you never underestimate the situation, then this will never happen.

Olympus Mons

Molehill, or biggest mountain ever? You decide.

Never underestimate other people. Even the most idiotic cretin may know something you don’t. The weak kid in school might know kung-fu. All human beings are full of unknown potential. They can do amazing things, especially when nobody thinks they can. If you never underestimate other people, then the amazing capacity of humans will never catch you off guard. Sun-Tzu said to never underestimate your enemy, but you shouldn’t underestimate your friends either. You should definitely never underestimate complete strangers.

And you should never underestimate yourself. Some of us are our own best champions, but all of us are our own worst critics. All the things you do just look like normal behavior to yourself. Through other eyes, the same behavior might seem amazing, epic, or noble. If you think you are the worst, then you are underestimating yourself. I promise, at some point in your life, you have been admired by someone. Probably for something you didn’t even know about.

Briefcase man

This man thinks he is worthless, but I like his briefcase.

So, to sum up, this is how to live a life of uninterrupted, total success. Never overestimate anything. Not a situation, or another person, or yourself. At the same time, never underestimate anything. Not the situation or other people or yourself. Simple.

This world is an uncertain place. If you want success all the time, then all you have to do is always estimate everything perfectly. If this sounds like something you think you can do, then you have already failed. It is impossible to always estimate everything perfectly. You are overestimating yourself.

How to use a megaphone

“No, you’re underestimating me!