Adam Savage’s (of Mythbusters) Rules for Success

Adam Savage‘s (of Mythbusters) spoke at Boingboing’s Ingenuity Fest. 

I love boingboing (and have for years). I came for the science fiction, and stayed for the news, techno info and weird writers.

Anyway, Savage has some rules for success. I am a sucker for rules, not that I am in the least capable of following them. But they give me stuff to think about when I lie in bed at night (writing posts in my head that are inevitably gone by morning). I think these are good for science trainees, not to mention us old farts.

Here are his rules: My comments in this vague-ish purple color.

1. Get good at something.
Really good. Get good at as many things as you can. Being good at one thing makes it easier to get good at other things. I think more than one thing is important. Hard but it will help you find/keep a job, let alone funding. I know lots of people who work in dinosaur science. You can’t just love dinosaurs and go out and find them anymore (not since Cope & Marsh, really) you have to add something new to the mix. See Steve Gatsey as the poster child for this perspective. We all should be as bright at Steve.

2. Getting good at stuff takes practice.
Lots and lots of practice. More practice. This goes with #3 below.

3. Get OBSESSED.
Everyone at the top of their field is obsessed with what they’re doing. If you’re not obsessed, that #2 will be horrific, painful and ultimately a failure. You gotta love what you do.

There are another 7, and I wanted to do them all today, but I have been sidetracked by colleagues (in the best possible way). More tomorrow…

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