High Performers


Elon Musk

Engineer, industrial designer and technology entrepreneur. Founder of PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, OpenAI.

10 Rules:

  • Never give up
  • Really like what you do
  • Don’t listen to the little man
  • Take a risk
  • Do something important
  • Focus on signal vs noise
  • Look for problem solvers
  • Attract great people
  • Have a great product
  • Work super hard.

Sam Altman

American entrepreneur, investor, programmer. Former president of Y Combinator and now the CEO of OpenAI. Blog

  • Compound yourself - you should aim for your life to follow an ever-increasing up-and-to-the-right trajectory. Move towards a career that has a compounding effect. Your rate of learning should always be high. It’s useful to focus on adding another zero to whatever you define as your success metric—money, status, impact on the world, or whatever. Long-term thinking with a broad view of how different systems in the world are going to come together.
  • Have almost too much self-belief - The most successful people I know believe in themselves almost to the point of delusion. Self-belief must be balanced with self-awareness. Truth-seeking is hard and often painful, but it is what separates self-belief from self-delusion.
  • Learn to think independently - Thinking from first principles, finding people to exchange them with is a great way to get better at this. The next step is to find easy, fast ways to test these ideas in the real world.
  • Get good at “sales” - convince other people of what you believe. My best advice for communicating clearly is to first make sure your thinking is clear and then use plain, concise language. The best way to be good at sales is to genuinely believe in what you’re selling.
  • Make it easy to take risks
  • Focus - is a force multiplier on work. Almost everyone I’ve ever met would be well-served by spending more time thinking about what to focus on. It is much more important to work on the right thing than it is to work many hours. Once you have figured out what to do, be unstoppable about getting your small handful of priorities accomplished quickly.
  • Work hard - You can get to about the 90th percentile in your field by working either smart or hard, which is still a great accomplishment. But getting to the 99th percentile requires both. Extreme people get extreme results. Working a lot comes with huge life trade-offs, and it’s perfectly rational to decide not to do it. But it has a lot of advantages. As in most cases, momentum compounds, and success begets success. One of the great joys in life is finding your purpose, excelling at it, and discovering that your impact matters to something larger than yourself. Figure out how to work hard without burning out.
  • Be bold - it’s easier to do a hard startup than an easy startup. People want to be part of something exciting and feel that their work matters.
  • Be willful - you can bend the world to your will a surprising percentage of the time. Most people don’t even try, and just accept that things are the way that they are. I am going to keep going until this works, and no matter what the challenges are I’m going to figure them out. To be willful, you have to be optimistic.
  • Be hard to compete with - If what you do can be done by someone else, it eventually will be, and for less money. The best way to become difficult to compete with is to build up leverage. For example, you can do it with personal relationships, by building a strong personal brand, or by getting good at the intersection of multiple different fields.
  • Build a network - Great work requires teams. Developing a network of talented people to work with—sometimes closely, sometimes loosely—is an essential part of a great career. The size of the network of really talented people you know often becomes the limiter for what you can accomplish. An effective way to build a network is to help people as much as you can. Develop a reputation for really taking care of the people who work with you. You want to have a reputation for pushing people hard enough that they accomplish more than they thought they could, but not so hard they burn out. Get good at discovering undiscovered talent. Quickly spotting intelligence, drive, and creativity gets much easier with practice.
  • You get rich by owning things
  • Be internally driven - The most successful people I know are primarily internally driven; they do what they do to impress themselves and because they feel compelled to make something happen in the world. This is why the question of a person’s motivation is so important. It’s the first thing I try to understand about someone.

Naval Ravikant

Indian American entrepreneur and investor


  • Researchers and Founders
    • very high levels of self-belief
    • spend a lot of time reflecting on some version of the Hamming question:
      • What are the most important problems in your field?
      • Why aren’t you working on them?
    • laser focus on the next step in front of them combined with long-term vision
    • extremely persistent and willing to work hard
    • honest about what is working and what isn’t
    • creative idea-generators—a lot of the ideas may be terrible, but there is never a shortage.
    • value autonomy and have a hard time with rules that they don’t think make sense.


Ray Dalio


  • Think for yourself about what is true
  • Decide what to do and have the courage to do it.
  • Embrace reality and deal with it.
  • Truth is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.
  • 5 step process
    • Know your goals and run after them.
    • Encounter the problems and don’t tolerate them.
    • Diagnose the problems, don’t rush into solutions.
    • Design a plan to eliminate the problems.
    • Execute those designs.
  • Everything is a machine.
  • Two biggest barriers: our ego and blindspot.
  • Struggle well.

Dan Pena

The Trillion Dollar Man

Sources: 10 habits to Super Success, Penaisms, How To Be Super Successful and others:

  • Practice Daily Affirmations
    • that you cannot accomplish in your lifetime
  • Measure what you do and improve
    • what gets measured, gets accomplished
  • Success leaves clues, follow them. Model people
  • Practice success before you are successful
  • Conventional wisdom is almost always wrong
  • Get out of your comfort zone. What does not kill me, makes me stronger
  • Have laser beam focus. On the few, not the many
  • Don’t give a fuck what other people think or say about you
  • Surround yourself with successful people
  • Take action
  • Minimize regrets, unfulfilled potential
  • Man’s greatest burden is unfulfilled potential
  • Play not to lose, but to WIN! Rutheless!
  • Don’t have outside activities, slept 10 years in their office
  • When I fucking tell you I am gonna do something, I fucking do it. I am neither in a comma or fucking dead.
  • Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.


  • Reading a book, listening to something is NOT taking action. Taking action is just fucking do it!
  • Ability and training to produce high performance children.
  • Show me your friends and I will show your future
  • Don’t set goals for 5-10 years. Set them as soon as possible.
  • I will never give up
  • Work 60-80h per week
  • There is never a good time to tell a hard truth, to make a hard decision.
  • Give up social media
  • Workout 30-60mins 3x to 4x/week
  • Make all employees, relatives accountable
  • Calendar in 6-10 minutes increments
  • Believe in extraordinary
  • There is no such thing as work-life balance, only work-life choices and all of them have consequences.
  • Find something you love
  • Motivation gets you started, habits get you going.

5 Credos:

  • Yesterday’s Dreams are Today’s Realities
    • what you dream about today will be your reality tomorrow
  • Seeing Dreams Ahead
    • See yourself as you want to be
  • Simulation: Practice Within
  • Act as if There are NO Limits to Your Abilities
  • Enthusiasm

The most successful mentees:

  • Say the most affirmations, the most vivid, boldacious, based on their goals.
  • Standing desk and walk on a treadmill @4km/h
  • Learn to sleep less, 4-7h
  • work 7 days a week
  • stay focused but pivot early
  • words matter, no ifs, absolute speaking


Michael Phelps

The best swimmer and the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time.

  • mental visualization of the perfect race. Also the worst possible scenario.
  • focus on the process, not results
  • pursue excellence every day
  • remind yourself of the ultimate vision
  • visualize
  • practice 365 days for 6 years. On Christmas, New Year’s and birthdays. Sunday is 1/7 more per week.
  • optimize the number of consecutive days with peak performance.
  • There are days you not gonna want to do it, but it is what you do on those days, that help you move forward. This is the difference between the good and the greatest!
  • What is important now? (instead of how I feel now). Show up and do your best no matter you feel like it or not. Bringing your best when you feel your worst.

Bob Bowman (his coach)

  • Create an environment where Excellence is inevitable. Source
  • The higher you go, the more mental the game is.
  • The most strongly held mental picture is where you’ll be… so get really good at mental rehearsal. If you can form a strong mental picture and visualize yourself doing it, your brain will immediately find ways to get you there. Source: forbes
  • Set your goals high. Work conscientiously, every day, to achieve them.
  • Make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.
  • Characteristics of Champions
    • have a dream.
    • have a clear plan for success and achieving their goals.
    • value the process of success more than any particular outcome.
    • welcome challenges as a means to learn and grow.
    • produce normal and predictable performances in very abnormal and unpredictable environments.
    • rehearse success on a daily basis, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Michael Jordan

The GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) basketball player.

The Jordan Rules for Success, Part 1, Part 2

  • Outwork everyone
    • every single day, started early, to be the best he had to outwork everyone else, last person to leave.
  • Treat every practice like it is a game
    • intense practice sessions. He was as good in practice as in game. Ferocious competitiveness in practice. Sets the tone for the team.
    • During practice use your mind to create a game like environment with pressure so that when you get into crunch time your mind is ready and you could go on autopilot, operate on instinct.
  • Have higher standards for yourself
    • I am competing against myself, how great I can become.
    • I feel I still have room to improve, I set myself goals to strice for.
    • I still I haven’t reached my expectations of myself.
  • Visualize greatness
    • I’ve been there so many times, in my mind, just playing tricks with my mind.
    • That’s how I became a master of the game.
    • Mindfulness, stillness, be in the moment.
  • Push those around you to greatness
    • Push yourself more than the others.
    • He was tough with his teammates. Hard on them, push them, bring out the best of them.
  • Be in the best physical shape of everyone
    • so that you have more energy when performing and perform more hours
  • Be even more competitive than you think you need to be
    • in game, in practice, in life
  • Turn weaknesses into strengths
    • Take control of your weaknesses
    • He needed muscles and then lifted weights
    • He needed to get better at shooting and practiced shooting
    • He was told he was not that good at defence, and then he practiced and became one of the best defensive players.
    • Every season Jordan came back better.
    • Those are my weaknesses, I will figure out how can I make them my strengths.

10 Rules:

  • Keep working hard
  • Practice
  • Ignite the fire
  • Be different
  • Fail your way to success
  • Have high expectations
  • Be positive
  • Be who you were born to be
  • Have a vision
  • Stop making excuses

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Undefeated 50:0 boxer for 21 years.

  • Raised in family of boxers
  • Boxing since childhood. No parks, movies, ice cream, just training. You are special. Watched how the best do it.
  • Believe you are the best
  • Always be your best
  • Dedicate yourself to your craft
  • Have a game plan
  • To become great, you have to follow greatness
  • Always have a backup plan
  • Outdo the training of your opponents
  • Work daily, beyond schedule. Never get tired. Continuous state of training
  • To be the best you got to work overtime
  • Goes to work while his opponents are sleeping
  • Strive to be perfect every day
  • Calm mind

Alex Honnold

American rock climber, free solo ascents of big walls and rock formations

How I climbed a 3,000-foot vertical cliff - without ropes:

  • Prepared for years.
  • Memorized all moves.
  • Visualized all possible outcomes and prepared his mindset.
  • Automated.


Christopher Langan

scored extremely high on multiple IQ tests.

  • Become good at what information to keep and what to throw out (filter).


  • Peak experiences most likely to occur in rich environments.
  • Have daily environment to ensure you stay on course and recreates peak experiences.
  • Which environment produces the best outcomes?
  • Rich environments: high investments, social pressure, high consequence for poor performance, high difficulty, novelty, high standards, urgency.



  • Clear Goals
  • Immediate Feedback
  • The Challenge/Skills Ratio
  • Intensely Focused Attention


  • High Consequences
  • Rich Environment
  • Deep Embodiment

This project is maintained by nikolayhg