Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller
When Rockefeller rested his head on the pillow at night, he warned himself:
“Because you have got a start, you think you are quite a merchant; look out, or you will lose your head — go steady.”
That quote reminds me of a similar sentiment expressed by Adam Bornstein of Born Fitness:
“Sometimes it’s best to go slow, so you can go fast.”
Lesson: Focus at getting good at the task at hand. Put in the reps, master what you’re doing, and cultivate a skill that will be your prime mover or force multiplier later on.
Evidently, Rockefeller put a high priority on introspection.
“These intimate conversations with myself, I’m sure, had a great influence on my life. I was afraid I could not stand my prosperity, and tried to teach myself not to get puffed up with any foolish notions.”
Coming from rustic upbringings, Rockefeller was a principled man by nature. He equated silence with strength and two of his most cherished maxims were: “
Success comes from keeping the ears open and the mouth closed” and “A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds.”
Rockefeller was also a man of singular vision and focus, and knew the importance of Deep Work:
“Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things… fail because we lack concentration — the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else?”