One Tip You Must Follow To Succeed At Anything

I walked into in the sparsely-adorned weight room and began my warmups. Using the empty bar to practice the best upper body exercise, I thrust the iron into the air enthusiastically so I could add weight and begin my actual routine. I put the bar down and was adding weights when I heard a mousey voice behind me:

“You shouldn’t lock out your elbows”

Me: “What?”

I looked around to see a chubby girl in a “personal trainer” T-shirt glaring at me.

Girl: “It’s bad for your cartilage. You’ll hurt yourself”

My inner monolgue was ready with several snide responses, but luckily I am well-socialized enough to hold my tongue in polite company when I have nothing to gain from the situation.

Me: “Okay. Thanks. By the way, do you have a squat rack?”

Girl: “What’s that?”

Now, if this girl had even a remotely decent physique, I might have given her the benefit of the doubt and done a 10-second internet search on proper overhead press form. But, rightly or wrongly, I had developed my form from fit friends and books written by people who have actually achieved level of fitness that I respect. I wasn’t about to take fitness advice from someone who hadn’t lifted a weight or gone for a jog since the second Bush administration.

The idea that someone who didn’t know what a squat rack was would be giving advice about weightlifting was especially laughable. I let her say her piece, and summarily dismissed her existence from my life. If you are setting out to accomplish anything that requires long, sustained effort, the one principle you must follow is:

Only take advice from those who have done what you want to do

“Bro science” is something we see lampooned on a daily basis. People trash “meatheads” and “gurus” and suggest that everyone avoid innovative or non-scientifically approved methods to achieve a goal. With large swaths of published experimental science now being revealed as non-reproducible, it is becoming clearer each day that peer-reviewed science has essentially devolved into academia-approved bro science. We are seeing results-based and evidence-based advice supplanted by credentialism and political correctness. No wonder everyone is fat, unhappy, poor and sick.

This principle may seem obvious, but it is astonishing at how many people fail to adhere to it. Take dating for example — the internet abounds with female dating coaches and advice columnists who presume to tell men how to attract and please women. None of them have ever done this themselves, and it’s no coincidence that their advice is almost universally worthless.

Whether you want to get huge, write a book, travel the world, get a promotion, date hotter girls, or start a business, you must only take advice only from those who have accomplished what you want to do. Your mentorship and guidance must come from those who made mistakes along the way and lived to tell the tale. Anything else isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

Read Next: 9 Reasons You Should Say No To Fitness Gyms

49 thoughts on “One Tip You Must Follow To Succeed At Anything”

  1. Thats true for finance as well. If some financial advisor recommends you invest in something, do they? are they rich?

    1. Actually there are some financial advisors that are indeed rich, but their fortune doesnt come from actually investing themselves, but from selling poor products to their clients.
      And how do they have clients in the first place? Big office, big car and the mastery of selling techniques. Smoke and mirrors…
      So be carefull with those guys, if you are looking for a financial advisor, look for someone that gains from your success, that means they should get a commission from your profit and not sales percentages from financial products.

    2. Many financial advisors have their own FA’s. The job of a financial advisor isnt to make you rich. Its to save you from becoming poor.

  2. Usually the built up meat-heads there are pretty good guys and are willing to share good advice based on what they have done. Not that I aspire to be overly built up like them, but as you mentioned, they definitely know what they are doing.

  3. Great post. I can think of an exception however: When a technology or means of success changes between the time the expert built his success and today. Sometimes they’ll look down on a new way of doing things, especially if it pays out less to beginners and the expert is more entrenched in the upper echelon (often unionized) way of doing things. In this case I’m not talking about technique so much as strategy. For instance, an author first published in the 80s and with a strong relationship with his publisher might look down on self-publishing, since he would today never fathom the lower revenue and distribution. But to a guy starting out the revenue might be acceptable and a good way to start out, especially when traditional publishing houses are much tighter with their budgets. Just an example.

  4. I apply this to taking game advice. Alot of guys play the Mr. know-it-all/Guru PUA/Alpha male.
    One phrase- Actions speak louder than words
    You can’t tell me how to game girls when YOU don’t game girls.
    Its like a virgin trying to teach you how to fuck girls
    Experience>everything ; when it comes to giving/receiving advice

  5. Very true. The same applies to how we ‘filter’ certain criticisms and decide whether to value them. Is the person at all qualified to have an opinion on the matter, or are they just talking out of their ass?

  6. I say something similar, but is essentially the same:
    If you want to be good at something, then surround with people who are better than you.
    On a side note regarding lifting technique. I’ve noticed that working out at the gym on a military base is one giant pissing contest (can be good or bad depending on how motivated you are). The problem is that I see a lot of bad form to compensate for having that extra plate, especially when doing squats.

  7. Women weren’t always vain and clueless when it came to attracting and seducing women. Ninon de Lencos was a courtesan who would help young noblemen seduce their marks with game tactics like seeming disinterested at first, having an air of nonchalance and always showing up to meet her with a beautiful woman at his side.
    I do truly think that women, if there were completely honest with themselves and their desires, could offer men valid advice, but then virtually no women is completely honest with themselves and would rather suggest what they think SHOULD work rather than what does.

  8. Another way of looking at this: Cultivate the friendships of the highest status men who will let you hang with them. And I don’t mean celebrities, but genuinely accomplished men who have succeeded through their own merits in a harsh and competitive world.
    Can you just imagine having someone comparable to Warren Buffett as an uncle who thinks well of you? The Uncle Warrens of the world have value, not because they could give you money, but because they could tell you how to make your own money and otherwise succeed in business and in life. If you can follow their example, then you can become an Uncle Warren to young men in the future who will carry on the tradition.

    1. Why would “highest status men” hang out with you?
      If an A2A (alpha to alpha) relationship is what people like us desire then what are we bringing to the table?
      So…..short of bidding £1mil to have diner with him what do YOU have to offer Uncle Warren?

      1. I see your point, and it certainly applies to peers and/or equals. However, I have experienced an exception: intergenerational mentorship. Mentorship has its own rewards. It has been my privilege to have been mentored by a couple of older, successful men who have given me advice, insight, and served as role models. I am honored that they make time for me, and I respect their time by paying very close attention to what they say and do, and how they set their priorities. I look forward to paying that back to a younger generation in the future.

      2. Because high status men can often learn what’s going on in the streets from those “beneath” them. Smart high status men know that to stay on top of their chosen field, they need to keep their ear to the ground. Serve this function if you want to hang with them. Nice early Cheap Trick reference in your handle, by the way. Shame they dumped Stewkey as singer.

  9. What about second-hand advice? Your heuristic says to ignore weightlifting advice from Toothpick Tim, because he’s scrawny as hell. But what if Tim, in his quest to transform from a geek to a god, sought advice from Spartan Sam (a true geek-to-god success), and was simply relaying that advice to you out of the goodness of his heart (and perhaps a slight sense of superiority)? Is Tim necessarily a pathetic waste-of-space bullshitter? Must the messenger be shot?
    I’m not saying that this heuristic isn’t useful. It is. But, in a world of ‘bro-science’ and ‘credentialism’, perhaps it may be better to try something out and see how it works for you before you knock it down, regardless of who says it. Minus the stuff that’s recognizably bullshit, of course.

  10. “Only take advice from those who have done what you want to do”
    It is amazing to me that this even has to be said. What is wrong with young men that they do not know this inherently?
    All through my life I have sought out mentors. From when I was little and it was football and cricket to when I was older in my professional life and I bought books from the greats to learn.
    One of the most valuable books I ever bought was the mythical man month by Frederick Brooks. This book has been my bible for 30 years. Yet I talk to men in IT who have never heard of it. I can not, for the life of me, understand why any man in IT does not own a copy of this book.
    Alas…I see in men today a refusal to learn from books. They want to attention whore to men who have “been there and done that” but they will not even learn from videos either…they want free Q&A sessions with the experts…yeah, right.

    1. /irrelevant /off.topic /this.delete()
      Mr. N. You know what’s wrong, you’re trying offer advise/help, but then -tangent- ‘go read this old book’ and ‘refusal to learn’ and ‘yea, right’? Your actions reveal that it is you who are old, you who refuses to learn, and that you’ve given up being a mentor. At least, for now, here, in this thread.
      You have a hate in you that propels you. I profoundly appreciate that. I do. But please direct that better. Excellent intrinsic motivation, but terrible choice, isn’t it? Maybe I’m too harsh…

      1. “and that you’ve given up being a mentor.”
        LOL! Yeah…right…which is why I written two books and have an education channel that is getting 20,000 views per month and had 4,500 hours of viewership in the last 30 days.
        How big an idiot can you make of yourself in one statement?

        1. you want to make money off us, and then blame us when you can’t, and then take credit when you can.
          did i doubt that you’ve mentored others? did i doubt that you have fans? did i doubt your economic capitalization of your life’s tragedies? i doubted that your post was genuine; i doubted that at least, for now, here, in this thread, that you hadn’t thrown in the towel, claiming that we “won’t even learn” both in part and in the whole spirit of your prior post.
          i have taught as you do (though not sold books). in doing so, i reached the conclusion that people know when lessons aren’t applicable, and know when application is absent altogether. particularly men. i sense this and retailor myself to earn their cash rather than blame them. people seek advice from those that got results from the same path. anecdotes aside, the setting is key to success. “the one tip” is refined as: seek advice from those that got the desired successful results in the same setting and path as the seeker is in.
          applied, you take credit when people come to you and are helped, but you omit the obvious: those that came to you and you couldn’t help. consider that you couldn’t help them because your appropriate lesson in the wrong setting was thusly inappropriate.
          i let fall unspoken all other contentions out of courtesy that they would be increasingly off topic. your pattern repeats. i do not object to truth, but i do object to fictions. when applicable, your content is illuminating and helpful, when not, not. so for now, you are inapplicable and disingenuous. at least, for now, here, in this thread. as am i. hence /irrelevant.

  11. Haha reminds me of a few weeks ago I was at Krav Maga and some old woman tried to give me pointers on how to throw an elbow. Someone I could physically destroy with no effort. Totally freaking absurd. I just smiled and nodded my head. Pointless to waste time fighting with these well-intentioned fools.

    1. I disagree, you don’t know that your technique is better than hers.
      What if you had joined this year, but she started 5 years ago? So maybe you’re 30kg heavier and could take her down, that doesn’t mean you have more martial arts skills.
      The body is a weapon, martial arts is training to use it effectively. Her body may be like a bow and arrow, whilst yours is like a gun. If you win a fight, it doesn’t prove you have more skill.
      Article is good though.

  12. What a joke, the personal trainer at a gym without power racks…trying to give you unsolicited advice on one of the big 4.
    Most people are unconsciously incompetent at their job and this is most prevalent among personal trainers.
    The guys with real value get it and keep to themselves. They know that unsolicited advice is wasted on deaf ears and it’s just a waste of their energy. But if you recognize them, ask the right questions and show your willingness to act, they’ll help you out.
    In the gym, it’s not always the guy with the biggest lifts. The best strength coaches are usually guys with shitty/mediocre genetics that tried like hell to get ‘good’.

  13. Another point is not to ask someone what they think you should do, but what they would do if they were in your situation. You’d be surprised at the difference.

  14. As simple as the message of this article is, as powerful and important it is at the same time to not only know that advice but to integrate into your life.
    How many people have told me that I can’t just leave my country and live abroad, how many people have told me that I can’t start an online business and fulfill my goal of traveling the world on a permanent basis.
    i left my country, I live abroad, I work on an online business and I am absolutely confident to achieve my goals. Why?
    Because I only listen to a few close friends and other people who already are there, who already achieved the things I want to achieve.
    Why should I listen to a homeless man when he wants to give me advice about how to get successful?

  15. ““You shouldn’t lock out your elbows””
    What she said was “I like your body and would be available”.
    Many chicks go to the gym to make a catch (thats you) not because they want to lift weights….

  16. An excellent article: succinct, to the point, and spot on.
    “We are seeing results-based and evidence-based advice supplanted by credentialism and political correctness.” That’s true in so many fields and endeavors…

  17. Just hand her the 80kg bar and say: “Please show me how YOU press this then ma’am! Bah Bah Buuut nothing. You may go away now thanks.”

  18. Agreed. This also represents the biggest problem with our society: it’s become way too pussified. We’re at the point where we live too comfortably and completely eliminate any sort of discomfort from our lives.

  19. One thing to add is to be careful of who your mentor is because even though one mentor could be great for another man yet he may not be great for you or even though one man might be a great mentor for you but he will not be great for another man. For example, Tucker Max might be a great mentor to men who are natural alphas with women in middle-school, high-school and university or later in life to take it to the next level, but he might be horrible for betas and omegas because he was a subtly self admitted natural alpha even in high-school according to his 3rd book. Roosh might be better for betas and even maybe better for omegas because he was one who didn’t get laid until after age 22, and he might know and understand better how to change the omega and beta aspects of a man into an alpha.
    Many may say that they would rather be mentored by Tucker Max than Roosh. However, they fail to take into consideration that Tucker Max’s life has been more different from most men(or boys) than Roosh. Tucker Max was self admittedly above average in getting sex from more women than most boys in high-school. Then Tucker Max got a lot more GAME, fame, wealth and power which equals getting lots more status. Roosh started with less in all these things, and he still seems to have less. However, I respect a man more who started out with 1 dollar to invest in something and made a 100 dollars than a man who started out with 10 dollars and made 1000 dollars. Both multiplied their wealth value by 100, but it is virtually always harder for the man with 1 dollar to do than the man with 10 dollars. I still respect and listen to Tucker Max, but this is why I respect Roosh more and say more men should listen to Roosh in my opinion.

    1. correct. both you and op. refined: get advice from those that got results in the same setting as you yourself are in. the setting is hardest to see, but the most relevant.

  20. “With large swaths of published experimental science now being revealed as non-reproducible, it is becoming clearer each day that peer-reviewed science has essentially devolved into academia-approved bro science.”
    Well that’s true to an extent with people being what they are.
    But there are few consequences of this phenomenom because bad science is always recognised as such by the people who matter.

  21. …”And summarily dismissed her existence from my life” and “she looks content in her own self-imagined superiority” are two of the best phrases I have ever read on this Website.
    I love RoK.

  22. Most important rule: Use your own head to think!
    Don’t rely on advice from other People. Question their motives first and evaluate carefully if you can trust their advice.

  23. Fat girls giving fitness advice… lmao
    How do you call such people who do keyboard jockeying in real life?

  24. I told them that my dinner was 400 grams of organic mincemeat, done in butter and coconut oil, with shitloads of veggies, and few fruits as dinner.
    They looked at me with their jaw dropped,
    One said
    “You’ll die young”
    The other said
    “Got to get your cholesterol checked”
    We were in a hamburger joint.
    The third one was dipping his french fries in majo and ketchup,
    The other two returned to their hamburgers with extra fries, after making their comments.

  25. The sad part about all this, is that it should be common sense. It should be so obvious, that it doesn’t need to be said.

  26. Don’t lock your elbows bro, it’s stresses the joints. Same with every other resistance exercise, try to always keep a slight bend in the joint and avoid bouncing (fast movement until joint lock).

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