Shoot for the Moon – 8 principles of success

Not so long ago I bought and started reading Richard Wiseman’s latest book – Shoot for the Moon, where he talks about the ways the Apollo missions succeeded, and how we can use the principle learned from the missions, to achieve and succeed too.

I have quite a few of Richard Wiseman’s books, and I highly recommend them – The Luck Factor and Night School. This one, Shoot for the Moon is really good too.

Here’s a breakdown of the 8 principles of shooting for the moon / being successful (from the final chapter of the book):

1. Motivational power of passion
Be passionate about your aims and ambitions. Create a grand goal, set a deadline or be the first to do something. Inject a sense of purpose into whatever you do by asking ‘how does this help others?’ Or create a your own space race by generating competition.

2. Importance of Innovation
Come up with lots of original ideas and make sure that the best one wins. Harness the power of vice versus thinking by doing the opposite to everyone else. Use the less is more rule, by imagining what you would do if you only had half the resources, time or funds.

3. Self belief is crucial when making a start
Develop a good level of self belief. Use the power of small wins by breaking goals down into small steps, and celebrate after you achieve each step. If you experience self doubt, spend a few movements remembering your most impressive achievements to date.

4. Learning to fail is vital to victory
Learn how to fail. Accept tricky challenges, admit mistakes and see failure as an opportunity for growth. Keep a list of all the damn foolish things you’ve done and what you learned from them. Develop a growth mindset, by using the magic word ‘yet’.

5. Responsibly and conscientiousness forms the bedrock for success
Adopt the attitude, ‘it won’t fail because if me’. By taking responsibility for what you do and what you don’t do. Overcome procrastination. Remember the mantra, ‘don’t do noting, just because you don’t have time to do everything you want to do’. Create precise deadlines. Avoid overcommitment, say no if you need to. Ask ‘would I want to do it tomorrow?’, if the answer is no, say no.

6. Courage provides a springboard for progress
Find the courage to stop talking, and start acting. Assess the risks and remember Kennedy’s words of wisdom, ‘There are risks and costs to action, but they’re far less than the risks of comfortable inaction’. Take risks but don’t be reckless. And be careful of continuing with an undertaking just because you’ve invested time, energy or money. Remember sometimes, we don’t need to go to the moon today.

7. Positive form of pessimism that underpins preparedness
Be fully prepared for every eventuality. Use ‘what if’ thinking to develop contingency plans for likely scenarios. Carry out a premortem by imagining that your project has already failed, determining what went wrong and how you can prevent major problems. (Defensive pessimism is a good thing).

8. The importance of being flexible in the face of unexpected twists and turns.
When the unexpected strikes, be ready to improvise and adapt. Regularly do something different, try a new type of food, take up a new hobby, meet new people, or change your route to work. Be prepared to risk it all, on the roll of a dice. Jot down a 6 actions, or potential solutions to a problem – roll a dice and go with the flow.

The book also talks about humility and remembering those who helped you get to where you are. About family, friends, colleagues, upbringing, luck, circumstance… all of these people and things can help you to be successful.

It talks about how the people who worked on the moon landing missions. They were a group of ordinary people, from modest backgrounds who achieved a seemingly impossible goal for the good of humanity. They’re a testament to a new form of success, and throughout it all they managed to stay humble. Against all odds, they got there – and you can too.

The last chapter is a good summary of it all, but the full book is a great and inspirational read. I’d highly recommend it. 👍🏻

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