Chris Grundemann
Dec 28, 2015 · 3 min read

I am my own harshest critic. Still, I must admit that I have achieved some level of success in my life. I choose to define success as doing what you love, as often and as well as you can. Regardless of my many failures, I’ve been able to wind up doing something I love a lot of the time. This has been reflected in folks sometimes asking me; “How?” Well, you’re in luck, because I’m about to tell you everything I’ve told them. Here are the six secrets of my success (such as it is so far):

1. Humility

Don’t laugh. I can be brash. I mean, here I am writing an article about how successful I am. But I know that I know nothing. I know it logically and I feel it viscerally. Sometimes I have to remind myself of it. Humility creates success because it allows me to learn. Everyone I meet has value, has something to teach me, and is better than me in at least a few ways. If I focus on proving my value, I deafen myself to the lessons of others. If I stay humble, I open myself to sharing value with every single person I encounter.

2. Curiosity

My goal everyday is to learn as much as I can. I learn through experience. I learn through conversation. I learn from reading, from talking, and mostly from failing. I learn because I believe that deeper understanding allows simpler solutions, and that simple solutions are better than overly complex ones.

3. Courage

I set outrageous goals and I set off towards them, not without fear but rather in spite of it. John Wayne said that courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway — that resonates. Almost all of my greatest moments resulted from facing my fears. Most of my growth, my joy, and my success has been achieved as a direct result of leaving my comfort zone.

3. Foolishness

I’ll try (almost) anything once. As long as it’s not sure to kill me or put me in jail, I’m game. Because in order to learn from experience, you have to have one. Preferably more than one. I seek them out. I struggle against norms. I fight the limitations I place on myself. I Remember: Everything is impossible until someone pulls it off.

4. Adaptability

Maybe this should be #1. The ability to make a plan, set a goal, and then change on the fly when needed has likely been my greatest asset. Roll with the punches. Make lemonade with those life lemons. Be happy with what you have. Be flexible. Flow.

5. Gratitude

I’m thankful for everything. Every thing, every person, every moment. Life is good. Even when it’s not, it is. No matter what. Even in the worst possible situation. You’re still here. You still have potential. Happiness is still an option. There is always something to be grateful for. ALWAYS. The best part is that the more you stop to realize it, the more you notice it, and the happier you are. Really, I promise.

6. Openness

People are different. They’re still people. Accept them. Race, religion, gender, sexuality, culture, beliefs; these are the variety that make humanity valuable. Ideas are similar to people; their variety enhances their value. Open your eyes. Open your mind. Open your heart.

Modern Autodidactism

Learning to Live // Living to Learn

Chris Grundemann

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Modern Autodidactism

Learning to Live // Living to Learn

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