A wealthy man that I know has a rule that he swears by. He calls it the “T” rule. He believes that if someone follows this rule they will become “successful”. Until recently, he never explicitly mentioned it to me, but looking back, it is certainly consistent with his behavior.
Here is his rule: Draw a “T”. Now think of your life. The right side is for all the times that you were “screwed” or got the shorter end of a deal. The left side is for all the times that you got the better end of the deal or you “screwed” someone else. The goal is, over the course of your life, maximize the left and minimize the right.
My first reaction was disbelief. Then I felt sad for him. I also realized that as defined by this, he must consider me a complete and unequivocal failure. A sucker or an easy mark. Someone who is wasting his potential and amazing opportunities. But that’s OK because I try to follow a different rule. And mine is golden.