Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

May 17, 2013

"How to Be a High School Superstar" : Play Some Politics

"How to Be a High School Superstar," by Cal Newport, 2010, is a wonderful book.

I am surprised to find that this book discusses politics unwittingly. These superstars know how to play politics at a premature age!

Step 1: Cut back

Have a stop-work point e.g. In my Graduate school, I stopped all forms of study at 4:00 p.m sharp.
Reduce your study time so that you get more time for other steps below, for instance.

Step 2: Explore

  1. Experience interesting stuffs: people, places, events, especially. communities that are well-known but little-understood and that still have open roles.
  2. Deconstruct a success path.
  3. Pursue something hard to mentally simulate, but not that hard to execute. By the way "Parkinson Rule," Book 3, said this a lot better.
  4. Have patience if you can't have faith. Don't think, just believe you'll have it.

Step 3: Focus

Review and reduce your goal list to just 1 or 2 "deep interests."
Litmus test: Does that excite you on a weekend morning?

Step 4: Execute

  1. In your chosen community, pay your dues first, get political buy-in first.
  2. Get good: Give up your assumptions, learn from the successful. Immerse.
  3. Do what the Community Elders recommend/suggest/offer. Or just add a tiny bit of the new in something already existing.
  4. Sequence your objectives in terms of achievability. "Underdog Advantage" said this better in many ways.


  1. A nice book for future students. Please recommend it to your friends too!