Success: and the roadmaps you can buy


If you develop a self-help bug while in an airport, you're in luck: they're everywhere. All airport bookstores are like bestseller lists reified, and if you close your eyes and just grab, you're likely to make contact with a book on how to succeed.

No one is going to give you any grief for indulging in one, either--the assumption is that you're out to kill time, and more "pedestrian" activities are suddenly forgivable: you can read Teen Vogue cover to cover, go back for seconds at McDonald's, and prop a self-help book in front of your face while popping Junior Mints because that's just the way we get by. Don't get me wrong--I'm actually a giant fan of the self-help genre, and even love reading it in public for the reaction (this is probably a DSM entry, I know), a la my public consumption of Codependent No More at Chili's.

Five years ago, I was flipping through an Esquire when I stopped at this prescription for success: "In order to succeed, you need an enemy and an arch rival." I thought that sounded about right. At least more than the prognostication that those whose doodles featured upward-pointed triangles were likely to be high achievers. Are there any postulates about success you find yourself sharing for amusement--or following with sincerity?