Why Are Superachievers So Successful?

Two authors spoke to dozens of the highest-achieving people in the world. Here’s what they learned

Superachiever Martina Navratilova competes at the 1989 French Open. (Dimitri Iundt / TempSport / Corbis)

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You met so many people for this project—who was the most fun to interview?

Philippe Petit, the high-wire artist who walked between the World Trade Center towers. He’s full of anger and bravado. He has ideas about how you have to go straight into chaos in order to create art, risking his life by being up on the high wire. He has a lot of interesting techniques and strategies. One is he goes rock-jumping in riverbeds. If it’s slippery and mossy, he could fall and hit his head, so every time he moves to the next rock, he has a whole process of decision-making that he has to do very, very quickly.

There’s a lot of good advice in this book, but that’s probably one thing we shouldn’t try at home.

Exactly. No!

About Amy Crawford
Amy Crawford

Amy Crawford is a Boston-based freelance journalist writing about government, education and ideas. Her writing has appeared in Smithsonian, Slate, Boston Magazine and the Boston Globe.

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