I recently wrote about how I managed to take 13 courses in one semester. I wrote that the key is to never leave anything to the last minute, and always keep busy. It’s OK to not do your best. I also wrote about you should maximize your productivity, and how you should only work for 3 hours a day. The two articles contradict each other. Thus is the great divide between real life and school. In school, you are competing against a class of at most 200 people. As long as you are better than 90% of your classmates, you will do very well. You can have 19 people better than you, and you will still get an A, same as the other 19. Real life is a different story. If you are better than the 90%, you are as good as the person in the bottom 10%. If you are not the best, then you are no one. In real life, you have to aim for perfection, and this is why the habits that allow you to succeed in school don’t apply in real life. To be the best in real life doesn’t mean you have to be the best at a certain field. For example, you will never be the best mathematician, the best engineer, or the best tennis player. Being the best in real life means that you are the best in a certain market. You can be the best engineer in Toronto. You can be the best engineer at building ballpoint pens. You can be the best tennis player in Ontario. You can be the best tennis player who knows how to teach to children. The key to success in real life is to find a really small market, and be the best in that niche. This is what Trump does: he is the best persuader in politics. When you find your market, don’t strive for OK; be the best in the world.