How to Become a Young High Achiever

Jonas David
December 8, 2020

Hey there - my name is Jonas. 

As a young filmmaker and actor I had chosen quite a complicated profession to get into, one with paths that weren't as clear and lots of failure stories written into the industry I had chosen for myself.

So it became important to understand, how to become the sort of high achiever who could earn a living there.

Let me share a quick summary of the video for those of you who will only read the blog post:

1. The one most high leverage thing to work on is your skill. If you can reliably perform on any day you can print yourself a check. Make sure that you develop your skill floor (the worst you will perform on a random day) over the industry standard (the minimum required performance on a workday in the industry). 

2. Build your community. If it is people who work with you, teach you or enable opportunities: Meeting new contacts is a wellspring of possibilities - possibilities you might not even have though of previously.

3. Dreaming and Working are both necessary. Dreams indicate your direction but only work moves you towards it. Consult your calendar and check if you are actually working on your thing every day and make changes as you see fit towards your actual dream.

One thing I haven't gotten to talk about in the video - because it is not directly tied to achieving the goals you set for yourself - is actually setting the goals.

If you have already set clear goals or not, consider those few points:

  • You might already have set goals that are in service of your family.
  • You might already have set goals that are in service of bettering society or helping people.
  • You might already have set goals that will lead to mastery and self actualization.

If you haven't - I encourage you to consider thinking about this for a while until you find common ground with one of either one of those statements.

If you have - is this really what drives you? Or is it one of those three:

  1. The Businessman: You want to be seen as a high achiever. Somebody who made it when they are young. We are talented, have all the money and earn their respect this way where ever we go. If there is something that will make you likely to rise in the hierarchy of society this is attractive almost more then anything else.

Not saying you should avoid taping into this desire - use it. But be real with yourself why you are doing what you are doing - let it be your urge and drive, but connect one of the higher goals to either pursuit or outcome. 

  1. The Number Fallacy: Beware that if you want to reach 100k€ a year income - the moment you reach it you are most likely feeling more empty or elusively happy for a moment. Without closure. This will continue upwards with your next goal (1 Million etc. etc.) or equivalent: You have nothing gained from being done with the exam. 

Not saying you should avoid all numbers in your goals or shouldn't make them practical in that way. But be aware that numbers remain the mean to an end (donate money for ex.) not an end in itself.

  1. Brad Pitt: Many of us high achievers would like to become famous. If you take the right measures and if you are willing to do what it takes and work your bud of you can invite the luck that you need for that leap. But you can't know when the luck will meet you. So don't tell anybody that you are gonna be famous - because it might take you waaay longer then you expected (a way on which you might discover that the idea of this future might not have been worth the particular price)

Not saying you shouldn't be crazily ambitious. I believe if you are shooting for the stars you are at least gonna hit the moon - not the flowers in your back yard. But be humble with it, tell people what you want to achieve, but prove to them and yourself that you are committed through your actions (it is a marathon, not a sprint duh)

These remarks come from my experience with unfu**ing my own goals. I hope they will bring you awareness about yours. Do you feel like something is even more important? Feel free to comment 😉

I wish you all the best,


Jonas David

About the author

Hi, I am a filmmaker. (My about me could end here). I am very interested in mythology, archetypes and philosophy - my deepest influences is the old Skywalker Saga (before it became allegorical) and hands down The Lord of the Rings. Nevertheless it is not on me to tell the stories that have already been told but to find my own way to bring introspection to a life that needs it.

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  • I am not young but your story was very informative and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jonas David says:

      Thank you very much Jenny – I’m glad that it seems to hold true despite age!

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