High Agency

High agency is one of my favorite new traits.

What does High Agency mean?

Here’s how Eric Weinstein defines a high agency person.

When you’re told that something is impossible, is that the end of the conversation, or does that start a second dialogue in your mind, how to get around whoever it is that’s just told you that you can’t do something? So, how am I going to get past this bouncer who told me that I can’t come into this nightclub? How am I going to start a business when my credit is terrible and I have no experience?

A high agency person either finds a way, or makes a way. A low agency person accepts reality as it is.

It seems to me that high agency is a pre-requisite of outlier success. When I think of this trait, I think of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or a Gandhi. How is it even possible to make that level of impact that those men have if you accept reality as it is.

Another relatable example is the job search. If I’m applying to jobs on my school’s job board and not getting any interviews, I can accept reality as it is, or take matters into my own hands.

I’ll choose the latter.


[1] I first heard Eric Weinstein define a high agency person on Tim Ferriss’ podcast.
[2] George Mack had an amazing twitter thread on this topic.

June 8, 2020

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