Stanford professor's secret to "How to Be Successful" highlights annual Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecture


Professor Richard N. Zare

"How to Be Successful" by Professor Richard N. Zare,

The Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University
Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecture
October 20, 2014, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Fowler Hall, Stewart Center

Professor Zare: “Who could possibly dare to preach to others with such a title for a talk?! It is with much humility that I wish to offer you my own thoughts on this daunting topic. In 1903, the great American industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, wrote an article in the Pittsburgh Bulletin: 'How to Succeed in Life.' He recommended: 'Do not drink, do not smoke, do not endorse, do not speculate. Concentrate, perform more than your prescribed duties; be strictly honest in word and deed. And may all who read these words be just as happy and prosperous and long lived as I wish them all to be. And let this great fact always cheer them: It is impossible for anyone to be cheated out of an honorable career unless he cheats himself.' This may be fine advice for the business world, but it seems to offer little guidance in today’s world how to live a truly fulfilling life. There is no question that life is full of problems and problematic situations. In this talk, I will concentrate on tips for problem solving. I suggest that these same tips, when vigorously pursued, lead to happy outcomes, whether or not a particular problem gets solved. They lay the basis for a wonderful life of the mind.”

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