Be a Good Copyist

Life lessons from Chamath Palihapitiya

Janith Silva
5 min readMar 7, 2021

First of all It’s not about copying in exams. If you are here to grab some quick tips on “How to copy in an exam without being caught” this is not the place. So what is it? Let’s find out.

People Copier

Basically what you need to do is copy people’s actions. In a nutshell, Be around high functioning, high quality individuals and copy the things they do! Observe the things that crappy and just pass over those things, don’t do those. It’s not rocket science right?


Obviously there is a positive way and a negative way of doing this. You think you are not copying someone right now? Yes you surely are! You do buy stuff that someone else have recommended or spoken highly of. You do ask people where they got an outfit you love and then buy it — but just for that one outfit. These all are physicals things we copy every single day just to feel good. But can you try that same logic when it comes to mind? If you carefully observe and inherit the actions, yes it is really good to filter the good stuff that successful people do.

The successful people you try to copy should not always have to be millionaires or billionaires. They can be successful in their own way. Relationships, Studies, Life, Mind and whatnot.

Fun fact: Did you know that extroverts are more likely to engage in positive copying than introverts? This is because they are often more sociable and recognize that imitating or mirroring you can help you feel more comfortable around them.

How can I put these things to work?

There are some basic steps on how to copy a successful person we can find on wiki-how. Here they are,

  1. Surround yourself with successful people.
    The best way to become successful is to be in the proximity of success on a daily basis. This may seem pretentious, but the reality is that successful people lead the kind of life that you want to be a part of, so it is essential that you too be surrounded in such a lifestyle.
  2. Watch, listen to, and learn from the successful so that you can recognize how successful people talk, think, and behave.
    Additionally, you will come to identify the cause and effect of certain actions. This is a major learning tool if you want to be successful yourself one day.
  3. Emulate the habits of successful people so that you too get positive results.
    Successful people have a certain way of doing things and if you copy these habits, they will become ingrained in you and eventually become second nature. For example, talking a certain way or interacting with other people can be habits that lead to certain successes.
  4. Read the success stories of others, especially those that you admire who rose to the top from poorer or less successful beginnings.
    By doing so, you will recognize a similarity between you and the successful, thus making your own success feel more plausible in your own eyes.
  5. Learn even from the failures of others.
    Success is often followed by numerous occasions of failure, so find out the bad and the good behind each success story. With such knowledge, you will be less likely to get depressed if you yourself fail on occasion, and you may even be able to avoid certain pitfalls by seeing them foreshadowed in the stories of others.
  6. Continue to learn, and never assume that you know everything.
    Such arrogance can easily cloud your ability to remain ahead of the game. A successful person is always learning from their mentors. When you feel you have gained as much knowledge from your circle of successful people, expand your social network by inviting even more success into it.

There are some things/habits I’ve noticed while copying great people. They always learn! Yes, continuously learning will affect directly to your path of success. They have ultra clear goals. If you are in you teenage years, you should have a very clear understanding on what are you gonna be?, how are you gonna achieve?, what deadlines do you have? It is very crucial, without deadlines your goals are just dreams.

Wake up early. Yes that’s right. It does have effect on you. There have been numerous studies on this topic and many of the most successful people seem to be early risers. Waking up early means you have more time to work on your dreams right? So that’s an advantage.

Successful people are highly organized. They would never have been able to become truly successful had they not known how to organize both themselves and/or others. If they are running large corporations, they need to be organized and if not, they know and hire someone who can take care of that part for them! This is also linked to their goals and their morning routines as they know at all times what is most important to them and what they should be spending their time on. The question is, DO YOU?!

Control Your Mind

This is actually a very big topic to discuss. I’d keep it to another post. But for now I found this very nice graphic which might give you a very good understanding on how our mind works.

I usually don’t write long blog posts. So I’ll wrap this post for now. See you on the next one. Peace!