The Power of Defiance: How Stubbornness and Actionable Habits Lead to Success

Esteban Tala

Hatched by Esteban Tala

Dec 12, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Defiance: How Stubbornness and Actionable Habits Lead to Success


In recent studies, researchers have found a surprising link between stubbornness in childhood and future success in various aspects of life. While it may seem counterintuitive, there are several reasons why stubborn kids tend to achieve more. This article explores the connection between defiance and success, as well as actionable habits that can contribute to personal growth and achievement.

The Competitive Edge of Stubbornness:

One of the main reasons stubborn children are more likely to be successful is their competitive nature. According to a study mentioned in Time magazine, these kids are more likely to excel academically, leading to higher grades. Their refusal to back down in the face of challenges drives them to work harder and strive for excellence, giving them a competitive edge in the classroom.

Moreover, this competitive spirit doesn't fade away with age. As adults, stubborn individuals are more likely to demand higher salaries and fight for their own financial interests. They possess the confidence and determination to negotiate better deals and advocate for themselves, even if it means facing resistance from friends and colleagues. However, it is important to note that the study also raises concerns about whether these individuals may resort to unethical means to increase their grown-up salaries.

The Importance of Capturing Experiences:

In addition to inherent stubbornness, successful individuals often have a habit of capturing their experiences and insights. By writing down the funniest or most interesting things that happen to them each day, they create a collection of entertaining stories. While most days may seem mundane, this practice ensures that they have a reserve of entertaining anecdotes within a year or two.

Similarly, writing down one idea each day may seem trivial at first, but over time, it yields a handful of compelling and useful ideas. Great storytellers and insightful people are not always blessed with constant brilliance. Instead, they have a habit of recording their experiences and ideas, patiently filtering through the majority until the best ones emerge. This habit allows them to capture the little bits of genius that are constantly bubbling up.

Balancing Passivity and Aggression:

Success also lies in finding the right balance between passivity and aggression. There are times when being passive, allowing life to unfold naturally, can be beneficial. It gives us the opportunity to observe, learn, and adapt to our environment. However, there are also moments when being aggressive, actively shaping our lives and bending the world to our will, can lead to significant achievements.

Ask yourself: Are you being too passive or too aggressive in your current pursuits? Reflecting on your approach can help you identify areas where adjustments are needed. It's essential to find the right balance that suits your goals and circumstances, as it can significantly impact your overall success.

Actionable Advice for Personal Growth:

  • 1. Embrace your stubbornness: Instead of viewing stubbornness as a negative trait, recognize its potential as a driving force for success. Embrace your competitive nature and channel it towards achieving your goals.
  • 2. Cultivate a habit of capturing experiences: Start a daily journal where you record the funniest or most interesting moments of your day. Additionally, jot down one idea each day, no matter how simple or uninteresting it may seem. Over time, you'll develop a collection of valuable stories and ideas.
  • 3. Evaluate your approach: Regularly assess whether you're being too passive or too aggressive in your pursuits. Finding the right balance between allowing life to unfold naturally and actively shaping your circumstances can lead to greater achievements.


Stubbornness, when channeled effectively, can be a powerful driving force for success. By embracing your competitive nature and cultivating habits like capturing experiences and ideas, you can enhance your personal growth and increase your chances of achieving your goals. Additionally, finding the right balance between passivity and aggression can lead to more significant accomplishments. So, embrace your stubbornness, capture your experiences, and evaluate your approach to pave the way for a successful future.

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