Isaac Asimov: Creating a Lifetime of Success

Isaac Asimov: What are the things that Isaac Asimov did that enabled him to become a writer whose productivity and creativity increased throughout his life?

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Isaac Asimov Quote


Isaac Asimov: Creating a Lifetime of Success

Continuing to learn is fundamental to success for a long career.  Industries change.  Tools change.  Opportunities disappear. New opportunities are not always available for a particular skill set.  Furthermore, creativity that is critical to solving problems requires occasional resets to solve new and unique problems.

On this point, successful people continue to learn and grow as the world changes.

Eleven different companies publish the books and essays of Isaac Asimov.  Amazingly, he wrote over 1600 essays and hundreds of short stories and books.

Here is a list of his bestselling books:

The Naked Sun
I, Robot
Second Foundation
Prelude To Foundation
The Caves Of Steel
Foundation And Empire
The End Of Eternity

“I couldn’t possibly write the variety of books I manage to do out of the knowledge I had gained in school alone. I had to keep a program of self-education in process. My library of reference books grew and I found I had to sweat over them in my constant fear that I might misunderstand a point that to someone knowledgeable in the subject would be a ludicrously simple one.”  It’s Been a Good Life, Isaac Asimov

Beyond this statement, another famous quote from Asimov stresses the importance of taking responsibility for continuing to grow through personal effort:

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”

The Principles of a Lifetime of Success

In conclusion, the principles that Asimov followed apply to success in any career.  For example, Bill Gates’ website “Gates Notes” shows Gates’ belief in this principle.  The site is a blog about the people he meets and the books he reads to continue to learn and grow. Specifically, the subjects in his blog include

  • Agriculture
  • Foreign aid
  • Polio
  • Toilets/Sanitation
  • Vaccines
  • Saving lives
  • Energy
  • Big History
  • Education

For Asimov, Gates, and other people, the joy of learning creates a life of success that far exceeds the life they might otherwise have had.