Software Imagineer's blog

The secret to achieving your goals was always hiding in a book

Fri Jul 27 2018

We turn to books when we want to tap into accumulated knowledge of human society. Depending on your dedication you can learn anything from quantum physics to ancient style of Japanese carpentry. But more than often we turn to books for answers to our daily struggles. And one of the universal struggle of our lives is achieving success and fulfilling our goals. Unsurprisingly, captivation by success has dominated the top-selling book lists since the beginning of the top-lists. Goal setting, motivation and success has probably been approached from every single possible angle. Pop-science, spirituality, mathematics and all kinds of pseudo sciences, just pick one and you will find a book about it. But no matter how many more books are written and printed, it still does not feel like we have discovered the secret method of achieving our goals.

I would like to argue that all this time we have been focusing too much on the details and secret tricks the authors been promising us. We have completely missed the genius in the form the knowledge is presented in. The structure of a book is the simplest and the most time tested method of converting a unit of knowledge/work into self-sufficient and easily consumable format.

No matter how thick and intimidating books are, all of them are made of single sheets of paper which can fit limited amount of words. Fixed amount of words can be read in a finite amount of time. Reading one page at the time is a lot less intimidating than reading a book. Without noticing, pages turn into chapters and with very visible indication of progress it is easier to stay motivated to continue. Chapter after chapter we reach the end of a book and can't believe that intimidating amount of reading is complete. What if we would apply exactly the same division of work to our goals? The book analogy feels so much more natural and relatable than any other "revolutionary"methodology.

To illustrate my point lets perform an imagination experiment. Close your eyes. Think about one important goal you want to achieve in the next 12 months. Now imagine that there is a book on a table with a title written in golden letters. The title of the book reads the goal you just thought about. Next, imagine that you pick up the book from the table and you happen to open the book at the exact page where all the chapters are listed. What kind of chapters does your book contain? What are the descriptions of the chapters? 

You have just outlined the steps needed to complete your goal in your personal book. Now, go and live it page by page, until you complete all the chapters and are ready for a sequel!