Choose three books that you’ve always wanted to read (or that would deepen your understanding of some desired content area) and purchase them today. Right now. Seriously….go ahead. Now choose a date three months from now by which you will have read all the books. Determine a reward for reading them in time as well as a punishment for not having read them and and make it known to someone you trust who will hold you to your goal.
My desire for reading had been drifting so I took the challenge, stating that I would read Good to Great by Jim Collins, The No Arsehole Rule by Robert Sutton, and Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
Three months later I have failed the challenge. I read Tipping Point, well most of it – truth is I got completely turned off by Gladwell’s circular repetitive style. The way he continually loops stories back on one another feels patronising to me, so I quit on him at Page 202 and drifted away from the challenge. I wasn’t the only one who failed though. Despite Gladwell’s best efforts to turn me off reading again, he failed too. I had taken just enough value from reading Tipping Point to want to carry on with my renewed interest in reading. The irony of this is not lost on me.
Since abandoning Gladwell I’ve discovered Daniel Kahneman. He’s written Thinking Fast and Slow, a fascinating book about how we reason, how we choose and how we think. It’s quite a heavy read for a simple guy like me – but I’m enjoying the challenge and I’ve gained great material for my talks, and for my stories on this blog, from this valuable book. I’m also reading Adapt, by Tim Harford – recommended to me by Joe Gerstandt. This is a fascinating book on why success always starts with failure, and I’m loving it. I have a small stack of books waiting for me beyond my current read, and I’m excited by what more I will learn and share.
I failed the challenge – but I feel like a winner.
Thank you Daniel Crosby for the challenge. Thank you Malcolm Gladwell for trying your best to put me off. Thank you Daniel Kahneman for stretching me. Thank you Joe Gerstandt for the excellent recommendation.