Most men, at some point or another, have fallen prey to the less-than-masculine statement, “If only I (insert excuse here)… then I could/would… (insert dream here).”
The truth is you can – you just haven’t yet. And, you haven’t yet, because you haven’t taken the time to truly master whatever it is.
So, how do you master it?
You dedicate 10,000 hours to making it work through strict adherence to 5 important “P’s”: purpose, priorities, practice, persistence and productivity.
Sadly, there are no short-cuts (sorry guys) to mastering a skill. There is however, one handy item that every man should carry that will guide him and keep him firmly on the path of greatness – a book.
Wait a minute? Did I just say a book? Yes, but not just any book, a QUAKE book.
How does a QUAKE book figure in all of this?
As the The Iron Council isn’t just any council, a QUAKE book isn’t just any old book.
In fact, as with a good friend’s advice, it’s something a man should never tire from. Further, to even register as a QUAKE book on my QUAKE Books Richter Scale, it has to shake the floor to such a degree that even the hardiest of men would struggle to maintain their footing.
In order to be a QUAKE book it has to move a man to the point that he cannot possibly continue in the same way, doing the same thing.
A book of this pedigree changes more than a man’s thoughts and actions. It will literally save him from running a circular rut made up of a lifetime of mistakes and errors. It challenges the very credibility of the phrase, “I don’t have time to read,” because it takes men back in time, to another place entirely, and compresses timelines.
A QUAKE book is more than a book – it is a time machine.
Before you switch internet tabs or google something else, think about it. What a man typically learns and experiences in a lifetime of say, 60 years or more, can be written down in a year or two and read in a week. What’s more, reading is a simple task that can be undertaken anywhere at any time on a whole host of devices, including the old-fashioned paperback.
The majority of reading effort, like anything else on the road to mastery, is linked to the making of a habit. The jury is still out on the exact amount of time needed to turn a set of actions into a habit but, even with the most conservative of estimates, every book read and integrated into your life lies the prospect of a 59 year savings.
Furthermore, and while it is true that iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17), there is one caveat to this commonly held knowledge: those you’ve surrounded yourself with are not always in your best interest. In which case, QUAKE book reading is not only a helpful but, an essential activity.
So, how can it be that, despite the general consensus that reading is good, I would be a wealthy man if I recieved a dollar every time I heard the phrase, “But I don’t have time to read?” The answer is simple- most men don’t understand the effect QUAKE book reading has on the compounding of knowledge and the implications that it may have on their bank balance, family life, emotional wellbeing or understanding of the world.
A Man’s Pursuit of the Five “P’s”
A boy becomes a man through strict adherence to five important ps: purpose, priorities, practice, persistence and productivity.
Yet, many men will continue to state “lack of time” as their main practice and productivity barriers. The reality is, we can have anything we want in life – it’s simply a matter of priorities and persistence. So how does one prioritize?
Simple – by aligning with a clear purpose. Only through purpose can a man prioritize and practice any given activity or development. Only with persistence will he start to experience real productivity gains.
Purpose is obtained by gaining knowledge about the world, understanding your interests and strengths, and how they can be best applied to the problem you want to solve. This will become clearer as you read more QUAKE books.
Using expertise earned through such reading and diligent practice of what is being preached, will allow you – a self-accomplished man – to scratch your own itch.
Priorities help us achieve purpose. Priorities are a set of actions we must become accustomed to, while forsaking other things which don’t align us with our end goals.
Knowing your priorities and how to dedicate time to them, through consistent practice, are significant steps in a man’s pursuit to greatness. This is why reading a QUAKE book is so important. It is an exercise of discipline over distractions.
Persistence is the discipline of practicing even when you don’t feel like it or when you don’t see change. Over time it enables you to process your thoughts and actions better, given that neurons that fire together, wire together. It is something that needs to be learned and established and, in my experience, is an attitude and action plan that is grown by copying good role models and reading biographies of great men and women who have led the way before us.
These 4 “P’s” naturally produce the fifth – productivity. Productivity is the successful converging of disciplined attention and action.
Consequently, reading is the alpha and omega of productivity and all the aforementioned tactical actions on the road to mastery. If you don’t believe me just ask Ryan Michler, Richard Branson or Bill Gates. There is a reason why all three of them run a book club.
Kai Whiting is a university researcher based in Lisbon, Portugal, fellow Order of Man disciple, and founder of the book review site Quakebooks.net