I am always intrigued as to why someone writes a self-help book. The Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel, who grew up on a sheep farm before embarking on his successful academic and business career, certainly gives it to you with both barrels in his introduction.
He was perceived by others as a successful man and was enjoying life, when he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour, which was thankfully removed. This proved a turning point in his life. He realised he had spent years chasing illusions, following what he now realised was a fool's guide to fake success.
He could have wallowed in self-pity, but instead decided to focus on a future he could create. He honed in on three areas: selectivity, ownership and pragmatism, which have become the guideposts that have directed him towards what he now calls the science of intelligent achievement, and these are the foundations of his new book.
A bestselling author, founder and chief executive of two successful tech companies, and married to his best friend, Mr Hankel believes he is now truly successful and happy, and he wants to share his philosophy with others.
The underlying message in his book is that it is never too late to change and create the goals that will make us truly successful in business and in our private lives.
Achieving your goals can come at any age. Remember Sam Walton? Although he owned a small chain of discount stores he opened his first Walmart in 1962 when he was 44; this book shows you it is never too late to turn things around.
When you see a book with 33 chapters you may feel daunted, but each of these is very short and highlights the elements that make up the science of intelligent achievement. The author firmly believes, as do I, that we all have the power to set the agenda for our lives. If we do not, we follow that of someone else; the choice is up to us.
When you achieve that focus, you then have to sell yourself and your vision. Mr Hankel has some sensible points to make on creating your own personal story and influencing others. The secret is to have passion and be the hero of your story, but do it with humility.
This is a good read full of personal insights from the author, but also ideas we can all adopt. The only criticism I would have is that it is text heavy and could have done with visuals to build on the salient advice given.
So remember, it is never too late to create the goals and life you want and this book can help.
Published by Capstone. John Joe McGinley is principal of Glassagh Consulting