Book review: The Art of Deliberate Success

Apparently as human beings, we are interested in three main fundamentals: being successful, being happy, and trying to avoid death. This book focuses on the first of these and by extension, somewhat on the second.

The Art of Deliberate Success
Dr David Keane (Wiley, 2012) $37.99

Apparently, as human beings, we are interested in three main fundamentals: being successful, being happy, and trying to avoid death. This book focuses on the first of these and by extension, somewhat on the second. However, if you’re looking for advice on death- avoidance, you might need to look elsewhere.

Keane has studied successful individuals and how they manage their life, time and goals. He’s turned that into a book of advice that’s built on 10 characteristics of successful people.

It’s a fairly straightforward process and the concepts in the book aren’t hard to grasp. You decide what success means to you; then set some goals; next, decide on mini ‘campaigns’ to achieve your goals and then set about getting rid of the extraneous rubbish that hinders your path.

It’s the ‘stop doing unnecessary stuff’ message I found most interesting and compelling. Perhaps you spend too much time on Facebook, or you’re a news junkie, or you haven’t automated certain processes (bill payment, anyone?) that don’t require your repeated involvement.

Identifying and putting a lid on these time wasters – and then, of course, reallocating that time to important tasks that will shift you closer to your campaigns and goals – is where the crux of Keane’s argument lies.

There are close parallels to Tim Ferriss’ popular book The 4-Hour Work Week and it’s essentially the same message, though Ferriss’ very American confidence may translate as arrogance to some, and hence irk.

Keane is an internationally renowned expert on human achievement and has spent two decades researching success with top leaders, so he must really know his onions.

The book is largely free of jargon, is accessible, easy to understand and a very quick read – so it’s highly recommended for anyone whose new year hasn’t quite gotten the kick in the pants it really needed.

Buy it. Read it. Pass it on. Report back to us in a year.