This reader provided his real name, but I'll just call him P because I'm not sure he wants to be named.
Dear Mr Wang,
I have been reading your blog regularly. Your recent topics on 'mind over matter' struck a chord with recent events in my life and my personal experience as a whole.
My life undergone a drastic change 7 years ago from a struggling under-achiever to a reasonably successful professional. All I did was that I started writing my goals down and things began to change for the better. Most of my friends said I was lucky, but I think it was more than that. I always dreamt of an Ivy league education but was either too poor or not smart enough to attend one. In a span of 7 years, not only did I have a successful career, I went to INSEAD to do my MBA and my current company is sending me to Harvard for further education. I simply believe that I could do it and to me everything you want to achieve in life starts from having the right thoughts ....
.... It was like all the different pieces begin to fall into place and reading your blog makes it even clearer to me now. I always have this fear that if I share my 'secret' with friends, I will get ridicule and laugh at. So instead, I kept this to myself and believe that once I have made something with my life, it will be easier for me to talk about this with the right people at the right time. thank you for sharing this wonderful topic on your blog. Keep writing.
Yours sincerely, P
What is the strikingly similar theme I mentioned? Typically, the person starts off in average, mediocre or distinctly dismal circumstances. Then at some point in time, he starts experimenting with some particular "success technique" or mindhacking method.
Suddenly, his life begins to change. Drastically, and for the better. The success is startling even to the person himself. Eventually, compared to his previous circumstances, he becomes almost embarrassingly successful.
Then at some point, he develops an urge to want to share his wonderful secret with others. With his friends. With his family. But there is fear. There is hesitation. There is the worry that he will be perceived as superstitious, mad or delusional. And so he holds back. He doesn't tell.
I should know. I've been there.
There are lots of things that Mr Wang knows through personal experience, and he isn't even telling you. What he tells you on his blog is only the tip of the iceberg.
Same for P. Within his little email above resides a very big secret. Those who know, know. Those who don't, don't. Their loss.
Anyway, P's chosen success method, by his own account, was to write down his goals. To the uninitiated, mere writing may sound like an utterly ineffective method to achieve anything.
What may surprise you is that practically every self-improvement book emphasises the importance of writing down your goals. Furthermore the authors will devote many, many pages as to how exactly to go about this task. There are many little tips and tricks to make it work.
This is a simple yet formidable method which must never be underestimated. The real secret is to write such that the goals get impressed onto your unconscious mind.
And then something quite similar to the Rosenthal effect will happen again. Remember - the teachers don't actually know how to make the kids smart. But simply by believing that the kids are smart (even though this belief is objectively false), the teachers WILL end up making the kids smart, creating a clear, measurable jump in their IQ scores.
Similarly, you may not know exactly HOW to achieve your goals. Your conscious mind may not even accept that you could achieve such goals. But if you write the goals down such that they are impressed onto your unconscious mind, then your unconscious mind WILL make your goals come true, creating clear, measurable results.
Mr Wang would explain further, but why bother. Thoughts affect reality; your mind is the universe; the unconscious overpowers the conscious, Freud's iceberg model of human consciousness etc etc. Those are the details. Those who really want to know, will find out. Those who don't, won't.
If you know how to impress your goals onto your unconscious mind, then like P, you could write your goals all the way to Insead and Harvard. If those were the goals you chose.
Of course that's entirely up to you. You could choose entirely different things. Far more amazing things, and yes, most of them will come true.