What do some of the most successful athletes, aerospace engineers and tech billionaires have in common? They embrace innovation by harnessing the power of reverse engineering, says racing cyclist Dan Bigham. When captaining an amateur cycling team, Bigham used this method to defeat teams with more money, power and status. The key, he explains, lies in understanding that all systems are flawed, and in embracing an ethos of continuous improvement. Bigham’s writing is motivational and filled with anecdotes from his life. His book will inspire readers across all disciplines to reach their goals.
To achieve your goals, embrace reverse engineering: Start with your destination in mind, and figure out the best way to get there.
When Roger Bannister ran the world’s first recorded sub-four-minute mile on May 6, 1954 – in less than optimal racing conditions – he accomplished something which, at that time, people widely regarded as an impossible feat. Indeed, athletes had been attempting to break the four-minute limit for 50 years. But Bannister had found a goal that inspired him, and he unflinchingly pursued it. Was Bannister just that much more talented than all those who came before him? Not necessarily, but the psychological barrier to breaking the record was a potent deterrent. Once Bannister showed it was possible, other runners were able to follow suit.
Though notable, Bannister’s story is not unique. Conventional wisdom holds all manner of goals as impossible – or, at the very least, improbable. But you can always find ways to get where you want to go, if you have the commitment to work tirelessly toward that goal and the gumption to explore outside-the-box solutions to getting there. When captaining an...