Recently, I made a conscious decision to read a fictional short story to break up the non-fiction I typically lean towards.

On Mike’s recommendation, I picked up “A Study in Scarlet,” a Sherlock Holmes classic from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. On the last page, Sherlock summarizes how he was so accurately able to understand and solve the case.

“In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is much easier to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected.”

According to Sherlock, it’s just too easy to focus on the “everyday affairs of life” — reacting to the urgent items that bubble up daily.

In the process, we forget the importance of having a goal or dream as our north star.

If we are able to identify that destination, we can follow Sherlock’s advice and begin “solving the case” of our aspirations by thinking backwards.

In my case, I often spend a lot of time thinking about the future, but I rarely take the time to sit and put pen to paper.

Our Intention Guide was particularly useful for me, and it’s a guide I often come back to. It was created to help you set goals for a single year, but I recently returned to it and used the framework to set personal ambitions for the next five years.

Whether it develops into a strategic plan with measurable business milestones — or it’s just an articulation of how I want my personal life to evolve — writing down my intentions and putting some detective work into how to achieve them is one of the most valuable ways I have found of spending my time.

Mike and Dave Radparvar
Co-Founders, Holstee

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Intention.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.