Imagine trying to explain to somebody that the world is round like a ball. You’ve been told this since you were a child, so you might at first think it’s pretty obvious. However, when you actually try to describe this “simple” fact based on what you can actually see, you’ll find it surprisingly complicated. It requires more than just a casual conversation to get the point across – especially if you are talking to someone who spent their lifetime believing the world was flat. For most of its history, that is exactly what the human race believed.
Science is in the business of explaining things that aren’t intuitively obvious. If you look around, the earth seems pretty flat. You need some pretty sophisticated arguments to convince somebody that it’s round. If the earth is spinning like a top every 24 hours, it means that because you are on the surface of this spinning ball, you could be moving more than 1,000 miles per hour relative to the axis of the earth. Looking around you, the idea appears to be patently absurd, but nonetheless is exactly what science tells us.
Recently I was grappling with some of the contemporary theories of physics being debated in scientific circles. As my understanding of the principles behind these theories grew, I realized they provided a solid explanation of why almost any “success principle” actually leads to success. The problem was, whenever I tried to talk about it with somebody, they’d either glaze over or think I’d gone completely off my nut. That’s when I realized this was going to take something along the order of a book even to start to get the point across!
That’s how The Physics of Success got started.