Every book is an entire world, waiting to be explored.

My father had a large library. Many of the books were inherited from a friend. That friend had told him that when he was younger, he would worry:

“I rarely have the time to read these. When I find the time, will I be too old to see the words?”

The answer became “yes”. He did grow too old to read them and so gifted them to my father.

Funny enough, my father said the same thing. And once again, it came true.

But for him, it wasn’t for the lack of reading. He’d always had a book in hand and a pen to mark it up with and act as a bookmark. He lamented reading slowly, but I knew he read thoroughly, deeply exercising his mind as he would his body when jogging.

Books Unread

Now, I have many books.

But I’m not reading them at the pace that I’d like. Well, to be honest, they’ve mainly been sitting there.

I brought a book on vacation and began to get into it. I came back from vacation without having finished it, thinking, “Surely, I’ll continue”.

So, I sat it next to my bed, where “Of course, it will remind me.”

And, of course, it sat next to my bed, barely touched.

Two months later, I took another trip, being sure to bring the book along. I got back into it, right where I left off. And once again, I have returned.

This time, though, I’m making a change. Rather than hope the book itself would act as a reminder, I’m adding it to what I’ve come to call my “Honor Guide”.

An Honor Guide

An Honor Guide is much like many other lists, but the structure is unique. It holds 1-3 spaces for the things that I am currently active with, engaging in daily visits at my pace. There is another small area for things that await activation. There is a third area for things I have already well incorporated into my days, no longer taking deep thought to continue, but can still do with a reminder.

It’s a simple structure, but one that has carried me forward for many years now.

The structure affords a direct meeting place for Past, Present, and Future. There, I practice acknowledging what I wish to add into my life and what I would need to set aside to do so. Things that can wait, can wait. Things that cannot, come forward.

Decisions, big or small, can be difficult. But having a structure to support your decisions, so that it is no longer forced, strained, so that you don’t have to hold onto them in some chronic tension, can make all the difference.

– Kourosh

PS If you are interested in learning more about the Honor Guide, you can read its beginnings in the Navigation section (p565) of Creating Flow with OmniFocus and its latest version in Module 7 of the Waves of Focus.