Right now, you’re at a single point.
You want to achieve a result? Then move to another point.
But of course, you have to find it first.
When you know where that point is, you can go ahead and draw a straight line.
Asking what the point is helps you learn better, work better, and think better1.
I’m not saying you’ll do them faster, but rather better.
That’s because the point of finding the point is to get direction, not speed.
It’s always simple, but seldom easy.
What’s the point of spaced repetition? It’s not just to encode items into your long-term memory — that’s just a means to a bigger end. The point is to remember these items long enough either 1) until they can become a mental infrastructure for new knowledge; or 2) until you can use them as they are.
What’s the point of reading? To get to a higher level of understanding. If you’re not understanding what you read, you can go deeper and ask more specific questions:
- What’s the point the author is trying to make?
- What’s the point must I take away from this?
What’s the point of taking notes? It’s not to “capture important information” — but to have interactive blocks of information that allow you to think better and produce inferences more smoothly.
What’s the point of productivity? It’s not just to work more, but to work better. To get the right things done at the right time. Similarly, asking the point guides you in a fractal way, too:
- What’s the point of doing this activity?
- What’s the point of resting?
- What’s the point of doing more?
What’s the point of living? Well, it’s a deeper question even philosophers have been asking for hundreds of years. I don’t really think there’s one answer for this, but again, there’s a fractal nature to it:
- What’s the point of making money?
- What’s the point of anger?
- What’s the point of arguing?
- What’s the point of worrying?
Lastly, though, you might be asking: “What’s the point of finding what the point is?”
The point of this is, as Stephen Covey says, to help you “keep your main thing the main thing”.
When you miss the point, you’re eventually going to lose direction for speed.
When you lose direction, you’ll lack vision. When you lack vision, you lack clarity.
When you lack clarity, you get paralyzed — by fear, uncertainty, or procrastination.
Remember: the shortest path between two points is a straight line2.