There is no secret to success, just lots of little tips and experiences that work for some people.
The best way to begin a life of success or continue on your journey to success it is important to have goals and role models. Ask any successful person, and they have had a role model at some point. Someone to take inspiration from, and to glean tips and tricks of knowledge which will aid you in your journey. These are some of the reasons why it's important to read autobiographies of successful people. You may think that successful people are self-starters who can only learn from themselves and through their own experiences, but this is a myth.
Think to some of the most influential people in the past century. Almost all of them have an autobiography or biography published. This is a goldmine for people looking to reach success as well. There is no secret to success, just lots of little tips and experiences that work for some people. It is nearly impossible to be "over armed" with knowledge of these experiences that helped successful people achieve their goals. And they are not keeping it a secret! The "secrets" to their success are available and accessible, in their autobiographies! They are dying to share what helped them, in hopes of inspiring and helping others, so take advantage of it.
How can you make this work for you? Think of your goal. What field is it in? What area, what kind of time-line, and what kind of work will get you there? If it is a career goal, you have a few options. It will definitely be useful to read the autobiography of someone successful in your particular field or career area. But it may also be useful to read the autobiography or biography of someone who was an overall influential person, be they in your field or not. Examples may be Steve Jobs, Tony Dungy, Condoleezza Rice, or Maya Angelou. They were world-influencers and their stories may spark exactly the inspiration needed to maintain your path to success.
Some exercises to try at home that can help show why it's important to read autobiographies of successful people (by results) are below.
1. Visualize your career goals. Do you want to build a start-up company? Do you want to get along better with coworkers and subordinates? Do you want to revitalize your workplace? Think of role models that may have face similar problems. Odds are if they were influential enough to come to mind when you simply visualized your goals, they have an autobiography. Read it. Their situations may not be exactly the same, but you will glean bits of knowledge that will come into use at a later point. Plus, if they do have similar situations, you will know you are not the only one facing these situations.
2. Visualize your life goals. If you regard your life as successful, your career certainly falls into that category as well. Pick a life role model, someone who did something great for humanity, or found great personal happiness. Their autobiography will also be full of great inspirational histories.