How to Read a Personal Development Book

Written On: April 29, 2020

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Written By: Robb Zbierski

Written On: April 29, 2020

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Written By: Robb Zbierski

Clients are asking us all the time for book recommendations.  And we LOVE to give them out!  As a matter of fact, there’s all kinds of suggestions in both Train Your Brain For Success and Master Your Mind.  But have you ever really thought about HOW to read these books?  HOW to ensure you get the most out of them?  Here’s a couple tips on maximizing your investment of time into reading any personal development book (spoiler alert… this is pulled from the intro to Master Your Mind)

Tip #1….Just read the book

Really- just read it at your own pace.  Some folks take great books and devour them all in one sitting….If that’s you, fantastic.  Others will take a few chapters at a time and savor the book over a few weeks or a few months.  This is also a fine way to digest the material.  There’s really no “wrong” way to read, unless you just let that book sit on your shelf.  If you want to maximize the value of your reading, it would be a good idea to have a highlighter and a pen handy to jot down some notes (actually those are great ways to slow down), but fundamentally just make sure you’re actually reading the book.

Tip #2…..As you’re reading, be actively looking for a small number of things to implement right away

There’s a lot that’ll get served up to you.  In our live workshops and keynotes, we often see our clients fall into the trap of getting all fired up and then trying to do too much. The thought process would sound like this:

“Oh man, this is awesome. I’m gonna do EVERYTHING different!!!  Wake up different, go to bed different, talk different, think different, act different, all day long……I’m just gonna do EVERYTHING different!!”

No you’re not.  Really- you’re just not going to do everything different, and that’s OK :).  You probably don’t need to do everything different, and you definitely don’t need to do a half-assed job of doing “everything” different.  Most likely you likely need to get really serious about doing a small number of things different. 

What’s a small number?  1 or 2.  If you can upgrade one or two practices or thought patterns, that’s likely all you need to start seeing massively upgraded results.  So we’ll say it again-  ONE or TWO things to either think about or do differently is what you’re looking for.  Deal?

Tip #3…..Get going and prepare for it to not be sexy

When you identify something to work on, you’ll get maximum benefit if you take some action on it immediately.  As a result of reading any book, it’s likely that you’ll want to change something.  When you find that one thing or those two things,  DO something about it as soon as possible. 

If you want to change how you wake up, do it the very next time you wake up.  If you decide you want to operate with a 2 Hour Solution plan for your week, make that plan right away.  It’s a great idea to start with a small step, but take the step.

2 additional things about taking action:

#1- Whatever action step you choose, look to do it consistently for at least 30 days, and 60-90 days is preferable.  One of the things that our coaching allows clients to do is to physically rewire their brains, and thereby recalibrate their internal “set point” to a higher level of performance that sticks.  The key to accomplishing this kind of rewiring is that it cannot happen all at once.  Rewiring your brain (aka establishing a new habit) requires at minimum roughly 30 days of consistent action, and 90 is a safer bet. 

#2- When you start moving on the principles you learn, be prepared for it to be fairly uncomfortable at first.  A lot of methodologies are deceptively simple, and definitely counterintuitive.  Truthfully, some of them just aren’t that sexy, and so they might feel a little awkward at first.  You might even get some resistance, either from that “little voice in your head” or even from the people in your world.  You may or may not have people think you’re a little nuts, but if you do…please understand this is normal and is actually a sign of your growth.

So use these tips the next time you grab a personal development book.  Got any tips you’d like to share?  Drop them in the comments below!

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