Make most out of self-help book which you’re reading

The promises of self-help books are not too good to be true.

You may see reviews stating how a book changed somebody’s life and you don’t feel the same. Chances are: a.) what you are reading (the book and the review) are lies, or b.) you are doing something wrong. In most cases, it’s the latter.

Don’t read for the sake of reading.

You can get the most out of your book and by doing these things instead:

Treat your book like a sponge

The harder you squeeze the sponge, the more wisdom you can get out of it.

Authors deliver non-fiction books as straightforward they can. Yet, I learned through time that they did not intend this so you can put away the book after a day or two.

They want to transform you by engaging with the content.

Self-help books are a great tool to help you have a positive mindset. The longer you read about a topic, the more that you become aware of your approach in life. It serves as a reminder of what you are working on every day.

I used to read a lot of fiction books. I could finish an entire book in one sitting if it is entertaining. When I focused more on non-fiction, I read slower but still at a decent pace. I was very eager to learn another thing or two from the writer. The result is that it feels like reading for pleasure. I finish a lot of content, without being able to keep a lot of information.

Take time to reflect on each chapter before moving on to the next. Think about how this new knowledge will help you in every aspect of your life. Take advantage of the spaces at the end of each chapter. Write down notes. Go back to them whenever needed.

As time went by, I found that the most effective way to gain knowledge is by reading only one chapter at a time.

Always apply one thing you learned today

A positive mindset is one thing but taking action is a completely different thing.

The only reason why a self-help book would not be effective is if you don’t apply what you learned. For example, the book “Think And Grow Rich” asks you to do simple tasks such as writing your goal on a piece of paper. It may sound useless, but refusing to do it also makes reading fruitless.

The longer you wait to apply anything you learn, the easier it is for you to let it go. You will soon forget and there will be no progress. It will be like buying a book, leaving it on your shelf, and expecting to get good results.

One action could be all it takes to see one positive outcome.

And one positive outcome could be the start of the life you want to live.

Read two books at once

I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.

-Virginia Woolf

Most of the things we read in self-help books are not new to us. Even the best-selling ones only serve as reminders — simple things that we are aware of but we neglect. They enlighten us by reminding us to start having a positive attitude.

The fact that you choose to read a self-help book means that you want to make yourself better. It may have effective and pointless content. The goal is to take in as much as you can.

Have you tried reading a product review for something you want to buy? You can see good and bad reviews, but if you want to get the product, you end up dismissing the bad reviews.

This is how the human mind works.

It remembers the things it wants to retain.

It filters information.

However, you might not have everything that you need in a book that helps you develop a positive mindset. Most of the time, that’s all there is to it. This is why you need a second book — an actionable one.

Most books are either too focused on changing your mindset or too informative. The former ends up not being actionable while the latter becomes boring (too much information can be overwhelming). The secret is to read them at the same time.

I know not a lot of people practice this but I also met people who think it’s not a good idea. There will be times when you don’t feel like reading. It helps to spice things around by switching between books. A combination of a motivational book and an instructional book is what I find best.

For example, if you read “Think and Grow Rich”, it will be about mindset shifting. It tells you about all these people who never gave up on their dreams and found a way to turn them into reality. It tells you to write your goals in your journal, imagine yourself already having what you want, and so on. But it can’t directly help you achieve your specific goals — let’s say, becoming a good investor.

On another hand, reading a book like “Stock Market Investing for Beginners” will give you the information you need on how to be a good investor. But since you are still learning, you might find this boring. There would be a lot of words you’re not familiar with and end up only trying to read and finish the book.

Reading multiple books at once feels like having a teacher.

Your teacher can help you not only achieve a positive mindset but also learn the exact ways of fulfilling your goals.

You’re not going to have it all in one book.

But when you’re reading, make it as if it’s the one that will improve the way you think and act.




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Akash Singh

Akash Singh

Data Analysis and ML| UI Designer | Python |Tableau |AR |Arduino |React Native

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