The smartest people I’ve met, advise, and work with love to learn— they thrive on new ideas and read a lot of books, study videos, and pour over articles that help change and challenge their thinking. Talk to any high achiever, and chances are they’ll mention a book that influenced their life at some point and helped them achieve their dreams.
The same is true for me. Each year, I read, study, and recap dozens of books, not only for my own learning, but to help mentor and coach others. I recognized two decades ago that when I would read a book, I often would only retain a very small portion of the author’s content, even after investing hours of highlighting. Now for over 20 years, I have been recapping my books. That’s right. I read and study between 50 and 100 books a year. I highlight them and type them into recaps that I can go back and study over and over. I have thousands of recaps now that I provide to my special clients to help them advance their thinking and learning.
Ask your mentors and coaches which books and videos they’ve studied that helped them get where they are. Nearly every successful person we know will mention reading the book Think and Grow Rich. It’s not a coincidence, either.
High achievers get real results and avoid stagnation by seeking constant information and by valuing self-improvement. New information can be gathered through reading trade and industry magazines, newspapers, books, and other publications, including brief recaps or abstracts that save time by condensing information.
Here’s a reading tip that I’ve found useful over the years: When you’re going to read something, like a book or a magazine, determine why you’re reading it (to learn, for entertainment, to gather data, etc.); then approach your reading accordingly. Many don’t think about why they are reading, so they read too fast or too slowly. Sometimes it’s best to skim the book or magazine, and sometimes it’s best to read slowly and highlight as you go.
You can’t attend every seminar, self-help session, or motivational meeting. But you can quickly download a book on your tablet or mobile device that will create new ideas, catalyze change, and help you get where you’re going in life.
A good coach will always have a new book, article, or video to share with you; so ask them what they’re studying and be prepared to take notes.