5 Great Ways to Read Self-help Books


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"Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others.”
.....Otto Van Bismarck.
A self help book is a non- fiction book that was written to teach, instruct or motivate. Most times it is a distilled experiences or knowledge of achievers and successful people.
Most self help books contain single idea with most pages full of fillers and jargons. This single idea is enough to transform your life , relationship , work or living if you know how to read and pick what apply to your own situation.
Nothing has changed my life more than the reading
and careful application of self help materials in the last 10 years.
Like treasures of life , I have dug up gems from heap of rubbish by applying these 5 ways of studying self help materials .
If you have been reading self help books but you seem to be more confused and filled with information overload , these 5 techniques will clarify your learning and you will derive your intended rewards from investing your time , resources and energy from these treasures of personal development .
1. KNOW WHAT YOU NEED.
DO not read any book because it was termed a best seller or recommended by someone. Most readers follow the fads of the day and most read because they want to be termed readers .
Don't be like that.Be intentional about your selection of books .You do not read a book on finance when your problem is lack of discipline . It is easy to know the book that can solve your problem since these books contain single idea.
Before you buy or read a self help book, go through your need list and ensure there is a perfect match between your choice of book and your need point .
2. DO BOOK SCHEMING.
THE single idea in most self help materials are contained in the introduction and last chapters.
A quickly scheming through the table of contents can save you time and energy while you still grab the main idea. You will know the chapters that will require your most attention and those that are just written to make the book voluminous .
Also the the first page and the last page of a chapter contain the juice of a book . Same goes for the first and the last paragraph of page.
3. WRITE AS YOU READ .
Self help materials are not literary.They are intended to teach you the rules of grammar. The best way to stimulate actions is to write actionable steps and plans as you read.
Highlighting and writing by the margins are not enough . The book and its contents are meant to be practised for the intended impact . It is the act of studying and analysing self help book without the required actions that can confuse and leave you worried than before you read the book .
Most times , I find it difficult to finish a self help materials because once I discovered the main idea and the supporting plans to solve my problems , I stand up and move towards execution . No time.
Keep a different jotter or notepad meant for writing actionable steps and plans when you read self help materials.
4. READ SLOWLY AND QUICKLY
Do not be carried away by the style and fluency of authors of self help materials. You should aim to finish a self help materials within 3 hours if you are a slow reader and less than 2 hours if you are a pro. If you find yourself reading a self help book for more than a week , you have already tarried and possibly tending towards analysis paralysis.
More than one thousand self help books are written in a day and each is based on current and fresh ideas. Strive towards gathering more ideas . If one idea can change your life , imagine what 2, 3,10 can do .
However , if you find a quite or a line that inspire you on a page , take your time to ruminate about it and write it out. Sometimes , thinking about an idea or inspiring lines can bounce back and produce different and new idea(s) totally.
Bring your ingenuity to fore and go to a self help materials like a gold digger looking for the gems buried therein.
5. Evaluate and Modify .
Since most of the best self help books are foreign , you might find some ideas, very esoteric or not applicable to your environment .You will modify and evaluate your understanding to suit your need.
Even if a finance book talks about 401k plan to grow your life insurance , that doesn't mean you will ignore the idea. Try to decipher the basis on which it stands.
When you apply an idea from a book, do a better job to review and evaluate your result. This single act can stimulate neurogenesis of the brain and ensure knowledge compunding .
These 5 ways will transform you from a super learner to a super-doer .You will discover that solutions to any problems are contained in books . You will discover the joy of reading self help books and the far better reward of applying what you know .
Dr Besh Ladi Lawal ,
Healthpreneur, Life and Health Coach


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