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RANT How are you mastering your books' lessons vs just having a cursory understanding?

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stellarowl12

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Feb 11, 2020
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Hey Fastlaners! So 1 problem I notice for myself is that I read a lot of books spanning all areas of business and self-improvement, and I learn a TON and they always blow my mind. However, when it comes time to apply them in the future, I forget a lot of the helpful tips that would have come in handy during that specific situation.

Is this a problem yall face at all? How do you approach getting a deeper understanding or even mastery so you can apply the important lessons that you've read before when the time is opportunistic?
 

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Kybalion

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What I've noticed after reading 100s of books is that the same lessons repeat themselves over and over and over again. Most marketing, business and self-development books have covered the same concepts and principles for the last 100 years.

Each concept can be useful in a specific situation.

The catch is to retain the lesson you must go through that specific situation until you've internalized the lesson.

And I hate to be that guy - but it's all about taking action.

For example, if you've read 25 books on public speaking and haven't been in front of an audience once you'll never get beyond cursory understanding. If you've read a general business book, but don't run a business yet, you won't gain anything more than just a vague awareness of the concepts covered.

The trick is to read a book relevant to the challenge at hand. You can't handle more than one problem at once.

Before I became a copywriter I used to read tons of copywriting books. It didn't make me a better copywriter. It just gave me a roadmap I could follow to improve my skills. Only when I started taking on a single lesson at a time and implementing the information I started to internalize the lessons.

So... the bottom line is - you don't need to read 100s of books to master a subject. Just stick with the fundamentals and keep repeatedly applying what you learn over and over again.

Oh... and take a look at this post by MJ: GOLD! - The absolute BEST book you MUST read!
 

alexkuzmov

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Hey Fastlaners! So 1 problem I notice for myself is that I read a lot of books spanning all areas of business and self-improvement, and I learn a TON and they always blow my mind. However, when it comes time to apply them in the future, I forget a lot of the helpful tips that would have come in handy during that specific situation.

Is this a problem yall face at all? How do you approach getting a deeper understanding or even mastery so you can apply the important lessons that you've read before when the time is opportunistic?
It is a problem, yes.
My advice is. SLOW it down.
I used to read or listen to at least one book about every 2 weeks, thinking that I need to race through them and cram as much knowledge into my brain as possible.
That obviously failed.

Some tips:
1. Read books which help you solve the current problem in front of you OR books which improve you and your skills if you find yourself without a problem to solve.

2. Take notes while reading, make sure to write down the most important to you bits of the book which stand out.
Categorize your notes in someway so when you face a challenge in a specific category (marketing, copywriting, product sourcing etc.) you can quickly open up a folder and you see what you've written.

3. Re-read the best to you books. A lot of details and lessons are missed one the first read, its just how we humans are.
 

Limpur

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It is a problem, yes.
My advice is. SLOW it down.
I used to read or listen to at least one book about every 2 weeks, thinking that I need to race through them and cram as much knowledge into my brain as possible.
That obviously failed.

Some tips:
1. Read books which help you solve the current problem in front of you OR books which improve you and your skills if you find yourself without a problem to solve.

2. Take notes while reading, make sure to write down the most important to you bits of the book which stand out.
Categorize your notes in someway so when you face a challenge in a specific category (marketing, copywriting, product sourcing etc.) you can quickly open up a folder and you see what you've written.

3. Re-read the best to you books. A lot of details and lessons are missed one the first read, its just how we humans are.
I agree with this one.

I first read through the book while highlighting things that are interesting or seem valuable. Then I skim through the book again and write down the highlighted things and other things I notice while skimming through it. I have like a notebook dedicated to this.

With this, I sometimes get like a short summary of the book. It works pretty well for me and I don't feel like I have to reread the book for a while. And I can always go through my notes to try to get it more stuck in my memory.
 

eliquid

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If you are looking for mastery and deeper understanding, you have to read the book multiple times.

Generally what I do is:

1. Read the book once, dog ear pages I don't understand or want to learn more about. Things that excite me.

2. Wait 30 days and read the book again, highlighting and dog earing more pages. I also write down things in a sep. journal too at this point as writing them down helps get them into memory a bit more.

3. Listen to audio format of the book. Some books you can get the writer as the narrator and they will include bits and pieces not found in the book. Also, their tone in their voice will also make a difference in understanding and memory.

4. Read summaries of the book from others like Derek Sivers and things you find online. Often you can get new insights and ideas this way.

You can normally do #1, #3, and #4 all within the same short time period ( as in, doing #3 and #4 after you read the book, same day ). Then do #2 after 30 days or so to help enforce it and master it.

Yes this takes a lot of time which many people do not have. However, I am careful what books I pick up and what I want to master to begin with.

Who cares if you read 50 books a year if they are trash or you can't retain what you read. Be selective.

.
 

Ernman

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I agree with the general trend of the responses thus far. It's not about how many books you read - we're not in a contest. It's about what we do with the knowledge we gain. If we don't put that knowledge to work, take action, it will not be retained. I frequently reread and recheck parts from books as I come across challenges. Eventually, these concepts just become a part of me.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Explain what you read to someone, or a rock. Just explain whatever it is you just read, like you’re the one teaching it. You’ll know it inside out.
 
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stellarowl12

stellarowl12

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Feb 11, 2020
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Do you all ever find people to read the same books as you so you can bounce ideas off of them and practice together? Maybe friends, family, etc.?
 

elusive97

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It depends on the type of book you're reading.

Something like A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle is harder to implement since its about a consciousness awakening.
I know what you mean but I love what @Kybalion said
Each concept can be useful in a specific situation.

The catch is to retain the lesson you must go through that specific situation until you've internalized the lesson.

And I hate to be that guy - but it's all about taking action.
Even Eckhart Tolle's book's lessons are easier to internalise when you're ready to take action and you're in a specific situation in which it's useful. I was lost, depressed and on the verge of suicide, despite making plans, the situation paired with a tiny bit of openness to spirituality allowed me to take on the lessons so deeply that they have changed and improved my life so much in 2 months.

It's all about your current situation and what you need!
 

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