The 9 suggestions to get the most out of a great book (from a great book)
I recently picked up a copy of How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie which was recommended by Naval Ravikant. The timeless wisdom in this book has inspired me to use the nine suggestions to get the most of out of this book. These suggestions apply to learning any valuable skill, especially when using the most influential book on the topic.
Originally published in 1937 – here are some notable quotes and concepts.
“Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are only using a small part of our physical and mental resources” Prof. William James of Harvard
Broadly speaking, the human individual thus lives far within his limits, possessing powers of various sorts he habitually fails to use”
The sole purpose of this book is to help you discover, develop and profit by using the dormant and unused assets.
“Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.” Dr. John G. Hibben
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” Herbery Spencer
This is a book of action.
Actionable books require actionable reading. This is emphasized with 9 key concepts that all fit the ethos of the brilliant quote by Bernard Shaw:
“If you teach a man anything, he will never learn.”
“If you wish to get the most out of this book, there is one indispensable requirement, one essential infinitely more important than any rule or technique: a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people.”
The 9 key suggestions should be applied to all books that you have a desire to learn from. These suggestions are a key to understand, not simply the process of linear beginning to end consumption.
a.) Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations.
This should be a prerequisite to any topic you wish to discover.
b.) Read each chapter twice before going on to the next one
Perhaps the most useful tool to focus on absorption and not linear consumption
c.) As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion.
Pacing and pausing to promote active attention to produce actionable experiences.
d.) Underscore each important idea
Read with a crayon, pencil, pen, highlighter. Marking a book makes it more interesting and easier to read.
e) Review this book each month.
Review is essential to affirm foundation knowledge as well as assess current applications of principles.
f.) Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this a working handbook to help you solve daily problems
g.) Make a game out of learning by offering a friend a dime or dollar every time they catch you violating one of these principles.
Swear jar concept: Hold yourself accountable internally and externally.
h.) Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvements, what lessons you have learned for the future.
What is measurable gets measured. Always be assessing.
i.) Keep notes in the back of this book showing how and when you have applied these principles. Be specific with times and dates.
For this, I would do a separate notebook. You can include this in your daily journaling.
Now go pick up the book, and get going.
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