I have become a fervent reader of personal development books over the past few years and on looking back I wish I had made more of an effort at making notes as I read along. I now know I can use certain tricks to ensure that I make a note of certain pointers as I read these gems of wisdom. There is definitely a difference between what I do now and what I used to do before. The goal of this post is to share that personal development books are best read with a purpose. Take notes as you read along as you never know when you might need to read those special aha paragraphs again.
I used to read a book without really making any notes for future reference, I was basically reading and relying on my memory to remind me of the great nuggets of wisdom I was learning from the books. As I have progressed I have come to the realization that my memory is not as great as it used to be. I do not remember the aha moments as easily and I would have to read all the books again to remember most of the take away pointers as they were stated in the book. I do know that books have certainly aided me in becoming a better person. I have grown in knowledge and confidence since I started on my own personal path to greatness and added raeding personal development books as a goal. There are certain pointers that I find are reccuring themes in most of the books I have read thus far.
I am here to share some of the lessons I have learned from these books that have played a big role in keeping me focused.
1. Find your WHY.. most of the books I have read tend to refer to this concept in one way or another. It is more or less impossible to follow a dream if there isn’t a big enough reason pushing you towards achieving that dream. If your goal is to pay down your debt you need to have a big enough reason to push you towards fulfilling that goal. Do you want to pay off the debt because you want to better provide for your family or is there another less compelling reason pushing you towards that goal? Not all WHYs are created equal and having a weak why will lead to a less than likely chance of success.
2. YOU are the hero of your story; another common theme in most of these books is the importance that is placed on personal responsibility. Success can only be achieved by those that believe in their personal role in their ability to achieve the goals that they set for themselves. As I like to say playing a victim of your circumstances keeps you stuck in your current situation and there is no moving beyond that. Change can only happen when you begin to believe that only you (with the help of God of course) can change your circumstances. There is no hero waiting to save you, you have to realize that you have the ability to change your situation. Once you decide this your mind starts to open up to the possible solutions to your current situationc. When you focus on your lack of skills or ability to fix your problems your mind closes up and stops at the impossibility, you are more or less telling yourself it can’t be fixed so why would your mind search for solutions for you.
3.MINDSET, your mindset determines whether you will be successful or not. If you have a negative mindset the chances are you are going to stay stuck in your current situation. Those that succeed are those that have a positive mindset, that is those that can look at situation no matter how dire it looks and believe that they can come out on the other side as a winner. They do not let circumstances or the unknown scare them from attempting to achieve their goals. These are the people who ask How can it be done? Instead of stopping at it can’t be done. A positive mindset gets you from point A to point B where as a negative mindset keeps you believing the naysayers and allows fear to take over and keep you stuck. If you are all about improving your life and following your dreams then you need to develop a positive mindset. It can be done but it requires you to put in the work, you basically have to change the way you currently see life by learning from those that have succeeded before you. Youtube is full of inspirational videos that can help you towards developing a positive mindset.
4. YOUR CROWD plays a big role in what you are able to achieve in your life. If you are surrounded by hardworking go getters the chances are you are also going to become hardworking. The saying birds of a feather flock together kinda comes to play in this situation. Have you heard the saying iron sharpens iron, this is where your crowd comes to play. Call me snobbish but when my kids start telling me they have new friends I have a long list of questions I ask them. My son who is in high school and headed to college soon will attest to my questioning nature. I have screened his friends based on their grades and overall attitude and behaviour because I believe that peer pressure is real. Friends play a big role in convincing us one way or another to do certain things. These can be to our benefit or demise. Paying attention to your crowd can help you in your journey to success. Those that hang out with the hardworkers and achievers tend to pick up on some good habits that help them towards their goals. Pay attention to the friends youl keep, you always want to be the dumbest person in your crowd because the influence of the others will force you to to become better.
5.GRATITUDE, perhaps this should have been number one on my list, but I figured as long as it’s somewhere in the list then you will get the point. The vast majority of personal development gurus point to the necessity of having GRATITUDE. The ability to be thankful for all that we have. The simple process of being grateful for health, the roof over our heads, the ability to breath, the ability to work, the ability to dream. It’s easier to accept the pitfalls and fallbacks if we have the ability to be grateful for what we have. All paths have their pitfalls, just because you have a dream and you are working your butt off towards it doesn’t mean you will have a straight path to success. You will fall and you have to be prepared for that, having the ability to be thankful for the life you have will make it that much easier to deal with such setbacks. Gratitude is therefore one thing you will have to develop if you want to enjoy success in life.
There are other nuggets I have learned from reading the personal development books but including those would make for a rather long posting and I don’t want to lose your interest….hopefully that will make for a follow up post. In the meantime I hope you have learned something from this and I plan to provide you with some strategies for reading and getting the most from personal development books in the future.
With love and gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani