Read for Maximum Effectiveness

by Brad Isaac on July 5, 2010

A reader asks “Brad in your blog post 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books you make a strong case for reading more. But what type of books should I be reading?”

I believe your first choice in reading material should be books that will improve your work. A chef will become a better and higher paid chef by reading many books on varied cooking techniques. A programmer would become more efficient and successful by reading more programming books.

But I think we’re leaving out an important point. Everyone should own a Kindle? Nope that wasn’t it. The point is we can’t just read we must also apply what we learn in the books we read.

You’ve probably heard a million times “we learn from doing.” That’s true. Doing sets successful people apart from those who just read about it.

However, there are downsides to applying what we learn. One it takes effort. We have to close the book and get to work. That can be hard compared to the task of reading. But we are different. We can do that.

Another downside is often while applying what you’ve read you find the writer was a maniac. You discover his methods are pure nonsense.

To combat the nonsense writers, we attack that problem with discernment. And the only way to build effective discernment is through experience. And how do we build experience? Well, one powerful way is by applying what we’ve learned from the books we read. cue song ‘Circle of Life’…

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Noah fleming July 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Agreed. As someone who’s read almost 40+ books this year, I think you’re hitting the nail right on the head. Read, read, and read. But then take that knowledge and put it into action, try it, test it, do stuff with it, make it your own, make it better.

And…. I still think everyone should own a kindle.


July 23, 2010 at 3:27 am

Brad, great article. I met a guy living in Park City, UT (where the Olympics were held). He was not where he wanted to be in life, and wanted me to coach him, which I agree to do. One of the first things I asked him to do, was to read “Think & Grow Rich.” Before I could even finish saying the name of the title, he shouted, “NAPOLEON HILL! I LOVE THAT BOOK! I READ IT IN MY 20′S!” At first, I was excited that he had read the book, but then it dawned on me… he was 40 years old, single, earning $7 an hour, working the graveyard shift, as parking lot security guard. YIKES! He read the book, but he missed IT! He missed the SECRET that was in every chapter of the book, beginning with the first sentence of the book! Incredible isn’t it?

Two great tips about reading, I’d like to share….

1. Always have two books with you… One to read and one to write (what you’re learning – journal).

2. Read less. Study more. – So many people read for the sake of reading. Whereas if we would really study and apply just a handful of the greatest personal development books, we could do revolutionary things in our lives, and for the world.

Brad, I would love for you to stop by my blog and see what we are doing. I am doing success coaching via my podcasts and video blogs. It’s all free and we’re having a ton of fun, helping a lot of people. Come on over, take a peek and leave a comment or two.

C.S. Hughes

July 29, 2010 at 3:06 am

I couldn’t agree more too Brad. Reading books that help you develop yourself as a person, or professionally is a key to success.

However, I believe that a good fiction book from time to time also does good to you ;)

Thanks for a good post.

August 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Agreed. Reading refreshes the mind. It allows us to discover new things and enhance our imagination. My mom used to tell us that reading is like eating; her analogy was food is for the body to keep you physically strong while books are for the mind to help you say what you want in an intelligent manner. :)

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