I adore Gay Hendrick's The Big Leap. For me it's quite an eye-opener and is THE best mindset book I have ever come across. It is a book I plan to re-read and re-read until I master it, and apply it fully to my life.

This strategy has been a Big Leap in itself because until last summer I very rarely read a book twice. Let alone mastered them.

I could count on one hand how many books I had read more than once - and guess what, none of them were personal development books. Instead my goal, which I had pledged to achieve every year since I was a teenager but had never actually done, was to read 52 books per year - that works out as 1 per week. I even wrote a post about it here.

So what changed my thinking? A conversation with another coach.

When I told him my goal he laughed. A lot. He then asked me, 'But how many do you master?' My silence and puzzled expression made him elaborate, 'Do you implement what you learn? Or do you just read it highlighting the good parts but never actually putting those words into action?'

Ding, ding, ding. My brain alarm sounded and the dusty light bulb inside flickered on. A life-changing a-ha moment!

He had bestowed upon me some magical reading advice, which I now pass on to you.

It is better to read one book 52 times, than to read 52 books once. If you do not implement what you are learning, what's the point of reading the book in the first place?

And that is when I gave up my decade-long quest to read 52 books a year - ironically, during the first year I was likely to achieve it.

I made a new goal straightaway: I will read 12 books per year and I will implement what I learn. I will read each book at least once and I will share what I am learning with others to increase accountability to implement. 

To reach my goal, I came up with an action plan:

Read only one personal development book at a time.
Read a physical copy NOT a Kindle edition.
Read only one chapter per day.
At the end of each chapter, recap the core learnings and write a summary (either inside the covers or in my personal development notebook).
Continue to highlight, annotate and mark the book as I read.
Tell at least one person per week what I am reading and what I have learnt so far.
Implement one thing from each chapter immediately - and journal my progress as each day passes.
At the end of the book, summarise the main teachings and share with other people.
If the book truly resonates, read it at least once every 6 months and continue to implement until mastery occurs.

Since then, I have actioned my plan and am reading and implementing, rather than just skimming as I was before. That coach made me realise I was chasing quantity rather than quality - and that's not the key to mastery (or anything decent in life). 

This year I have set myself a goal to read 1 personal development book and 1 novel per month. It's realistic, achievable, and allows for mastery.

How many will you read this year? Better yet, how many will you master?  Share with me what you have read and implemented this year in the comments below.

 

Reading for Mastery: Implementation is Key

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