You’ve read so much.
“Think and Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill
“The Magic of Thinking Big” – David Schwartz
“Creating Wealth” – Robert Allen
“Unlimited Power” – Anthony Robbins
“The Go-Giver” – Bob Burg and John David Mann
and so much more.
To your frustration you don’t find yourself so much further ahead than before you started reading. You’re wondering why you ever bothered reading these books in the first place, you can’t even talk about them at parties. Who wants to here your success opinions if you are not succeeding?
I’m going to share with you a three step approach that will not only move you toward success but will also save you money on books and possibly shrink your library.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
- King Solomon
Step 1: It’s time to FOCUS
Have you ever reflected on how so many success books start with the same forward “Why another book on success”?
They all say the same thing. The title may be different, the text arranged in story format or pictures, but at the end of the day the message is more or less the same.
So why do the authors keep writing and we keep buying? You read a book, think the ideas are great. A few months later you see another book, you know that you have a success book at home on the shelf, but your situation hasn’t improved, so you figure it probably wasn’t that good and you decide that maybe this one will do the trick.Ã‚Â Wrong.
There is little wrong with the book (especially if you enjoyed it), what is needed is a shift in your approach.
So for step one lets begin to focus ourselves.Ã‚Â Choose a book from your shelf that you really enjoyed. The ideas were strong and the reading was easy. Next get out a highlighter a pen and some paper. The more you engage yourself in the book the more you will get out of it.
As you read the book highlight ideas that stand out to you. Make notes on each chapter, put it in your own words. The ideas in a 150+ page book can beÃ‚Â condensed to around 10 pages. Take ownership of the ideas, reflect on them and work with them till they become your own.
The goal is not to cover as much ground as possible. Read one chapter at a time and really “Get it”. If you cant write out the concept in the chapter in a short sentence then go back through it until you can.
When you finish this process the concepts in the book will no longer belong exclusively to the author, they will also have become yours.
Step 2: Lets Take Action
Knowing is not enough; we must apply! – Goethe
Action is the ultimate key to your success. The reason books don’t bring us success is because we read read each chapter, like the ideas and action steps, say that we will apply them after we finish the book, finish the book put it on the shelf and forget about it. Its like getting a membership to every fitness club in the city, never going and then complaining that you are not in shape.
You have to have to apply the knowledge for it to become valuable.
So the next step in our process is to decide what to take action on. Well if you have gone through the first step, then you have some great notes and ideas on how to build your success. Go through your notes and pick three action steps that you want to focus on for the next week. When you have picked the ideas right them down on a sheet, putting the three action steps at the top of the page. Below the actions steps make a 3 X 7 table with enough room to write down a few sentences in the boxes.
Before you go to bed reflect on the action step and state your intention to develop them within your self, and in the morning do the same thing. Be aware through out the day of opportunities to apply these action steps, because the opportunities for success are always there. At the end of the day reflect on how you applied each action step, what you could improve, and what you did well. Repeat the process for a week and then add 3 more action steps. By the time a month has passed you will have taken 12-15 action steps and you will be seeing greater success.
Step 3: Accountability
If action is the key, then accountability is the lock. Action is so important you can’t move forward without it, but if you try to put the wrong key in the lock the door wont open.
There are to areas of accountability:
1. To the process – You are going to ensure that your focus and action is properly directed. You will be accountable in making sure that you choose a path and stick to it.is ensuring that your focus and action are directed towards your goal.
2. To Yourself – you have made the commitment to take action. Don’t let yourself down.
So in this final step you will need to find a way to be accountable to the process and to yourself. Accountability in the process means reflecting weekly on the overall approach you have decided to take, and to make sure that you are not negatively modifying the process. Negatively modifying means changing the process because you are lazy and looking for excuses. If you see there is a way to make the process more effective then cautiously modify.
Being accountable to yourself can be accomplished in a few ways;
You can set up strong reward motivations for your self (A new outfit, a day at the spa, concert, etc.) to help you stay on track.
Maybe when you tell others this keeps you accountable.
Blog about it.
State your commitment 2-3 times a day.
There you have it.
The end of ill used reading has arrived. The simple process of Focus, Action, Accountability, will prevent your books from becoming dusty paper weights and book end, and transform them in to powerful tools for growth and success.