Reading books is one thing, but actually living them is another thing. Many people just read a book without ever living it. But as you know, you can never get full benefit from a book if you just read it without putting it into practice.
Of course, it is easier said than done. Most of us just read a book once to get some ideas, and that’s it. But do you believe that we can completely grasp and apply the principles in a book by reading it just once? I don’t think so. Of course we can get some ideas from the book, but to effectively grasp and especially to apply them, reading it just once is definitely not enough. We need to read and reread it until the principles are internalized and applied in our daily life.
Having “Most Important Books”
While not all books deserve such rereading, there are some very good books that deserve it. These are the kind of books that will make significant difference in your life if you apply the principles in them.
Do you know of such books? I do, and I call them “most important books” (MIBs). These are the books that can greatly improve the way I think, work, or live. So I give my MIBs special attention. I believe the habit of having MIBs can significantly help us in our personal growth. There are two reasons for this:
- It helps us internalize important principles for our life, and
- It helps us apply those principles
As you may know, application is what makes the difference between 1% people who experience what a book say and the other 99% who just read it without experiencing it. If you want to be in this top 1%, having MIBs – I believe – is a good way to help you.
Applying the MIBs Concept
So how do you put this MIBs concept into practice? Here are some tips:
- Make a list of all the books which application you think can significantly improve your life. Do not limit yourself in this step. Just list whatever books that come into your mind.
- From the list that you have made, choose at most three books which can make the most significant difference to your current needs.
- Have these books handy. Put them in a place where you can easily reach and read them.
- Every now and then, when you have spare time, grab one book and read the important parts in it. It will help you a lot if you have highlighted the book before. That way you can just read your highlights, and only read the details if you think they are necessary.
- Whenever you read a part of the book, think about how to apply it to your life. Think of some concrete actions you can take. If you want to, you can put them into your to-do list.
- Do the same thing with the other (at most) two books which are also your MIBs.
- Keep a book as MIB until:
- You are satisfied with your progress in applying the principles in the book, or
- The book is no longer relevant to your current need.
- When you remove a book from your MIBs, you can choose another book by going back to step 1.
Why do I believe that this MIBs concept works? Because, for really important ideas, the key to successful application is repetition. Without repetition, it’s far too easy for those ideas to be lost in our mental attic. Having MIBs is an effective way to make sure that the important ideas will always have the place they deserve in our mind.