One of the secrets of highly successful people is that many of them digest huge volumes of information in the form of books, audio courses, and videos. Most of these successful people have fairly extensive personal development libraries that they rely upon for guidance and solutions. I suggest that you model this habit and start developing your own personal development library.
Brian Tracy says that you should invest approximately 3% of your income into your own personal development and growth. So if your income is around $4,000 a month that means you should spend approximately $150 in personal development products and seminars to promote your own self improvement.
Here are some tips to help you build a useful personal development library of your own…
1. Binder your information
While books are great resources, I have found that many books contain only a few noteworthy gems of information in them–if even that. I have read many articles, on the other hand, that contain equal amounts of informational gems without all the fluff. These articles are of high value to me and are worth saving for future reference. You should make it a habit to archive these articles for future reference by punching holes in them and placing them in a 3 ring binder.
Make sure you clearly label your binders, so that you know what is contained within them. Also, at the front of the binder, you should create a table of contents so that you can find the information more quickly. In this way, you can begin to build your personal development library with information that is of high value to you and get rid of the low-value stuff.
2. Purchase bookshelves
One of the first things that you must do when developing your own personal development library is to begin by purchasing bookshelves to hold your collection. Start with one or two bookshelves to begin with and eventually purchase as many bookshelves as you can afford and as your space allows in your home because your subconscious mind will seek ways to fill those bookshelves with books.
3. Write in your books
Don’t be afraid to write in your books. Use your books as working documents. Highlight, underline, and leave notes in your books so that you can come back to it later and go straight to the points that are of key interest to you.
4. Organize your books
Organize your personal development resources according to subject and by how valuable the book is to you. This will make it very easy for you to retrieve information later.
5. Check out your own books
On the inside of the cover of each of your books, write the date when you last reviewed that particular book so that you know how often you refer back to that book.
6. Rank your books
Unfortunately, a good majority of books out there are of little or no value, but occasionally, you will come across books that have some very useful gems of information in them.
The best way to organize your books is to give them a rank from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most value to you. Purchase small circular yellow labels from your local office supply store and on the spine of the books and write a score from 1 to 10. By doing so you will know exactly which books have the most value to you when you revisit those informational products.
7. Get rid of low-ranking books
Books that have received a low review score from you, according to the above-stated tip, should be discarded as these bring little value to your library and only serve to use up precious shelf space. I suggest you photocopy or transcribe your notes from those books onto your computer and then discard, give away, or sell those books.
8. Purchase audio books
Audio books are a great time-saver because you can learn while not investing any extra time during your day towards learning. You can transform your car into a university classroom on your daily work commute. Listen to them over and over again to reinforce the teachings and concepts.
When you have finished with an audio book, then archive it in your library just like a book. Now with the popularity of iPods and other portable music players, you can actually store your whole personal development audio books onto your portable music device and take it with you anywhere you go.
9. Treat yourself to videos
Some people are visual learners, so it therefore becomes necessary to supplement your library with personal development related videos. Videos are a great source of learning and you should dedicate some shelf space solely for these videos.
Remember that your personal development library is your reference guide to life. It will contain all the solutions to struggles that others have gone through and overcome. It contains the mind gems from all the greatest experts in personal development that have lived or are living right now. As your own level of personal development matures throughout life, so should your personal development library grow with you.
Tristan is the founder of the Synergy Institute, a San Diego based Personal Development Firm. His philosophy of passionate living and helping others fulfill their dreams has continually been the driving force that has placed him well above the industry standard. Visit Tristan’s website at http://www.synergyinstituteonline.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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