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The Evil Alter Ego Of Improvement – Daily Blog #48

Accidentally yesterdays post ended up being an almost perfect segway into what I want to talk about today. I’d love to say I planned it like that, but I ain’t dat smrt yo! Really I just want to give a little background as to how my “Little black book” got started, which was anything but chance. It was by necessity.

Over the last few years I’ve got through some really cracking books that can help accelerate your quality of life and the impact you have on people. “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, “The Checklist Manifesto”, and “Talk Like Ted” are just some of my favorites.

Reading these is fine. Great. No problem there. But the problem was that as good as my intentions were to actually use the information within these books, I kinda just forgot about them.

I’d finish a book, get excited about using the information, start my next book, and repeat.

I’d take something from them, sure, but really within a few weeks I’d already forgotten the key take away’s from it. Already forgotten the real message it was sending.

Not good. If anything, it ends up meaning all this reading was just a total waste of my time.

And because I wasn’t really learning from it, I was no long reading for improvement, I was reading for entertainment. It wasn’t something I realised at the time, trying to improve was the driving factor in the first place, but because it wasn’t driving any action, only enjoyment in the moment, it was by definition only entertainment.

That’s where the little book comes in – giving myself a somewhat constant reminder of the message within these books helps keep me in check and actually use some of that information. It drastically increases my likelihood to learn from it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The internet is both a bloody great thing, and a bloody nuisance. We can use it to learn anything we want in the world, but it can also distract us from actually doing anything we learn.

We’ve all become so focused on learning all this new information that we never develop passions about things, never develop a real understanding of how things work and the underlining structure supporting it. We end up just getting the cliff notes version, only scratching the surface, only entertaining ourselves.

My little black book helps me stop that. It helps bridge those gaps when they arise and lets me actually take something from all that time invested.

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