Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Strange Thing I Do That Helps

Something that I do that REALLY helps me, is I take a great book (non-fiction, self-help, or Al-Anon) and read it with a Yellow Highlighter.

What is different that just normally highlighting the book, is I buy a spiral bound notebook and copy many of the sentences and passages into the notebook.

I started doing this every morning 20 years ago. I started with library books before Barnes and Nobles was on every corner and when Amazon was just a river.

I did this every morning for about an hour or two.

What happened is truly amazing. I started with business books. And what happened over the course of about 3 years was my life, my career took off. I knew more on the subject of business than my peers and my managers recognized I "had something." (maybe a little arrogance)

I did this with self help - from speaking to how your mind works to time management to leadership and management. All this helped me to be positive.

Every morning I would be walking on air. My head was swirling before I went into the office.

I would be so much better in my thinking and so much more control in my thinking about thinking.

My reactions to others would be so much more in check and balance.

But somewhere over the past few months I have gotten away from doing this every morning. I stopped going to bed at 9:30PM.

I started this again this morning. Just grabbing a spiral bound notebook and rewriting passages - and it is truly amazing . . . .

This cheap gift has helped me and my thinking once more. I feel - well - unburdened - enlightened. It is like - how can I explain - like I am light headed - in touch - happier, peaceful, aware, cognizant of my surroundings . . . It's like affirming, and meditating, at the same time as seeking the truth and knowledge of the universe. You become - well - One with your thinking and your HP.

When I travel I do/did the same - whether at Starbucks or McDonald's - again - early in the morning, concentrating, writing or rewriting these sentences, really grasping the meaning behind the words. Amazed that the author could capture the idea and concept so clearly in just a sentence or two.

I urge you to try this. Whether with Al-Anon books or self-help or your profession . . .

I think you will be amazed. By the way, and again - this might seem obsessive - the best notebooks are at Walmart during the time when school comes in. You can buy them for 15 cents a piece by Norcom - 70 pages. Weird that I would know this I know. But what would expect from a person affected by alcoholism? Or is it because I am just weird? Probably weird.

Try this - you will be amazed


ManAlive said...

i do this too with anything that i find uplifting and helpful and i usually do it every single day. i write and rewrite and eventually the messages get into me, helping to keep me sober and cheerful! i also feel a downturn in my mood when i stop doing it. great advice. thanks for the reminder!

newcomer said...

I haven't done this at all, but wish I had, as I do a lot of reading and have come across some descriptions and observation that I may never see again. Ironically, after I read your last post last night, I did begin underlining what I am currently reading, and I will begin to do the copying today. Thanks for the encouragement.

Syd said...

Joe, this is a good idea. I've done this with my research for a manuscript that I will be writing. I go through the literature and take notes. I carry a notebook to my meetings and write down information and thoughts from the meetings. I find that then I can go back and re-read those "pearls".

Mrs. Peterson's Place said...

Thanks for the tip! I already get up early and have some quiet time, but never can remember what I read by lunch. I'm going to try this tomorrow.