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Why Self-Help Books Don't Work (And How To Nevertheless Benefit From Them)

Learn to read self-help books

The issue with reading self-help books is that not everybody is willing to apply what is written within the pages of those very books. However, if you are to spend time reading a book, why not trying to understand and follow its advice?

One sure way to do this is by the so-called reading technique 'lectio divina' that implies reading really slowly and repeatedly the same text until you actually understand its benefits and why it could change your life for the better. Give it a try and you might just be amazed by the result.

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Why Self-Help Books Don't Work (And How To Nevertheless Benefit From Them)

Why Self-Help Books Don't Work (And How To Nevertheless Benefit From Them)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeroenkraaijenbrink/2019/07/05/why-self-help-books-dont-work-and-how-to-nevertheless-benefit-from-them/#616aae7d5f91

forbes.com

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Key Ideas

Types of self-help books

Today, there are at least a couple of self-help books for each issue a person might have. However helpful these try to be, there are still a lot of individuals who criticize them and who divide them into four categories, as follows:

  • the books that provide wrong advice - the so-called bad effect self-help books
  • the books that help people simply because these ones pay more attention to things they had not taken into account before- the placebo effect self-help books
  • the books that have no effect on people - no effect self-help books.

Learn to read self-help books

The issue with reading self-help books is that not everybody is willing to apply what is written within the pages of those very books. However, if you are to spend time reading a book, why not trying to understand and follow its advice?

One sure way to do this is by the so-called reading technique 'lectio divina' that implies reading really slowly and repeatedly the same text until you actually understand its benefits and why it could change your life for the better. Give it a try and you might just be amazed by the result.

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Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and a well-known philanthropist, also appreciates the power of reading, and how it can get you out of your head, seeing the world through another person's eyes.

He goes in isolation for a whole week, twice a year, with no stress, no interruptions, no other tasks to be done, and just reads, learning and focusing on innovation.

Reading For a Better Future

Elon Musk, the celebrated CEO of Tesla and Space X, is a fountainhead of innovations. He admits to reading 10 hours a day as a child, leading to a mind that is loaded with ideas and innovations.

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Tip 1: Read Only the First Sentence of the Paragraph
Tip 1: Read Only the First Sentence of the Paragraph

Writers often use it to convey the paragraph' subject.

Note, however, that you may miss details, especially so in literature books.

Tip 2: Skip to the Last Sentence of the Paragraph

It often wraps up the thought expressed and provides a connection to the next paragraph.

Tip 3: Read Phrases

After skimming first and last sentences and deciding to read a paragraph, move your eyes quickly over each line and look for phrases and key words. 

Your mind will automatically fill in the words in between.

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Why you should embrace books

Reading is essential for a healthy brain. Reading continues to develop the brains of adults and might help slow down or even stop cognitive decline.

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How to fit in more reading

We often struggle to find time to read. That's why we need to start small.

  • Read five pages of a book that interests you every day. When you are comfortable with five pages, try ten, then twenty.
  • The book should interest you. Reading a book of your choice makes the activity a pleasure to look forward to.
  • It helps to keep the book, audiobook app, or e-reader on you. Then, when you have some downtime, you can read instead of playing a smartphone game.
Audiobooks

Research found that audiobooks stimulate the brain differently but just as deeply as reading.

With print books, you need to provide the voice, imagine the tune and rhythm of speech, the intonation, stress of syllables, and so on. All this gets provided for you when listening to audio. With audiobooks, you're using different methods to decode and understand it. But it still deeply impacts your thoughts and feelings.

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