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This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.


MOST OF THESE CHAPTERS are short, but highly condensed. Think of this book as an all-you-can-eat buffet where you pick and choose what you want for now. You can come back again for more at some other time. It is impossible for you to digest the contents of this book in one reading — there is too much here. Please reread and remember that sentence. It is important.

Since the chapters are in no particular order, you can browse around the book until you find something that sparks your interest and read that, leaving the rest until later. Even if you read straight through the book, some chapters will strike you as especially relevant — they’ll answer a current need or situation in your life. When that happens, copy the principle (stated at the end of each chapter) onto a card and carry the card with you for a few days or weeks or even months, concentrating on putting that principle into practice.

Then come back to the book and find another principle or two to practice for a while. Don’t try to practice too many at a time — one or two, maybe three at the most.

Or browse the book before you go to bed each night to find a principle you want to practice the next day. Write the principle on a card, and start practicing it first thing in the morning.

Another good use for the book is to refer to it when you’re down. When you feel stressed or frustrated or worried or any negative emotion, leaf through the book looking for a chapter that can help you with that.

As you read, keep a highlighter handy and mark passages that have special meaning for you.

Reading this book once wouldn’t come close to maximizing its value. If you read this book start to finish this week, a year from now you will have forgotten almost all of it. At that time you may be dealing with a troublemaker at work, and even though pages 179-181 give you a good way to handle it, a year from now those ideas are likely to have been buried in a year’s worth of new information and memories, stashed somewhere in the back of your mind, unavailable to you.

The things we learn are not etched in stone. They are stored in a gooey organ. And you use that organ — your brain — every day. New ideas and experiences pass through your brain all the time, so what you know fades and is less available to your working memory — except the stuff you use repeatedly. That’s why I recommend referring to this book when you’re down. It makes a difference. I do it myself and I wrote the book! Insights can fade from our awareness. They get crowded out by the urgencies of the day.

Use a principle enough times, and it will become a permanent part of your character. But in the meantime, refer to the book when you need it. And consult it when you want to help your friends. This book was made to be used. So let’s get to it.

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

read the first chapter of the first section of Self-Help Stuff That Works

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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