Updated: Feb 7
Books are amazing resources, filled with lots of knowledge, it's almost as though you’re having conversations with the authors themselves from the past. Though, I feel that while it can be exciting to have a stack of books listed on a reading list to get through, it is extremely beneficial to be able to pull key points out of those books and practically apply them to life in general or your own life.
As a heads up, the books that I mention in this article, I would highly recommend reading if you haven’t already. They have had a significant impact on me since reading them and have definitely shifted my perspective on life, and I’ve incorporated them throughout as reference points.
One example as to how you can apply books practically to (your) life is through the utilisation of Google docs. I have a Google document that lists out books that I have read, including any interesting or key takeaway points, and quotes that I really resonated with. The purpose behind me creating this was to be able to look at all of these points as my own ‘summaries’ of the books whenever I needed insight on say life (Meditations - Marcus Aurelius) or the business world (Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter - Curtis Jackson), and also allowed me the chance to challenge my thoughts at different intervals of re-reading the points within the summaries.
In addition to this, it also helped me to think about what I learned from the books, and how I could apply these lessons to my life, whether that be by applying a certain principle that I had read about to a situation that I was experiencing, or one that I anticipated happening. In terms of the anticipation of situations happening, my thinking was centred around how I could react to such situations and what the implications would be. Now, of course nothing in life is guaranteed, but with this point in particular, it further reinforced what I wanted my future self to look like, and how my reactions should be in such situations should they occur in the future (Ego is the Enemy - Ryan Holiday).
My final suggestion would be by narrowing down a topic that you would like to learn about, and having off the top of your head any questions that you have about the area. Then, seeking to find those answers or at least some of them through your reading, and/or further reading if necessary. For example, if I wanted to learn more about dreams and the subconscious, and I picked up The Interpretation of Dreams - Sigmund Freud, because I had assumption X or Y about these topics, then my thinking after reading the book would not only be challenged, but through that experience I would be able to think about and apply what I’ve learnt during the process. Then, think about how it can apply to my life, such as by paying closer attention to my dreams to derive further meaning out of them or to try to further understand how my subconscious works.
All in all, I hope that this article was useful, and that going forward you now have some tools that you can use to help you apply books that you read practically to life generally and your own life.
PS: I’m open to book suggestions so feel free to send any over: email@example.com