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The great poet Ezra Pound said,

Properly we should read for power. A person reading should be a person intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”

I have found that a great book is even more powerful the second time through, especially if it has been a year or so since I read it. I am more enriched reading that book for a second time than I am reading some new book for the first time. It’s the difference between information and transformation.

The Problem Is Applying It...

People often say to me, “I love that book, the problem is applying it.”

Well, my answer to that is the application is everything. Loving the book is nothing. It isn’t how many books you read, it’s how many you apply. You are better off, therefore, reading one book four times than reading four books one time each. Instead, most people try to accumu­late knowledge. But it doesn’t help you when it’s accumulated, it makes you fat and overstuffed.

A friend told me one hundred books he thought everyone in my pro­fession should read. I’d rather he tell me the one book I should read one hundred times. The difference is between a life that is changed, and a life that is weighed down with heavy, immobilizing knowledge.

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We can sit and ponder philosophical concepts forever, but it won’t help our lives. What really helps is to test things, experiment, try things out and take the conceptual excitement and put it into immediate action!

Do More Application!

A lot of times, a fire starts internally when I read something (Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, for example). It starts in my mind and my heart, and I get all excited. Then what I always want to do after that is put some kind of process in place in which I monitor myself to make sure I’m going to do some application. So, in a funny way, when somebody says, “I have a problem with application,” my answer is, “Well, then do more application.”

There’s really no problem, unless you’re being hypnotized by cir­cumstance. Let’s say I read a book about Bruce Lee and exercise and I get real excited and it says that if a person takes 10,000 steps a day, his blood pressure . . . and all these biomarkers (or vital markers?) improve. He’s going to live ten years longer and have a better quality life than the average person who only takes 3,000 steps a day. When I read about that, the motivational fire starts inside me and I think that would be fun. I’m starting to get excited. But application is everything here.

So I buy a pedometer. I put a chart on my wall and I start tracking how many steps I take each day. How long is it going to take me to find my path to 10,000 each day? So I create a game around it, and I do some tracking and I keep score.

Make It A Game

I don’t keep score because I need to be a competitive alpha male winner, but because the game element has a paradoxical effect on human beings. It introduces accountability (because you’re counting things), which is really needed. And it also adds a playful game element.

In chart­ing how many steps I take, I created a little game that challenged me to take more steps in December than I took in November. I created a con­test between “Me in December” versus “Me in November”and I found out one December morning that I won. It’s over. I can take a knee, the game’s over, I’ve beaten my last month’s number!

The game element in anything that you put into application adds a wonderful sense of play. You’ve got accountability, there’s a scoreboard, and you also have a sense of gamesmanship. It’s fun, and I’m winning. That’s true for anything. Not just physical exercise.

It’s really true for people who sell or market their services. The min­ute they start accounting for how much time they put into sales and mar­keting, their sales and marketing results get better.

So, to the person who says “I have a hard time applying,” my answer is, “That’s because you’re not applying. That’s why you have a hard time applying.”

If somebody says, “I just joined a new health club but the problem is I have a hard time getting myself to go.” My answer would be, “Well, go.” Go to the club. There isn’t really a lot in between wanting to go to the club and going to the club.

We think there’s a lot between those two things, but we are wrong, and we pay a terrible price for that miscalcula­tion. We put phony barriers between wanting it and doing it, and that’s where the hypnosis of circumstance comes in.

Coaching and the Buddy System

I believe coaching is such a powerful profession, because if you know you’re going to go see your coach in a week, and if you know that you and your coach agreed that you’d take certain actions this week to see how they turned out, you’re going to make sure you take those actions. Because when you sit down with your coach again, you’re going to be reporting in on how they worked. It introduces the accountability, the game element.

The word “coach” comes from sports, it doesn’t come from any kind of psychological or spiritual field. Once you see all of this you can become the director of the movie of your life. You choose your activity, and then you yell, “Action!”

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This Book Will Motivate You: 100 Ways to Kick-Start Your Life Goals
by Steve Chandler

book cover: This Book Will Motivate You by Steve ChandlerThis Book Will Motivate You will help you break through the negative barriers and banish the pessimistic thoughts that are preventing you from fulfilling your lifelong goals and dreams. This edition also contains mental and spiritual techniques that give readers more immediate access to action and results in their lives.

If you’re ready to finally make a change, leave burnout in the dust, and reach your goals, Steve Chandler challenges you to turn your defeatist attitude into energetic, optimistic, enthusiastic accomplishments.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of Steve ChandlerSteve Chandler has trained more than thirty Fortune 500 companies in communication, personal motivation, and leadership. He has been a guest faculty member at the University of Santa Monica, teaching their Soul-Centered Professional Coaching program.

Steve has authored more than two dozen books that have been translated into more than twenty-five foreign language editions, including the bestselling 100 Ways to Motivate Others, The Prosperous Coach, and Reinventing Yourself. He is also the founder of the Coaching Prosperity School, which for more than a decade has taught and trained life and business coaches from around the world.

More Books by the author.