There are three types of things I get out of reading a book:
- Practices: like daily or weekly habits or other types of routines
- Mottos: phrases or words to live by
- Learnings: new ideas or knowledge to be acquired
One must find a mechanism to capture all this knowledge. Highlighting, taking notes, and writing summaries are some of the things I do.
Here is an example of each different kind of knowledge captured from reading Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.
Designing your life encourages readers to “recalibrate their life compass” every year.
The best way to know what you really think and value about the big questions of life is to ask yourself and see what you have to say. We urge you to revisit your compass at least annually, and recalibrate it. This will help you revitalize the creation of meaning in your life.
This “recalibration” is a practice to be done on a cadence. Archiving the knowledge for a later time is not enough. To extract true value one must find a way to put it into practice.
I believe in goal setting and reviewing, and this recalibration is a good way to frame the act of reviewing goals.
Of all the things I read, I compile those habits or practices I should do on a cadence.
I like to give mottos special attention. These condensed life lessons have the ability to resonate in a way more words don’t always do. And also, since they are shorter, they are easier to remember and repeat to oneself like a mantra.
Here are some of my favorites from Designing your life:
“It’s never too late to design a life you love”
“Flow is play for grown-ups”
“Building is thinking”
Everything else I read that I consider interesting in any way I like to capture. I like to write down these core ideas so I can go back to them for inspiration.
The core ideas behind Designing your life are summarized at the end of the book:
We introduced the idea of life design in this book by telling you five simple things you need to do:
- be curious (curiosity),
- try stuff (bias to action),
- reframe problems (reframing),
- know it’s a process (awareness), and
- ask for help (radical collaboration).
In sum, when reading a book, capture information, process it, and do something with it. That’s how you turn knowledge into wisdom.