Do One Pushup; Read One Book – Starting Small, and Learning to Learn and Study Better

You know the current wisdom. Start small, then build to less small; then medium; then, keep adding.

Start small, but don’t stay small.

For example, there are books on developing good habits, and they say things like this:  “start with one push up.” This is the “nudge” idea.  It is good advice, with research attesting to its effectiveness..

I’ve tried it, and it has worked.  I started that way, with one pushup (actually, with 3 pushups).  Now, I do dozens pretty much every day; on my high day of the week, I do 110 pushups.  No, these are not Navy SEAL level pushups — I’m not training to be a Navy SEAL.  But, they are decent form, and I go pretty close to the floor.  And yes, I have more energy, and generally feel better since I have started doing these.  (I’ve kept this up for a couple of years now).

And, yes, I read about this in a book.

But, here’s the thing. You’ve got to keep at it.  Pretty much every day.  And, you’ve got to make small improvements – – and then, more small improvements – until you are doing enough to

Now, let’s transfer this into the learning/study  arena.  I have an observation to report:

You don’t learn much from a tweet.
You don’t learn much from a blog post (yes – including from my blog posts).
You don’t learn much from reading a book summary.
And…and this is tough…you don’t even learn much from reading a book.

You learn the most from actually studying the books you read.  And, if fact, you seldom learn enough from any one book.  You need a cluster of books on the same topic to begin to learn about that topic.

That’s why we have experts, who read, and study, in depth, on one topic, over the long haul.

But…you can start small, and then build from there.  So, maybe, read a tweet or three; then a blog post; then look for an essay or two; and then finally find the best book on the subject you want and need to study.

And, I believe I can help.  I believe that my book synopses help in two ways.

#1 – Listening to one of my book synopses, while following along with my comprehensive handout, will help you decide:  “I need to read and study this book.”

There are so many books out there.  Good books.  You do not have time to read them all; even all of them on a specific subject that you want to master.  You need help picking out the best book for you at this moment.  My synopses can help you do that.

#2 – And then, after reading a book, revisit my synopsis, which will remind you of the key lessons and takeaways from the book.

In other words, you tackle my synopsis first to whet your appetite.  And then, after you read the book for yourself, you tackle my synopsis again for a deeper dive into the key themes, lessons, and takeaways.

Studying effectively is serious work.  Not hard; but serious.  And you can learn to do it better.  Start small; but start.  And then keep getting better at it.  After a while, you will have learned from what you have studied.  And that’s a good thing!


Here’s the link to my latest synopses.  Check out a couple.


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