Learning Retention and The Impact Habit

by Dan Walsh

I read at least one book per week. The personal benefits of this habit are almost too many to count, but there is one drawback. The consumption of this much information is overwhelming. Each book is a font of new and wonderful thoughts, but I suspect my retention of these new ideas is low. A fresh book brings its own set of revelations which in many ways steamroll over the old. I don’t have time to internalize what I’ve learned because I must quickly move onto the next book if I want to keep up my pace – which I do. So the question becomes, how can I retain more information? How can each book create more impact in my life?

I think I’ve devised a solution. At the least, I have an experimental hypothesis which I’m willing to try.

I need to create one new habit as a result of each book I read. Some books will be duds, and some books will have more than one worthwhile eureka moment, but every book must result in at least one behaviour change of some kind. I believe this habit of creating habits will internalize the wisdom of each book while freeing my mind to engage with the next author. The hardest part will be crafting habits in such a way that I can easily integrate them into my life. Time is a scarce resource and I must work within this constraint. I will post each new book + habit combination here on The Kazushi, and by the end of each year I should have 52 new habits.

That sounds like impact to me.