I’m a “how to” kinda guy. When I read a book or article, watch a video or listen to a training, I’m looking for information I can use to improve my business or personal life.
I want to know what to do and how to do it. The steps, the tips, the details. I take notes and file them (in Evernote) for future reference.
I’m not overly demanding. Even one good takeaway will satisfy me and justify the time spent. But when I’m done, if I haven’t taken any notes, I’m usually disappointed.
But not always.
Last night I listened to an interview with someone who wrote and published 15 books in the last few years, despite the fact that English is not his native language and he is anything but fluent.
In fact, his wife repeatedly tried to steer him away from writing, ostensibly trying to spare him from humiliation, even going so far as to tell him that he was a terrible writer.
He persisted because he was unhappy with his tech job and had always dreamed of being a writer. He was interviewed because his books have been favorably reviewed and sell well, allowing him to turn the page on one chapter in his life and start a new one.
He credits a good editor, and a steady diet of personal development books, which helped him to improve his self-image and develop the confidence to keep going.
When the interview was done, I realized that I hadn’t taken a single note. No tips, no how to’s to file away.
But I didn’t feel cheated. His story put a smile on my face. It was a reminder that we can overcome our limitations and achieve our dreams.
His story was the takeaway.
In our quest to improve our knowledge and skills, we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss pure inspiration. A story that makes you feel good or that reminds you that the struggle is difficult but worth it provides its own value.
And that’s something we can all put in our notes.
I use Evernote for everything