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Andres Cespedes Morales
Andres Cespedes Morales

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The most important skill that you should develop to improve your life

How can you improve all your aspects of your life but simply improving one skill?

I was reluctant to believe that back in 2005. I thought that it requires a massive amount of effort to be a better human being and to perform better as a professional.

Of course, I do believe that great things in life do require to put into work a significant amount of hours of deliberate practice.

So, the question is, how can I become a better self by focusing the effort on just one skill?

After several months of researching, I came across the conclusion that in order to improve you need broader and deeper skills, that are usually acquired through reading!

Then, how can one optimize its reading skills?

I have read over the past 5 years more than 100 books related to psychology, self-development, personal growth, brain hacks, consciousness, and more.

But then I suddenly stumble upon a bigger challenge, how can I absorb that knowledge in less time? So I can apply it immediately!

Then the answer was that I needed to learn how to read a book adequately.

Reading is living.

So you as I want to optimize your time, I came up with a curated list of steps on how to read a book properly so you gain time and comprehension of the topic.

  1. Read a summary, instead of investing 7+ hours to read a full book, read a summary (or create a post) about it, you will notice that more than 60% of the key points are mentioned there.

  2. Skim Reading, the first minutes that you are with that book in front, read the table of contents, big titles, and some random sections, you can get the sense of what is the book about and decide whether or not you want to carry on with the reading.

  3. Have a purpose, who has a why to read can bear almost any how.

  4. Recall last chapter, have you find yourself trying to remember what you just read a day ago and having no success? Having an active exercise of recalling what you are currently reading it's a proven method for storing that information in your long-term memory (or create a post).

  5. Question and challenge, think about the facts and ideas that the author is describing, do they relate, or contradict? Try to challenge and question, don't take anything for granted just because is written in a book (or a post).

  6. Take notes, when you read you take input for your brain, but to really understand and remember you need to produce an output of that knowledge, the easiest method, take notes (or create a post)


You already started to improve your life by reading this post. Keep reading and improve your life learning how to read a book more efficiently.

I look forward to reading your book summaries (or at least your posts).

Let's get social: My LinkedIn Profile

Top comments (7)

laprikon profile image

Andres thank you for this information. You're right, there are a lot of books on the shelves right now. Books have a beautiful design and attract their headlines. I also came across the fact that I bought books and then on the first pages i realized that it is not for me. But money and time are lost.
then I also like you began to long consider books in stores before buying. It saves me money.
And to improve my rhythm of life, I started using a program to track the time . It turned out to be very convenient and disciplined. I began to keep up more in the same amount of time. I have a job and a family and have time for myself. I recently started reading a book by Michelle Obama.

pedes profile image
Andres Cespedes Morales

That's a very good mechanism to gamify your experience of reading! Keep track of the time, and improving your stats there!

laprikon profile image

Yes, the older I get the more I understand the value of time

quest1onmark profile image
Jonas Schultheiss

can you give us some recommendations from the books you've read?
the current situation got me reading again and the categories you've mention sound interesting.

pedes profile image
Andres Cespedes Morales

Hey Jonas,

There are sooo many things to say from those different books, I'll give you the top 3 ideas :

  • Our skills, mindset, abilities are limitless, whether you consider it for software development, or personal development or any crazy and (seemly) daunting topic, you can master and grow your skills to any level.

  • Don't just focus on input, or be a "forever student". So, watching and learning from someone else is great, but, you really need to produce an output from what you are learning. Input -> Analysis - Output -> Reflect. Repeat!

  • To maximize your impact you need to collaborate, you need the people! Do you want to make your knowledge/project/ideas/etc impactful? Then you need to know how to reach out to people and collaborate with as many as you can.

You wanna try a book, my recommendation: Mindset by Carol Dweck.


nicolasini profile image
Nico S___

Great article, I will put a couple of those ideas in practices, specially recalling and note taking!

pedes profile image
Andres Cespedes Morales

Thanks Nico,

Absolutely, you will see immediate results for just taking these 2 actions!