Every year over the Christmas break, I have a ritual that I have adhered to for over 30 years. I dig out a copy of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and read it. Yes, I've read it over 30 times now.
What more can I possibly learn from reading the same book after the second, third or fourth (or thirtieth) read? Well that's the interesting part. Every single time I have read this book, I've learned something new, I've interpreted some of the information in a completely different light, I'm reminded about the key messages in the book that sometimes I forget in amongst a busy life and last but not least, I get just as much enjoyment reading it today as I did the first time I read it.
In fact I re-read quite a few books. To me they are the classics of business, self-help and even fiction. Those books that have been very influential on my life in so many ways. And I find the same with each and every one of them. Whilst there is a familiarity about them, I always learn something that I didn't know before, that somehow I seemed to have missed in past readings. The reading experience is somehow different and the meaning I take from these books is likewise a little different in an interesting way.
Of course the reality is that the book hasn't changed, I have. What is going on in my world at any specific time that I am reading the book is different. The trials and tribulations I am experiencing are not the same as they were last time. I've become older, hopefully a little more wise and it's fair to assume I've had more life experiences that make me a different person, open to interpreting information in a different way.
Whilst this might not be for everyone, re-reading those books that have had a profound influence on my life, over and over again, helps to keep me on track, inspires me to be a better entrepreneur and a better person. And I'm hoping I get to read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" at least another 30 times.