Archive for the ‘For Student’ Category

How To Read A Book Once & Never Have To Read It Again Ever

Summary – The 10 Points Everytime Technique

This Is Me A Few Years Ago

My name is Banji and I am an information addict. (This is the part where you say – “Hi Banji!”)

I used to read every words in the book and tried to get as much wisdom from it as possible. I would then take notes and sometime try my best to memorize what I just read.

In the past, I even took note from watching the Discovery Channel so I can quote them later.

Why Doing Everything Twice Can Be A Problem

Clearly this is NOT the way to go. If I continue taking note from the books I read, I will spend half of my life rewriting all the books I read. It is very likely that I will never even read the notes. It’s just like buying a DVD with the intention of rewatching it when you have free time, in the end, the DVD is just collecting dust somewhere in your room.

In short, some people (myself included) really like to do everything twice or thrice. If we read a book, we will reread it a couple more time to make sure we don’t miss anything. If we like a movie, we will rewatch it again and again just to enjoy it. However this is not a very productive habit.

You may now ask “So what’s the problem?”.

If you think about it, there shouldn’t be any problem. You will be able to memorize a whole novel or an encyclopaedia (Who reads encyclopaedia anyway?) or you will be able to enjoy your favorite movies instead of all the rubbish on other channels,

The truth is, you are actually depleting your most valuable resource pointlessly – Time.

An average human is estimated to live up to 70 years. Just imagine spending 70 years rereading the same 10 books or watching the same 10 movies Don’t you think it is a waste of your time? In that 70 years you should be able to finish at least 1200 books (if you read 2 books monthly since age 20).

Why can’t we do everything just one time and still get the benefit of people redoing it a thousand times?

The following tips may help you to do just that.

1) Remember the 10

When you read a book, make it a point to list down 10 lessons you can extract from it. For example, if you read this article, just try to remember the 3 points listed here. After you finish reading it, repeat that 3 points in your mind and you don’t need to reread this article ever again.

Of course if you are reading a motivational book, try to memorize 10 points from what you have just read. If you found your 10 points but you are still on page 20, stop reading for the day. Continue reading tomorrow for another 10 points.

Another example is when you are reading a novel. Try to visualize all the key events in the story. Once you reached that 10 points, you can stop reading for the day. Repeat the story in your mind based on the 10 key events and continue reading the novel tomorrow.

You get the picture.

2) Forbid yourself from redoing what’s done

This is usually the hardest part. It’s very hard to keep your hand off from rereading what you have read yesterday. Just remember that you don’t have the time to redo everything in your life. Be slightly firm with this.

Even if you forget the story or the 10 points from yesterday, just continue reading. Believe me, the memory will resurface and when it does, it will be even harder to forget it later.

3) Have faith in your mind

Do you know that our brain is one of the most amazing things in the world. Studies have been done on the mind for thousands of years and we still barely scratch the surface of its true potential.

There’s a case featured on Discovery Channel not long ago about a woman who fall down a cliff and broke her knee. She was alone in the forest and she should not be able to survive without any help. Somehow, her subconcious mind realized that if she was in pain, there’s no way she would be able to get help, so the brain had stopped the pain neural system from sending pain messages to the brain. She didn’t feel any pain at all. In the end, she manage to walk for miles and get help even with her broken knee. Amazing!

I’m sorry I can’t put a reference link to the story, but it really is a true story.

In short, what ever you want, your mind will make it happen. Never underestimate what it capable of doing. Once you have memorize the 10 points, it will be stored permanently in your brain. Believe in this. You just need to know how to retrieve it effectively. I will elaborate on this in the future.

– I wonder –
How many of us reread a book more than twice?

———— Personal Note ————
I have in my collection about 100 VCDs and DVDs of movies. My real intention when I first bought them is to rewatch the movies whenever I have nothing to do. It has been a few years after I bought my first VCD – “Hollow Man”, and I can safely say that I rewatch only about 1% of them.

When I think about it, I have bought a lot of things based on the intention to reuse it over and over but I usually will only use it once.

Photo Credit – Demi Brooke

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How Reading Incorrectly Ruin Your Mind

Summary – Spoon-Feeding Effect of Reading

For the record, I love reading. Always have and always will. There’s no substitute to reading. It is the only portal to knowledge. If you want knowledge and wisdom, reading is the way to go. I’m not debating this so rest assured that you are not going to read about the benefit of reading today.

However, there is one side effect of reading that you really must know. If I can name it, I will call it Spoon-Feeding Effect of Reading. It is when you read a book, and you just believe and absorb everything you just read without ever drawing any conclusion from it.

For example, John is reading a book about politics. As we all know, the political stand of the author will always be mirrored in a book about politics. John had absorbed everything he read from the book that he is now an exact clone of the author when it comes to political stand.

This is one of the side effect of reading that you must know before attempting to read anything. You must never absorb everything the author wrote and make it your opinion.

You may ask, “what harm can this do?”. Well quite a lot actually. You could end up with these effects.

  • No creativity – How creative can you be if you are nodding to everything the author gave you.
  • Non-critical mind – You will need critical mind, when it comes to making good decision or brainstorming.
  • Lazier mind – The mind is like any other muscle in your body. You exercise them, it gets stronger. Vice versa.
  • No individuality – Have you ever met a person, and you notice immediately that he is different from the rest of us. He stands out naturally. That is because he is not a clone of anyone.

Reading will always be the best way to learn. But you should also know the best way to read. What you should consider when reading a book are as follows:

  • Read the book.
  • Try to grasp the message in the book.
  • Search your mind for your own opinion about the topic at hand.
  • Compare notes between the message and yours. The author can’t be always right and he can’t also be always wrong.
  • Draw your own conclusion to the matter.

You may find these steps very simple, but you will be surprised to know that almost all readers fail to practise them. It is always easier to take the author’s word for it.


Books and blogs are usually written by smart people. And the readers are usually very keen to learn more about the subject from these smart people. What better way to be smarter than to learn it from smart people. You just need to make it a habit to develop your own conclusion from anything you read.

Your conclusion can be wrong. It can also turn out to be a smarter approach. What ever it is, it will always be yours. Nothing beats that.

– I wonder –
Besides fiction, what other types of books do you read?

———— Personal Note —————
I remember when I was a child, people often asked what my hobby was? I will then answered almost immediately, “Reading”. I guess reading was just the easiest answer or maybe I knew that people will stop asking when you answered “Reading”.

Photo Credit – Lin Pernille

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The Theory of Three

Summary – One way to click with your mind.

One of the most sought after knowledge is on how to understand the human mind. It takes hundred of years for people to get a grasp of its true potential and yet we are still scratching the surface. That being said, I’m going to introduce you to one theory of mind utilization which is The Theory of Three.

Just like a radio that will only produce clear sound when you tune it specifically to, let say, 100.1MHz, the mind will also work at its best efficiency if you know how to finetune it. And in this specific case, one way of finetuning your mind is via The Theory of Three.

What Is Theory of Three

Basically the theory states that our mind works best when it is associated with the number three.

The best way to explain the theory is by examples. Just have a look at the world’s famous three; “The Three Stooges”, “The Charmed Ones”, “Do Re Mi”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Location Location Location”, “Just Do It”, “As easy as A B C”, “On the count of three 1 2 3”. These are a few of phrase and title that comes in three.

All of them are very catchy, very easy to remember and very popular. Imagine changing the phrase to “The Stooge”, “Re”, “Do It”, “As easy as B C” and “On The Count Of 56”. The phrase will not be appealing now wouldn’t it?

This is how The Theory of Three works. By changing the form of your thoughts into another form that is associated with the number three, you are actually finetuning your thoughts making it more catchy and more effective.

How To Apply The Theory of Three

1) Change your life motto. Motto like “I’m going to be the no 1 student of this class” will not work. Use motto such as “No 1 Student”

2) Repeat important keywords three times. If you are going to remind yourself to study, Repeat the words “Study Study Study”. It will have more impact than just the one word.

3) Reorganize your subject in three. Always read three chapters of your subject every day. And rearrange the notes in each chapter into three different groups. Do this until you can actually see your three chapters in your head with all the three branches. Memorizing three chapters? Not a problem anymore

4) Better headline for reports. If your assignment require you to come up with a title. Try to adjust it to utilize this theory of three. Instead of “The Complete Study of Human”, try “The Mind, Body & Soul – A Study”. Your assignment will immediately stand out from the crowd.

Conclusion – Applying The Theory of Three is only limited by your imagination. You can always find other ways to utilize this technique and make everything in your life comes as easy as A B C 🙂

– I Wonder –
Anything else comes to your mind that utilizes The Theory of Three?

———- Personal Note ———–
One of my favorite books during my childhood (10 years old) is a local book “3 Penyiasat” (3 Investigators). It is a story of 3 teenagers that often come across a crime case and successfully solve it. I still remember their name – Jalil, Gopal and Ah Meng.

Somehow the books had inspired me to start my own investigating club. We were supposed to investigate the claim that there was a ghost in our school. But of course in the end, the club just got deactivated because everyone was equally scared 🙂

Photo Credit – SweetGirl

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10 Messages For Students

Summary – 10 important message to all students

If you can go back in time to meet your past self, What year will you go? And what will you say to him/her. Will you go to the day you get married and stop yourself from marrying? Or will you go to yesterday, and tell your past self what happen today?

Imaginative, yes. But it is still an interesting question to ask yourself occasionally. We have grown wiser over the years and sometimes there is this urge to share what you have learnt to someone else who may very well repeat all your mistakes.

Personally, I will go back to the first day I became a college student. And I will pass these 10 messages to my past self.

1) Backup all your notes in your hard disk.
I graduated from my college with almost no notes from my study. Somehow I lost almost all of them. It’s as if I had never been to one. What a waste. Some of them might not be very useful and relevant but still, I paid for the course, and I had to work hard to pass all of them. They are my asset and I lost half of them.

Word of advice – Scan your paper based note, or maybe snap some pictures of the notes with your digital camera. Don’t forget to organize them properly. You may forget which goes to which if you procrastinate.

2) Choose wisely which textbook to buy
This is another mistake I made when I first started college. I bought every textbook recommended by the lecturers. It turned out, some of them were not being used at all. That money can be put to better use.

Word of advice – Check with your seniors on what books to buy. Some may prove more useful than another. For the less useful ones, maybe you can share with a couple of friends to buy it. More money saved for you.

3) Money to be spent is money left at the end of the month.
I learnt this the hard way. Whenever I get my allowance early in the month, I will usually spend it immediately. I went ice skating (it was a new thing back then) or go to internet cafe. And I was living neck to neck from month to month financially.

Word of advice – Money received early of the month should be used in life and death situation ONLY. For example, you don’t eat, you die. So then it’s OK to eat. You should only use the extra money saved at the end of the month for leisure.

4) Save money for your job hunt
After I graduated, I just realized that I have no money to job hunt. No money to buy newspaper, or to go for interview, or to buy stamps or print resume. I had to work as a gift wrapper at a mall just to pay for my job hunt.

Word of advice – Spending money is fun. I know, I’ve been there. But you will need some money to get you started after college. Start saving some every month. You will not regret it. I wonder how many job interview I had to turn down just because I don’t have enough money to go to the interview.

5) Listen to the lectures the first time
Believe me when I tell you this. For a college student, there are only about 10 hours per day. You are busy going to class, doing assignments and projects, maintaining student organization, sports. And if that’s not all, you are dating a few girls at the same time. Seriously where will you find the time to restudy.

Word of advice – Listen to your lectures the first time. Listen carefully and try to understand them IN CLASS. You will never need to study them again. Imagine the time you saved.

6) Identify your destructive addiction
I was addicted to chatting over IRC back then. I almost failed a few subject just because I couldn’t find the time to do them. That’s me. You may find another form of addiction.

Word of advice – Identify your addiction. It’s actually easy to do. If you notice you are not doing your assignment, you miss deadline, that’s the signs that you are addicted to something. It can be blogging, IM or even stumbling interesting sites. Deal with that immediately. If not, it may be too late when you realized what has happened to you.

7) Enjoy your long holiday
I think I can say this on behalf of everyone that is currently working. Please enjoy your holiday. When you are working, there are no more long holiday for you. The boss will be smiling disapprovingly if you apply for leave longer than 4 days.

Word of advice – Enjoying holiday doesn’t mean that you need to be in your bed the whole time. Do everything you want to. Go travelling. See the world.

8] Try to know as many people possible.
Now that I am working, I found a lot of my college batch. I don’t even know the name of some of them but they know my name and instantaneously we become friends. Imagine if I made the effort to know more of my college batch. I will then have a bigger network of friends which will help each other out in any situation. For example, I can ask them if they are any vacancy in their company, etc.

Word of advice – You don’t need to be best friend to everyone. You just need to be able to say hi occasionally to everyone. At least after college, they will know that you used to study in the same college when you bump into each other.

9) Be in contact with your lecturers.
Your lecturers are basically your real live wikipedia. Whenever you have a problem later in your work, you can always give them a call asking for help. It’s like free lifetime consultation. It’s a priviledge given to you since you are their student. Term and condition apply of course. The TACs are that you must keep in touch with all the lecturers, and more importantly you must be nice to them during your college years.

Word of advice – lecturers are not enemies. They are not going all out to get you. They are actually really good people wanting to teach you all they know. And when you appreciate this, they will appreciate you even more.

10) Enjoy your student life
Word of advice – This is my last message to my past self. It can be stressful, depressing sometimes. You may feel like running to another country sometime from all the boredom. Still, college life is one of the best time in your life. Enjoy.

– I wonder –
What will your message to your past self be?

Photo Credit – Foundphotoslj

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