Finding the right mentor is easier said than done. To connect with someone who can provide you with direction, encourage you when you’re down, or push you when you need to be challenged is difficult.

Or is it?

You actually don’t have to look far (or hard) to find the best mentors. You can learn from the most successful people throughout history without even knowing them personally.

How?

By reading their books.

Can't Find a Mentor? Then Read a Book

I understand reading isn’t the same as having a face-to-face conversation with someone you want to learn from, but hear me out.

For any book, a great author will spend hours researching their topic, clarifying their thoughts, and writing his or her ideas on a page. Their writing will be reviewed by peers and placed through a grueling editing process, which will further enhance their arguments. By the time their book is published, it will contain some of the best advice they have to offer. So, if you need to solve a problem, answer a question, or learn a new skill, there’s a good chance you can find what you’re looking for in a book.

To absorb the lessons you are learning into your bloodstream; then you need to treat the book you are reading like you are having a conversation with the author. When this happens, the author becomes the mentor, and you become the mentee. But this just doesn’t happen by accident.

When it comes to reading, you can choose to glance through a book, scribble down a few notes, or read the cliff notes, but this passivity will not yield the results you’re looking for.

To really get everything out of the book you are reading; you need to treat like having a one-on-one conversation with the author. Think about it this way.

If you were meeting with someone you are interested in learning from, then you wouldn’t rush your conversation. You would take your time. You would ask questions. And you would listen to what they have to say. So why would you treat their book than anything less than an opportunity to hear their best advice?

In this post, I want to share with you the 4-steps you need to take to have a conversation with an author, their book and to digest the lessons they have to offer. This is a process that should be done entirety and in the order below to grasp the material you are reading.

Read the entire article on Observer.

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