Dear Friends

How many of you like to read books?  How many of you have a habit of buying 5 or 6 books (or maybe more than that) in one shot? And how many of you have books you did not touch at all after you bought them and whenever you want to read them, your mind would say “It’s tiring and it’s time to do something more exciting!”

So, do you want to know how you can read faster and more? Here is an exciting tip for you if you are keen to how to you can read faster and more.   First of all, I happen to develop this pattern over the years in that I would buy 5 or 6 books from Amazon.com in one shot because it is logical to save some shipping charges, true or true?   Apart from this, there were times I picked up books from either local bookshops or the bookshop at the airport because I was attracted by the title and/or the author.  How many of you can relate to this?   So, over the years, I accumulated over 20 to 30 books which I did not read because I gave excuses and justifications – it’s all bullshit.

Through the effort of Sherwyn Chew and his wife, Nicole Tan, who are our fellow coaches from the Patterns of Excellence (“POE“) family, 25 of us experienced the power of PhotoReading under the instructorship of Ms. Jean Giam, a certified PhotoReading instructor, over the weekend and she guided us on this journey on how to read faster and more.

So, what is exactly Photo Reading and how does it help us to read faster and more? 

Before attending the workshop, I thought that Photo Reading is just another technique of Speed Reading.  And by way of background, I was quite familiar with Speed Reading because it was a required skill for us to have in our Hong Kong A-Level Use of English Examination.  One of the major components of this examination is Speed Reading and we have to finish a 2000-word article and answer 20-25 questions in 30 minutes.   However, I was proven wrong because Photo Reading is not Speed reading only but a lot more than that.

Rather than having me describe what Photo Reading is,  it would be easier for the following video to explain briefly what Photo Reading is all about:

So, What Happened to me Over the Weekend?

(A) The Amazing Discovery after Photo Reading the book “Screamfree Parenting”

So, I brought along this book with me to the workshop which I did not have the time to read it in the past as I really wanted to experience using Photo Reading to read this book.  One of the key elements to successful Photo Reading is to have a clearly-defined purpose as to what I want out of the book and why I want it.   As soon as I stated my purpose, I began to Photo Read this book on the first day of the workshop and it took me 5 minutes to complete the process.

After Photo Reading, we are expected to go through the incubation process.  So, I left this book in my bag and I took it out on the second day once again when I started doing the “Post View” Process and “Activation” of the first two chapters of this book.  Now, here are some of my amazing discoveries in this process:

  • I suddenly felt that the author was talking to me live and certain trigger words popped up while I was activating the book.
  • What was even more amazing was that similar to what Steve Job said in his famous speech to the graduates of Stanford University, these trigger words were like the dots and they were connecting themselves and telling me the story.
  • I was able to articulate the main theme of the first two chapters.  Keep in mind that I spent less than 30 minutes all together for these two days on the book.

(B) New Trigger Words Found after re-reading an old book

I also brought along this book on the second day of the Photo Reading Workshop.  Some of my students from my trading classes should be aware that I frequently use the quotes from this book to highlight certain key concepts concerning trading psychology.  I read this book a few years back and I wanted to test out if Photo Reading can be used on a book which I read before.

Our instructor supported this idea as she said that as long as we have a clear purpose as to why we decide to re-read the book, we can go ahead.  So, my purpose of re-reading this book is to pick up new terms or ideas from this book.  Again, I went through the process of Photo Reading the book and decided to activate one of the chapters, the reason being that I was triggered with the phrase “neuro-linguistic programming” in this book (and it is a term I did not pick up during my first read).

Here is the mind-map I drew for that particular chapter:

I was even able to articulate what I learnt from this chapter to my working partner in 3 minutes.

So, what did I learn?

Here are some learning experience I am happy to share with you after attending the Photo Reading workshop:

  • On Day 1, almost everyone said that he/she did not know what the heck he/she has Photo Read.  As POE coaches, however, we always share with our participants that it is important to trust the process and allow our unconscious mind to guide us.   If we allow our conscious mind to take over, we will start judging whether Photo Reading is effective and/or trustworthy.
  • Our unconscious mind is like a sponge when it comes to Photo Reading.  The video above explains this concept.  At the same time, the size of our sponge varies which means that the more we practice on Photo Reading, the more we can absorb.  So, even though we completed the Photo Reading workshop over the weekend, it is simply the beginning of our new journey and we should allow ourselves to continue to explore and maintain curiosity.  As long as we continue with this process, we will begin to explore and reflect what works for us and what does not.
  • Now that 25 of us have equipped with this new skill, I guess you wont be hearing from us anymore about the excuses of not finishing our books.  In fact, I am now planning for my next installment of books to read and trust me, I will apply what I learnt from the Photo Reading workshop from this point onwards.  In fact, I Photo Read three books for general purposes last night and incubated for 11 hours.

If you can sense my excitement after reading this post, it is true because I am.  Allow my unconscious to guide me in this interesting discovery!

To Your Success!
Jack Wong
The Empowered Rangers