The (Often Overlooked) Integration Period

The most overlooked step in Personal Development is the Integration Period.

You can relate to listening to 3 different podcasts, reading 15 articles, and seeing 20 motivational quotes on Instagram… but for some reason you’re not any better at the end of the week, and you’ve forgotten half the ideas you encountered.

You can probably also relate to the last actual book you read from GaryVee, Cy Wakeman, or Simon Sinek being the thing that really changed your trajectory.

So how do books change us, but articles and shorter form content on the same topics do nothing for us?

It’s all about the time you spend with the ideas.

When you consume content online, you’re spending a maximum of an hour listening to a podcast, and encountering 10 interesting and helpful ideas in that hour. That is nowhere near enough time for you to digest, understand, and apply that to your life.

When you read a book, you are spending hours in quiet with only the words in the book to populate your mind. You’re almost meditating on the new ideas. Books also take a few days or even weeks of reading a chapter here and there to finish. Between chapters you’re thinking about the last thing you read, and seeing example applications pop up in your life. You spend exponentially more time with the ideas from a book.

This time spent is the Integration Period. It is the time needed for you to encounter an idea, test it, see it play out in real scenarios in your own life, and become a habitual thought pattern which changes the way you approach the world.

Now if it takes 28 days to form a habit, maybe 28 days is the ideal allotted time to read a new book and integrate the ideas into your life. Maybe time spent with the ideas is just as important as encountering them.