Twenty years ago, in the summer of 2000, I was inspired by some writings of Peter Drucker, to begin a systematic self-study program.  I made a goal to be engaged at all times in reading a book or taking an independent study course on some topic of benefit to me.  I have mostly met this objective and this has blessed my life in many predictable, many unforeseen and I am sure many yet unknown ways.

Since I made that commitment I have read on average 13.6 pages/day, 413 pages/month, 4,961 pages/year for a total of 101,096 pages.  I have very little appetite for fiction.  My favorite books are history and historic biographies and personal and business development.  My favorite biographies are Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton ( read twice ), David McCullough’s 1776, Walter Stahr’s John Jay and John Turner’s Pioneer Prophet ( read twice ).  I find so much of history to be like the old promotion that the History Channel used to promote its programs, “A story so unbelievable, it could only be true.”

My favorite personal and business development book are 12 Rules for Life, Gross National Happiness, David and Goliath, The Millionaire Next Door, Shoe Dog, The Spirit of Enterprise, Zero to One.  I found it helpful to track my progress in self-study.  Tracking my progress kept me motivated to meet monthly and yearly targets for my progress.  In my education consulting work I have often said, “That which we regularly measure, we will regularly focus on improving.”  I have tried to practice this principle in my personal development to my benefit.

Below are reports from my self-study program.  The first is a list of the books read over the last course of my program.  The second and third are progress charts I use to motivate myself.  I provide them because perhaps these ideas will be of profit to some of you.


Self-Study Learning Report

Self-Study Yearly Progress Graph

Self-Study Cumulative Progress Graph