MASTERING THE INFORMATION AGE --- A COURSE IN WORKING SMARTER,
THINKING BETTER, AND LEARNING FASTER by Michael J. McCarthy. Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1991
INTRODUCTION --- this book distills the most important and useful principles and
techniques from hundreds in the fields of learning, reading, thinking and memory. The
sum total of the ideas can help transform you into a smarter, more productive, efficient,
organized, and successful person.
Once implemented, these ideas can become a new "lifestyle" that will
promote your ability to become a faster worker, better learner, and more intelligent person.
With practice, anyone can become a "Master" of the "Information Age,"
regardless of your age or educational background! (p1-10)
 Three vital objectives (p1-4):
1) Become a master --- What the Information Age means and why it challenges you. What is
a "Master?" (p11-27)
(1) developing broad-based personal skills will help you learn, work, and think better (chapters 1-6);
 How to use this book --- if you follow the carefully planned explanations and exercises,
you will find yourself growing steadily in your skills, and you will gain new confidence in the
value of applying them to your daily life. (p5-10)
(2) developing specific information management skills will help you focus on how to
improve your ability to manage the flood of information (chapters 7-10); and
(3) developing effective communication and presentation skills will help you communicate
information with clarity and power, in both writing and speaking (chapter11).
(1) Participate --- actively. The book is an "interactive" experience. To
get the most out of it, you must put yourself into it! There are many exercises or "Learning Activators".
Mastering the Information Age can transform your life! You have only two choices. You
can stay as you are and be overwhelmed by the tidal wave of change! Or, you can begin to make the improvements in your life to help you stay ahead of the change!
(2) Give up your self-limiting beliefs and habits --- Self-defeating, "self-sabotaging" habits
of thought and action can be replaced by more productive behavior. You must be willing to
change by translating your desire into concrete action. Nothing new ever hapens in the
"comfort zone," which is the "business as usual" approach
to life and which does not free you from the boundaries of your present level of experience.
To grow, you must step outside the boundaries of your "comfort zone,"
into the region of new experience where learning takes place.
(3) Please write in your book (but NOT in a public library book! You
can photocopy your favorite ideas from a library book before you check, underline or color
them.) --- This book is a "workbook" which is to be used and not just read. Some simple
techniques of highlighting ideas can "personalize" the book for you and allow you to pick it
up any time in the future and quickly find the places that were most useful or important to you.
(4) Decide what you want from this book --- It is useful for you to take a few minutes
to define your purpose and write down what you want to accomplish from reading this book.
If you set objectives for yourself at the beginning, you will derie mujch more from the book.
1. What is your purpose in reading this book?
- What do you want to learn?
2. What Questions do you have about the process of becoming an
"Information Age" Master?
- What new skills would you like to acquire?
- What changes do you want to make in your relationship to
the Information Age?
-How much faster would you like to be able to read?
- How can I improve my thinking skills?
3. What do you anticipate will be the answers to the questions you just asked?
- What are the possibilities and limits of my intelligence?
- What are the mechanics of memory?
- How much time will I have to spend in order to doble my reading speed?
2) Believe in your success --- Learning how to identify and transform negative beliefs about
your beliefs and intelligence into positive beliefs that support your learning and thinking. (p28-52)
3) Enter the learning state --- What is "peak performance" as it relates to learning and
4) Use your peak intelligence --- How to sharpen your senses and use your intuition in dealing with information. (p83-114)
5) Develop the memory habit --- How you can enhance your memory through a four-step program and also alleviate "memory overload". (115-147)
6) Think critically about information --- How to think better and analyze information for accuracy
and logic. (p148-168)
7) Active reading --- Learn to be a more intelligent reader --- How you can define your
"target zone" so you won't waste time sorting through useless or irrelevant
information and how to "preview" reading material. (p169-187)
8) Double your reading speed --- You can double or triple your reading speed by
learning powerful reading techniques that can enable you to increase your speed of
information gathering. (p188-217)
9) Grokking --- go for the gold --- Learn more fast reading skills. (p218-248)
10) Overcome "research anxiety" --- How to reduce the nervousness or terror of
using libraries, online Internet databases, CD-ROM databases, and other sources. (p249-280)
11) Share information effectively --- (p281-302)
By reading this book, you have stretched yourself outside of your cocoon. As
your intelligence continues to increase, new horizons will open up and you no
longer will be able to live within your old confines.
Congratulations on your willingness to move out beyond your "comfort zone!"
You have learned about the importance of beliefs and how you have the power to control them; how to use your whole brain to achieve peak intelligence; how to improve your memory; how to use relaxation techniques to become a better learner; and how to enlist your subconscious mind as an ally.
You have learned how to find information and how to share it. But the true mastery of the
Information Age means becoming a broader, deaper, more filfilled human being!
 Live your life on a "higher plane" (p304-305)
 Think "life-enhancing" thoughts (p305)
 See the "big picture" (p305-306)
Develop a mind that sees the big picture of life! Most of the problems
in the world, both personal and social, come from narrow thinking and looking
for expediency in the moment.
You need to think about implications and ramifications, about how the words
we speak and the actions we perform affect the people we are close to and
expand outwardly from them to affect others!
In this era when the balance is so delicate, you need to clarify and change your
self-interest to comply with the interest of the planet, your fellow humans, and
The latest understanding of life, being expressed by environmentalists, ecologists,
physicists, and by explorers of the inner realms of consciousness, is that the
world is a "wholeness" in which all things and beings are interconnected.
The world is changing! Use the "information tools" you have gained from this
book to quickly find, extract, and process the information that supports you in this
Be a master!
Go to: Brainpower Issue at Work
Go to: Change Issue at Work
Go to: Success Issue at Work
Go to: Leadership Control Essay
Go to: Home Page Index
Go to: Interactive Index