In my social circles throughout life so far, I’ve noticed that people either love or hate reading. I have friends and family members who are always telling me about a new book they’re reading, and then others who wouldn’t be seen dead reading. It’s odd isn’t it? It kind of like marmite, you either love it or hate it…
I believe a lot of people are “put off” of reading due to their early education at school. We’re “forced” to read certain books, then write essays on them, without really caring a less about the book in the slightest. Sometimes there might have been the odd story we enjoyed, but our like or dislike of the book would depend on our teachers, and the way the book was presented to us.
What I found is that when I got a little older, I didn’t mind purchasing and reading books that were on subjects that I enjoyed. There were hundreds of books written on my hobbies, passions and loves in life. So when I saw these books, I bought them, read them and as a result I improved my understanding and abilities within those areas.
When we consume information on a subject, it’s obvious that we’re going to become more knowledgeable on the area. BUT, what we don’t really find out until we start making our way through a book is that it’s going to generate more enthusiasm, motivation and imagination inside of us, which can then potentially change our life course!
This is the difference between being “given” something to read or being “forced” to read something, and consciously choosing something you want to read yourself…
Recommendations are fine of course, and they do get better over time as people learn to realise what you’re interested in. But there’s nothing quite like doing it for yourself, finding books and information that’s related to an area you have great interest in and reading them.
There are of course different types of books, factual books, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies etc, but the type of books I want to focus on for this blog post are information based.
Why? Because information books will help you progress in any chosen area. Want to learn a business model? Buy a book teaching it. Want to learn Spanish? Buy a book that teaches Spanish language. Want to learn more about a culture? Buy a book on that specific culture. You get the point!
When we have an interest in an area, and we buy a book and begin reading it, our interest soon turns into a passion. This passion can remain at that level, or it can go deeper, and deeper, and deeper until it becomes a huge part of our lives.
For example, I’ve seen this many times with musicians. They buy a book on “how to play” something, they learn a little bit and find that it’s quite a fun hobby. Then they invest in a tutor, and begin to perfect their musical skills. Over time they can get as good as they wish to with enough practice.
The above example can be related to anything you wish to learn. But the most POWERFUL piece of information to take from this is that it all started with reading. Actively seeking out information on the subject that you have shown an interest in, and then consuming that information.
Can you imagine how knowledgeable and experienced you would become if you bought a book on everything you’ve ever shown a small interest in?
Through digesting such information, we create more motivation, energy and will power to go out there and “try things out”. We begin to take action on our interests, and develop our skills and understanding even more. Reading can improve your life ten fold through opening up vast windows of opportunity.
To take this whole idea one step further, I’m going to give you a little secret. It’s known that some of the most successful people on this planet read at least one new book per month. This book will be an information based book as I’ve placed focus on within this blog post.
In order to CONTINUE growing, you must continue reading! But I have some good news for you. Once you start reading, you get the “bug” where you just can’t stop… It becomes a fun activity for you, as you expand your expertise and knowledge on areas that really interest you.
Try to spend at least 30 minutes per day reading information which is going to benefit you in some way. I try to place my focus on books since they contain no distractions. Reading online is great, but there are adverts and pop ups which can take our attention away from the content. It’s the same with your phones, reading content via smartphone can be great, but we’re always getting notifications, messages and alerts which can get in the way. There’s something magical and personal about reading out of a book…
Set yourself the task to find a new book each month to read daily for at least 30 minutes. This book should be information related to your hobbies, passions and loves in life. It should be positive and make you feel good every time you pick it up.
As soon as you’re finished with that book, get another one and use the same 30 minute rule per day. You’ll be surprised as to how quickly your knowledge grows, and how active you become in life as a result. New ideas, hobbies, adventures and experiences will come your way, as you learn more and more about what you love to do.
People are often complaining about having nothing to do in their spare time, well if you read a lot and grow your hobbies, you will always have something fun to explore. Boredom only sets in when we stop progressing and growing our expertise.
It’s quite comical really, at school this was considered “work”, but when we grow up and consciously choose what we want to learn it’s no longer work but leisure instead!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post on how reading can improve your life…
Rob J. Temple