Worthwhile Credo #4
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Worthwhile Credo #4
Read at least 5 books a year.
It seems like it’s becoming more and more prevalent that people are reading less than they used to do. This is a big problem. The art of reading is exercise for the mind. It stirs up thoughts in your head and it inspires creativity and breakthrough ideas.
There’s no question that technology can be very valuable in solving problems, but it can also be a crutch. I can even see my own math skills have deteriorated if I don’t use a calculator. It won’t be long before teenagers will not be able to read cursive or tell the time on a traditional clock. In the name of convenience, we are giving up valuable skills, but reading cannot be allowed to fall by the wayside due to laziness.
Laziness is a poor excuse for not reading. If you say that you can’t concentrate on a book because technology has shortened your attention span, it only means that you’re out of practice. I know firsthand, because I am a slow reader. It takes me a long time to get through a book. However, since 1995, I have continuously started a new book as soon as I finish the current one. It’s led me to read over 350 books and become a national speaker for more than 20 years.
Some of you might think that five books a year is too many with which to start. I completely disagree. If anything, it’s way too few. When I first began speaking and traveling around the country, I spent endless hours in airports waiting for connection flights. I was able to complete 40 business books that year. While I don’t read 40 books every year, I can tell you that that experience showed me that even a slow reader can benefit immensely by taking the time to read and learning things that authors have spent years and even lifetimes mastering. The trade-off is well worth it. But even if you only start with one, and you’re not reading any books now, at least you’re headed in the right direction. Don’t shortchange yourself, or the people you serve, by missing out on great ideas that are readily available to you right now in books.
Having books and not reading them in the information age would be like having seeds and not planting them in the agricultural age.- Burke Hedges
Let me hear from you. This excerpt is taken from my Designing Your Destiny! seminar. I encourage you to order a copy of my book, Stumbling onto Success, which discusses this lesson in much greater detail.