If you had told me while in middle school or high school (even in college) that I’d be reading 2-3 books a month consistently for years after graduating and pursuing a career, I’d definitely laugh in your face.
We grow up in a schooling system that requires us to read certain books throughout the course of our educational advancements, but did any of us really do it because we enjoyed it?
Obviously when you are forced to do something it’s much less fun than when you openly choose to do it.
For some, throughout life it seems as though they irrationally view reading a book as something they were once forced to do and now choose not to do simply because of those past experiences and emotional triggers that arise from thinking about them.
According to a study by Pew Research that was published in May of 2018, 24% of American adults say that they haven’t read a book in whole or in part over the trailing 12 months.
Per the Washington Post, in 2017 the average American spent 10x more time watching TV (roughly 3 hours per day) than they spent reading.
And people wonder why they are overweight, unmotivated and barely making ends meet financially.
You have the ability and certainly the time to change all of that, through the secret power that books hold within them.
F the BS: Let’s dive into the influence of reading books and why you need to start now
Self-help books have been a HUGE part of my life over the last few years. I honestly cannot imagine what path my journey would’ve taken without the guidance and tremendous wealth of knowledge that reading has instilled and provided me with. It’s opened a door in my mind that I never knew existed, granting me the unique opportunity to educate, appreciate and elevate my life to get the most that I possibly can out of it.
Think about it like this.
We always seem to lean towards our elders for the true secrets in life. We ask our grandparents what’s the secret to a long term marriage, to success, to happiness, etc.
Yet, are you fully aware that there are thousands of successful authors out there that combined have gone through infinite experiences throughout their lives? That these people have acquired invaluable insights and wisdom during various stages of growth and have generously chosen to spend YEARS of their life putting them on paper so that YOU can read, learn, implement, share and grow from them?
If you are within the 24% of American adults who haven’t read a book over the last 12 months yet alone part of a book, then SHAME ON YOU.
You’re jipping YOURSELF.
Step up your game. Become wiser. Take immediate action. Start reading.
Deep down don’t you want to flourish and prosper throughout your life? Don’t you want to squeeze everything that you possibly can out of the short period of time that we all have on this planet?
A few tips…
I choose to read two different books at the same time. One nonfiction self-help book during the day time, and a fiction book right before bed time.
Fiction before sleep
If you have a hard time relaxing your mind and dozing off into a delicious slumber at night, I highly recommend reading a fiction book prior to hitting the sack (even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes at first). You can thank Tim Ferris for this tip!
Fiction books take your focus off of the thousands of thoughts that fill your brain and puts all your attention into the novel that you’re reading. As you read, slowly but surely you’ll start to get sleepy and before you know it, you’ll be passed out without a single worry in mind.
Taking notes while reading self-help books
While reading self-help books, it’s incredibly important to write down notes as you go. (If you have a kindle, you can also highlight specific sentences and paragraphs at will. Another game changer is the convenience of highlighting a specific word and instantly seeing its definition. This has expanded my vocabulary immensely!)
The impact of writing notes is indescribable. Since the entire objective is to actually retain and implement the information that you’re reading, not only does it help you in remembering key points from each book, it also allows you to revisit the strategies as needed. This helps with holding yourself accountable and ensuring you execute the teachings.
Even more so, through this pattern of repetition the concepts slowly begin to creep into your subconscious where they get fully taken advantage of and utilized to maximum capacity.
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson