Day 19: One of the Most Important Success Habits…

30 Day Writing Challenge

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Some of the most influential people in the world claim to read a book a week or if you’re Warren Buffet, 500 pages of financial documents. In case it isn’t obvious, reading is one of the easiest- and most affordable ways of learning. You can walk into your local library right now and pick up a book on literally anything.

I think Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said it really well,

Everything [he’d] read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out most people didn’t want it.

It was not so long ago that the former statement was false. Books—and education in general—were reserved for the wealthy and privileged. The rest of society received the bare minimum and were more encouraged to work than to learn.

In the age of technology, learning has reaching a turning point. Now it holds true that mostly anyone can buy a book or magazine, and better yet, they can read a book or magazine without purchasing anything, thanks to the public library systems. This is not even taking into account the endless free information available online.

If you were motivated to learn how to play piano or how to code or cook or draw or learn quickbooks, you could guaranteed find a book for that. There are books on How to become a Dominatrix, The Art of Ice Cream, Astrophysics, and How to become a social media influencer. Sure, there are other forms of knowledge acquisition, like video sharing and streaming platforms, or podcasts, as examples, but it’s kind of like when a book gets converted into a Hollywood movie—many of the details get cut out.

If you truly want to be great, you need to be detail oriented and there are few places that have more details than books. From starting your own Dominatrix dungeon to learning astrophysics, books have got you covered.

Okay great, you get it, reading is good for you. But what should you be reading? Can you read trashy tabloid magazines and still get the same benefit as reading A Streetcar Named Desire?

Not exactly.

I find in order for you to get the most out of books you need to have a strategy. In building that strategy, consider these questions:

  1. What is your end goal?
    • This is the #1 question because it will really help you define what kinds of books you should be reading. I have a friend who’s a graffiti and mural artist, when you walk into his apartment you will find rows and rows of books all about graffiti and street art. I never even considered there were so many books about graffiti, but here we are!
  2. How much time can you realistically dedicate to reading?
    • Not all of us have the time to read 6 books a week! At the same time, where there is a will, there is a way! I find commuting to be the absolute best time to get some reading done. If you live near public transportation, you may want to give it a go—being able to sit there and just read can make your commute feel much shorter, and it’s using up that time productively!
  3. Do you like ebooks or hard copies?
    • This is a more logistical question but important nonetheless. If you are like me who loves the feel of a “real” book in your hands, than traditional hard copies are the way to go. On the flip side, a small, lightweight e-reader that can hold thousands upon thousands of books is a pretty worthwhile investment in my view.

Books I’ve recently read

1. MADDADDAM TRILOGY by Margaret Atwood
2.The Unwind Series by Neal Shusterman
3. Food Rules, AN Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
4. Well that Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey

I love reading, but I must admit, I am a very slow reader. It takes me anywhere from 3 months to 3 years to finish one book! I read the 9 books mentioned above (2 of them are series!) in 4 years or so. The good news is that I read several books at any given point and I also read shorter pieces, such as, blogs, stories, and news articles daily.

I read alot of dystopian novels because I love how authors use fantasy to depict real world issues of racism, classism, inequality, sexism, and so much more. I also like to read memoirs and personal stories about overcoming obstacles and being better for it. And I love “self-improvement” books, especially those that touch on wellness and mental health. What all of these books have in common is that they feed my “end goal” to become a healthy, positive people who lives life with intentionality.

I would love to say it really doesn’t matter what you read, as long as you read, but that’s just not the case. The age of technology is a double edge sword that increases access to information and the possibility of misinformation. What the internet, in particular, as also accomplished, is allowed many more people to self publish books, blogs, and other information sharing platforms. That’s why it’s so important to consider what you are reading, paying close attention to who wrote it, and where you found it.

The Bottom Line

Reading is another form of brain food; the more you know, the more you grow. You don’t need to spend hours and hours a day reading, or even finish reading anything within a certain time frame. Just allowing yourself enough time to self-care with a daily dose of knowledge goes a long way.

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