“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
― Harry S. Truman tweet this!
I’ve never been an avid reader even when I was young. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was able to finish an entire book before last year when I decided to turn my life around and embrace self-improvement whole-heartedly. Now, even I am surprised at the rate I am finishing one book after another. Can you imagine someone who had absolutely zero interest in reading just a year ago now running over two books in a month?
I can’t believe it too that’s why I thank God for technology and for audio books because reading has never been this fun and easy for me. I’ve piled up all the great audio books I can find and what I do is copy them to my mobile phone and listen to them on my way to work (which takes an eternity), while waiting for my wife, and before I sleep.
I’ve also gobbled some Ebooks too (those that I can’t find an audio book version of) and a few physical books for that matter (as long as it sparks my interest). I don’t know what it is with physical books that turns me off. Perhaps seeing the thickness of the pages I have to go through kind of discourages me.
Zig Ziglar once said that television is the greatest productivity-killer and that successful people prefer to spend their time reading a book instead of watching television. Now I’ll be a hypocrite to say that I don’t watch television anymore or that I don’t like it. I am a big movie fan, always have and until now, I still watch movies on weekends or my favorite TV series when I’m not busy but through all this, I’ve learned to spare time that I will spend for reading,
Reading changed my life in so many ways and I may not be where I want to be now but I know I will get there and that reading is a big part of it. I came up with this blog post not only to urge you to read but to also share with you its benefits.
1. It opens your eyes to a whole new perspective
Before I got into personal development, I used to think that the path I was treading was enough and complete. I used to think that going to school, getting a degree and landing a secure job was the best and only path to take and that being loyal to one company was good for me.
Well, that may work for some but after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, I now realize that there were other alternative paths we can take. That instead of working for someone, I can create my own business and be my own boss. That instead of working for money, I can make money work for me.
It’s still different strokes for different folks when it comes to this topic but it’s good to have an idea of both ideologies and to have an open mind when it comes to non-traditional ideas.
2. It makes you realize your mistakes
I used to be pessimistic in most of my endeavors and I usually felt jealous every time someone gets ahead of me in terms of career or material things yet I thought I was living a normal life.
When I read Jim Rohn’s The Day that Turns Your Life Around and Les Brown’s The Power of Purpose, it made me realize how stupid I was to be always hopeless and worried. It made me realize that my happiness and success depended heavily on me and me alone and not on other people.
Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover made me realize all the poor decisions I made when it came to spending money. This book taught me how to live frugally and be contented with what I have.
3. It inspires you to become a better person
There were many times before when I felt like I wasn’t good enough especially after getting criticized or after not getting a job I applied for. I really thought I didn’t have what it takes when I was passed over for a promotion. I started to think that maybe, I wasn’t really that good and I carried that mentality and that attitude for a quite a long time.
I needed inspiration and a lot of motivation and I got more of what I needed when I read Zig Ziglar’s How to be a Winner, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, and John C. Maxwell’s The Winning Attitude.
I used to watch Rocky or The Pursuit of Happyness every time I needed to be inspired. These were my go-to movies, my source for inspiration especially that scene when Will Smith finally got the job as a stock broker and you can’t determine if he wanted to shout or if he wanted to cry as people passed by. That scene was absolute MAGIC!
I realized that it’s not only through these movies that I can get inspiration from because I felt the same ecstatic feeling after reading the books I mentioned above.
4. It makes you realize how wonderful life is and that you have so much to be thankful for
When adversity hits us with a big blow, it’s easy to get discouraged. We tend to lose faith and some would go to greater lengths by saying that their lives suck and that they’re almost ready to give up.
Failure can bring us down in a big way but it doesn’t mean that there’s no getting back up. It doesn’t mean that it’s over and that there’s no chance to recover. As long as there’s life, there’s hope.
This is exactly what I learned after reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. As a victim of the Holocaust, Viktor went through absolute hell in the hands of the Nazis but miraculously, still found the way to look at life in a positive way. Despite the daily torture he went through, he found meaning in life by changing his mindset, changing his attitude and live by the only motivation he has to endure all the punishment and that is the thought that one day, he will be reunited with his family once again. Viktor proved that no matter how bad your situation is, happiness is still possible to achieve if you have a positive mindset.
Self-improvement should be a continuous process and at no point should you ever consider that what you know is enough. Read books that will improve the quality of your life and it doesn’t have to be confined to non-fiction only. There are works of fiction out there that can still drive you to make a change. Read biographies and memoirs and learn from the experiences of some of the most successful people of our time. You will appreciate its value once you realize that your mindset and your attitude has changed because of the things you learned from what you have read.
Over to You
What was the last book you read? How frequent do you read?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to share your stories or leave a comment below.
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