My love for books dates way back to my childhood days.
I remember the days’ mom would ask me to clean the living room, and I’ll spend hours doing something that should take me less than 10minutes to do. Because I’ll pause to read every newspaper I come across, every tract, every book, anything on paper, it didn’t really matter if I had read them before.
I’ll just bury my face in those books, inhaling the ah-ma-zing smell of the books and get lost within those pages.
This happened until my parents noticed it and changed my morning duty to washing dishes (one of the things I very much hate doing).
I wasn’t allowed into my dad’s room because I might never be found as I would get lost in the books.
I remember my secondary school days, we used to hide novels in the middle of our notebooks, read them whilst pretending to be reading our notes.
I read anywhere: my toilet seat being my fav place to read.. (actually my mom started a kiddies reading club and named it ‘Toilet readers club’ because of me).
Books were my safe haven.
Initially, it was my way of running from the challenges I was facing at the time, and then it turned into an addiction. (A good one of course)
I had a related more with the characters in the novels and conversed more with the authors of the non-fiction works than I did in real life.
I felt safe, understood, loved and all with every page.
With books, I got to live a thousand lives in a thousand places and years.
I used to read between 50 to 100 or more books in a year.
But lately, my reading has drastically gone poor. I now struggle to read at most 2 books in a month.
I don’t know how I let this happen.
Great leaders are people who read.
This is why ‘Reading’ is one of the steps to creating your best life.
Why is reading important?
Focus and Concentration
Reading helps train your mind and body to focus and concentrate on one thing. I have a very short attention span, I easily get distracted, bored and then jump from one thing to the seemingly next big thing. And if you are anything like me, you will find that reading helps increase one’s ability to focus and concentrate on one thing.
Boost Imagination and Creativity
Reading exposes you to a world of imagination, showing you nothing is impossible in this world. By reading, you are exploring a different angle to see a thing you’ve known, on how different action leads to different results. Books are beyond imagination. It’s like a huge spider web, where you keep linking to more and more to things you knew, and things you just learn, structuring new solutions and answers.
Reading Improves your memory
When you read a book, you are taking in all that the book is about. People, places, things… When you read you are using your memory muscle which lies in the Cerebrum part of your brain. Using this muscle helps your memory long term. It increases our retention ability and we are able to make connections easily. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of muscle memory 😉 the Same kind of thing.
“Use your brain by doing challenging activities, such as puzzles, reading, playing music, making art, or anything else that gives your brain a workout!” – Steven Dowshen, MD
Personal Development or self-improvement:
Reading does help you become a better you or create a better version of yourself, doesn’t it? Through reading, you understand the world more, you have a greater understanding and grasp on a topic that interest you; Every personal development or self-improvements start from reading.
Learn and Gain Experience from Other People
How amazing is it that I can read about and learn from Jobs, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Gary, Brian Tracy, all these guys without actually meeting them?
When you are reading, you are actually gaining the knowledge and experience of someone. It can hasten your success towards a goal, as you don’t need to repeat the same mistake while focusing on the right path to achieving one thing. It’s like a mountain of gems for you to discover in books, which contain people’s successes, failures, and advice. Life is too short for you to repeat the mistakes that had been done by other people in the past, in order for you to reach the results that someone might already reach. There are more than four thousand billionaires and 12 million millionaires today. To become one of them, the first normal thing is to learn and get to know their past, their failures, motivations etc. Reading is a great path to get to know them and learn from these great people.
Reading helps with communication
Well, except I am talking about something I wrote, a movie adaptation, or a new business idea with a veryyyyy close friend or family member, I always almost do not talk to strangers, in public or anywhere outside my ‘comfort zone’ That’s what being introverted does to you right? A book in your hand, Reading gives you a common ground, something and more to talk about and helps one communicate freely and easily with strangers. I’m guessing only introverted fellows or people who parade as ambiverts will understand this. Reading connects you with the world and helps you communicate better with it.
Entertainment, Exploration, Exposure:
Reading is the best cheap or free entertainment you can get. At the airport, bus station or somewhere public and bored? You can’t ever get bored with a good book in your hand. Ever.
Reading exposes you to new things, new information, new places, new love, new ways to solve a problem, and new ways to achieve one thing. Who knows – you might find your new hobbies within it. Who knows – you might actually explore one thing you really like and it may end up becoming your career and success in the future. Exploration begins with reading and understanding.
I think it’s Mark Twain that said something like: “the man who reads has lived a thousand lives, in a thousand places, for a thousand years… while the one who doesn’t, live just once..” (paraphrased. I do not remember the actual quote)
Now you’ve read a thousand words. It’s time to get off and do some reading.
Start small, but start somewhere.
Over to you: Do you read? (like love books kind of reading?) How many books do you roughly read in a month? (to help me find out if I’m wrongly judging myself) What would you add to this list? Why is reading important to personal development?