Is the book that can’t help you.
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I read a lot. I am known at the gym as the guy with the pile of reading material on the exercise bike. If you are a fly on the wall, you’d see me in my “quiet time” first thing in the morning reading the bible…not long after you would see me at the gym reading from 4 different books; the bible, a Mandino and a Rohn book I read and reflect on from daily, and a book from the “Stack.”(The Stack sits in the corner of the second desk in my office and is a pile of books that I have yet to get to.) In the evening you would see me reading another book from my stack before I go to sleep. Oh and in the bathroom…you’d see me reading another book…and often for enjoyment you’ll find me reading fiction by the fire.
Books represent 95% of the mentorship I have received in my life. They have helped me grow and develop as much as my experiences have, possibly more…the difference being, that my experiences aren’t always of my choosing, sometimes they result from a choice, but what happens is the experience. So I learn what the experience reveals to me as it unfolds.
Books represent learning on purpose. I don’t know what I am going to learn from a book, but I do know the nature of what I am going to learn, because I can choose that. This “Learning on purpose” has been the foundation for most of my personal and professional development.
You might think that you don’t have time to read. I understand this perspective. If you are busy and immersed in pursuits, taking a break to read might seem counter-productive. Here’s my thinking and experience on this…Like you, I have the responsibility to develop and utilize the blessings God has bestowed upon me personally. To become the best I can possibly be. This is essential to furthering any endeavor. Being your best.
Books are just like practice and training. They are part of how you can become your best. Sort of like physical fitness is essential for the body. I am in a major busy period right now in my business. But it doesn’t mean I reduce my training and fitness. It means I forgo something else of less value. Or I sleep a little less. But the learning and inspiration component must be fueled.
It’s not difficult to read 15 minutes a day. And it helps. This is how I started when I began pursuing betterment 25 years ago. I have developed a routine and found ways to fit it in. The exercise bike is an example. Reading while I workout. By the time I finish my cardio work for the day, I have done a substantial amount of reading. Since I would do both anyway, why not do them at the same time?
Some of the books I read teach me very little. I am reading one right now that so far doesn’t strike me and hasn’t brought much new value…but I know that I will finish it and that by the time I do, I will find something I can apply. My approach is that if I can find just one thing in a book that can help me be a better person in any portion of my life, that over time this could be of massive value.
I have a policy about books…if someone I know recommennds a book to me, most of the time I will get the book and read it. At this moment the stack is ten books high…this is not including the ones I am reading now.
I’ll never forget a lesson I learned from Jim Rohn over 20 years ago. He said there is no difference between the person who can’t read and the person who won’t read. The outcome is the same. They miss learning and development opportunities. So READ. 15 minutes a day is all it takes to make a huge difference in your future.