The corridors of our minds can only be illuminated by new information. The amount of light we allow into our minds is determined by the amount of useful information we permit. The purpose of reading is to cure ones ignorance on a matter, whether about one’s self, others or the world. Information is men’s most precious instrument. We cannot create anything without it. We cannot evolve without it. We can only grow tall without it but we cannot grow any wiser or any better without information.
Put in another way, demographics are not the difference between people, information is. Demographics are a consequence of how information is distributed and received. The baseline of inequality in South Africa is access to information that is necessary to facilitate self-improvement. But most importantly investing in information that will help you develop better self & situational awareness is critical to understanding the value of your life.
For example, when you know your rights you demand to be treated to a higher standard because you hold yourself to the belief that you deserve better. In our democracy, knowing your worth determines the quality of the things you are willing to fight for and what you are willing to speak up against.
Harry S Truman once said, “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves…self-discipline with all of them came first.”
- Critical thinking
Our rewards in life have very little to do with our talents because they are connected to our ability to solve problems. Author John Maxwell once stated that “Anything worthwhile in life begins with a challenge.”
Challenges are best solved through thinking. I read biographies, leadership books and management books not to sound smart. But I read books with the understanding that it will take me hours to learn what took the author a longer period of time to discover. Many of these authors are people I may never get an opportunity to meet but through their books, I get to discover the skills I need from them, unfiltered.
Reading will improve how you think about the vision you have for your life and your family. The right books will help you discover the trajectory you need in order to reach your goals.
With that said, some people don’t have a reading challenge but rather a content challenge. It’s easier to read about celebrity gossip than it is to read about what entrepreneurs and other builders in their community are doing.
- Writing skills
I am not a writer and I am a terrible storyteller. But I am in the business of communication and writing is an essential part of what I do. So what do I do? Yes, you have assumed correctly. I read.
I read about writing and I read books from authors with a very intelligent message, why? Well, those authors have a very difficult task of simplifying their message to the point the reader feels smart without diluting their message.
Here are some examples of the authors I learn from:
Van Moody author of the People Factor (Relationship Intelligence author)
John Maxwell author of Failing Forward (Leadership author)
Steve Harvey autobiographical author on personal success, best book Act like a success, Think like a success
- Success habit
The most persistently successful people you know are readers. Some of the most influential people we know in the world today, use what is known as a five-hour reading plan. What that means is that every day they make sure that they put aside an hour to read books about what they do. They intentionally set aside a minimum of 20hours a month to reading. They absorb information that will keep them growing, disciplined and challenged.
Can you do that?
Put the phone down and just start a new ritual of reading for one hour a day.