The habit of reading is a virtue worth having if you wish to expand your knowledge beyond your academic qualifications. I believe knowledge is more valuable than any kind of material wealth you possess. More so, because you need knowledge and mastery to earn this material wealth and keep it safe. Knowledge is, therefore, worthier than material wealth.
If you look at the life of all great men who have traversed this world – you will find many of them gained wisdom through reading. They used this knowledge to attain greater heights in whatever field they operated. They have shared their experience and knowledge through books or other reading material. This wisdom is available to countless people who use it to improve their lives.
“Invest in yourself so you can design your own life”.
– Joe Hinchliffe
The knowledge we receive from books helps us change our perspective of looking at things. Many of us get stubborn and remain stuck with our problems because we refuse to alter our thinking and approach it differently to possibly find a solution.
Albert Einstein has once said that – “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Reading can often help us to alter our thought process and take a different line towards solving our problems.
In other words, when you read a book – you receive new ideas that change your way of thinking. When you change your way of thinking – you change your perspective to your challenges. This new approach helps you solve problems with a better understanding.
In due course, you may also find that issues which you thought were problems are not problems at all. In fact, you may even find opportunities in some of them. Reading thus plays an important part in making our lives easier.
The main objection a person has when you promote reading habit to him is that – he doesn’t have time. This could be true. And if someone doesn’t love reading – it is very difficult to get him to develop the habit. In general, it is found that reading is a habit which gets more easily developed at childhood and if you have missed it then – it’s a bit hard to develop it later. And reading requires a good amount of patience which is a rare commodity in our fast-moving world that we live in today.
Time is in short supply in our busy lives. But do you know the number of books the highest earning CEO’s in the corporate world read a year? It’s around 60 a year – which is over 4 books a month. You may wonder how they find time to read from their busy schedules and heavy responsibilities. And more importantly, why do they do it?
By simple logic – they do this to save their time. Confused? The knowledge they gain from all the material they read helps them solve problems they face in their career and personal lives. Let me explain. It’s simple. They find solutions to many problems they encounter by reading people who have tread similar paths and have already faced them in the past. From this, they learn how their predecessors resolved the issues. They then improvise the solution to the current situation and apply their own solutions. Without this, they would have had to do a trial and error exercise which would cost them more of their time and energy over it.
I am not suggesting you should totally emulate these corporate honchos on this habit. You will reach that level once you find you have enough benefits by cultivating this habit. But let me tell you one thing which may motivate you to follow my advice and get to that level.
The affinity of leaders to reading and gaining knowledge is one important factor which helps them to reach greater heights. And it’s definitely giving them their time’s worth or else they won’t be in that position. They won’t be continuing with the habit after getting successful unless it is paying them the dividends.
Coming back to ourselves, we may also initially feel – when you sit and start reading a book (which may take hours!) we are wasting time. Many of us don’t spare time for reading owing to this notion. Many feel the habit of reading is a kind of luxury and everybody can’t have it. We are losing a lot on account of this mindset and we have to change this to move ahead.
Let me ask you – how much firsthand knowledge and experience can you gain on your own in your lifetime? No matter how active you are – it would be very limited. But, if you spend a few hours reading a book on a topic that is of your interest – you will definitely learn a lifetime of knowledge and experience on the topic. Maybe everything propagated in a book will not be of value – but I am sure you will gain some knowledge out of it – and it could be could be positive or negative.
The book represents the experience and knowledge of a person which is projected into the book for your benefit. By choosing books of people who are experts in a field you are set to gain great knowledge that can guide you to a better life.
New information will open up a new frontier for you – a new perspective on a given topic. Add your existing knowledge and experience to it – and there you have a great idea which you may not have found otherwise. This is how fresh ideas and solutions come up into our lives.
You may say that there are countless people on the planet who go by their lives without ever reading a page in their life – and they all are happy. I agree. That’s not the point I am making here – if you can read and have access to valuable and authoritative knowledge which can help you enhance your life – then to my mind you are depriving yourself a big opportunity by refusing to acquire it just because you don’t want to get into the habit of reading.
People who don’t see this point clearly are those who are busy in other aspects of life which are less valuable as far as reading is concerned.