SM036 Thursday June 10th
Take the time to read or listen – you can’t read or listen to all the books there are, but how many books should you read? As many as you possibly can. I have a list of books I want to read that is constantly growing – there’s no way I could keep up. I probably add 150 books a year to the want-to-read list. but I just keep plowing through it and making the best decision I can at the time, and it proves to be enough for me to keep growing.
I spent the majority of my life reading what I would now call trash. I had my reasons – I wanted to be a horror writer, and a sci-fi writer, so I read all of those books, 60 to 100 books a year for 30 years. I filled my head with so much crap, so much horror, so many deaths, topped off with a ton of hopelessness. I love the genre, so I still allow it of myself a couple of times a year – but for the lifestyle of it, the enjoyment. Not the education. I’ve since kept up the number of books – but I study happiness, hope, and human nature. I study to find the skills I want, and the things I want out of this life.
I find myself often wondering where I would be today if I had read pure, powerful, and positive material for 30 years instead of that other stuff. But we are where we are and when we are for a reason.
Listening to inspirational and motivational material for a while did change my life, my attitude, my outlook, and my output. So in a sense those changed the course of my life. But what really took me to a new level was when I read books on marketing, and real estate, psychology, behavioral economics, and selling – in addition to books with specifics on personal development, habits, and finances. These helped to sculpt my life, because they put ideas in my head that just weren’t there before – some of the things I want to do now, they didn’t even exist as a concept in my head two years ago.
And not just books – input in general, if you wisely choose your sources. I listened to Donald Miller’s Business Made Simple podcast about 5 weeks ago, and it changed my whole outlook on podcasting, and it changed the system I use. The episode had the guest John Lee Dumas, who had a book, The Common Path to Uncommon Results. I was so intrigued by the episode, that I bought and read the book within days, and urgently made a change to my podcasting habits – batching, and scheduling guests and more – the actions I take weekly are drastically changed because of a single book.
Now I have one thoroughly busy day a week – Monday (which I look forward to – it’s not a dreaded Monday), and the rest of the week I can relax and just work on my other stuff for a couple of hours a day.
What input should you be looking for? If you are stuck, if you want to stretch, if you want to grow, if you want to become something more, there is a book for you out there. If you want to learn or get better at a skill, there is a book out there for you. Everything you want to do, have, or be is within your reach if you will just learn How to get it and keep going until you get it.
My advice to you: Take the time it takes to find the books that will help your current situation, make your best guess at which ones will help, then read them. Then employ the information. Take notes, gather ideas, gather information in a journal and sure enough, you will get some urgency about one of these ideas, and realize that it’s right for you, and you will employ it, and your life, your time, your relationships will improve – because you studied, because you read the book, or listened to the podcast, or watched the youtube video that gave you the ideas and the inspiration to become something more than you are.
In addition, the books that will have the most impact on your life are the ones that relate to something you are going through now – something you need to do, learn, or be right at this present moment. Because it could cause you to take the steps recommended in that book, and when you read and implement the steps, there will be a positive outcome with the added benefit of remembering more of what you read. The more that sticks in your head, the better. So the doing of the thing that the book tells you to do will lock that wisdom in to your long term memory
This week write down two things. First, a time in your life that something you read, watched, or listened to changed your life. Second, what kind of information would help you right at this moment in your current situation? Let us know about it in the Ideas and Concepts Facebook group.