This summer I’ve gotten into the habit of reading, and I absolutely love it! Which makes me wonder why most people don’t read anymore. But I do have a good guess as to why that is. I think it’s because ‘required reading’ in 6th-12th grade took all the fun out of it. We couldn’t just read something without being quizzed on it, without having to find the symbolism, or metaphors, or the complex sub-plots that the author devised. Once reading ability became a quantifiable skill, people who missed these things thought they were no good at it, and even people who were good at it got sick of having their brains picked for something that maybe they just wanted to enjoy. But I’ve come to enjoy this funny thing called reading, and have seen it in a new light which I’d now like to share. Minor disclaimer: I read mostly self help and informational books; the following doesn’t necessarily apply to stories.
You see, when it comes to reading books that give knowledge (not referring to fictional stories), whether it be about cars, success, finance, sport technique, etc., reading exponentially shortens our learning time. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we learn something. There are people out there who have already went through all the trial and error, got the experience, did the interviews, studied the topics, and were generous enough to put the best of what they know and have learned into a book. If we just read what they wrote, we can acquire the best of what they know in a teeny fraction of the time. In other words, if somebody buys/sells real estate for 30 years, then writes a book on successful real estate investing, and you read that book, you now know what it took them 30 years to learn. Keep in mind the book might’ve only taken a few days to read. Let’s broaden the example: Say you read 25 books in one year, and let’s assume that each book’s author put 10 years of experience into their book. That is 250 total years of experience within these 25 books that you’ll acquire in one year!! If you do this for 10 years, you would have acquired 2,500 years of other people’s experience, learning, and testing, and you might only be 30 years old! Just for reference, 2,500 years ago was twenty generations before anyone heard of Jesus, and about 500 doctoral degrees. And if you read 50 books a year for ten years, you would have a total cumulative experience that would date you back to the pyramids. And once again, you might only be 30 years old.
Why is this so important? Because nothing can stand in the way of someone who is that prepared! Think of it this way, at one point in time, humans had to constantly fight to stay alive, and their physical fitness and fighting ability determined how long and how well they’d live. Therefore, they would spend most of their time preparing, practicing, sharpening their weapons, and creating new weapons because their life depended on their readiness at the time of battle. Today, we don’t battle with swords anymore, but we still battle all the time, and I’m not talking just about the military. In relationships, in the workplace, in sports, just about anywhere we are constantly ‘battling’. But this time, the mental preparation and sharpness of mind (not sword) will ultimately determine how ready we are when it’s time to battle. How ready will you be?