The Power Of ReadingOctober 6, 2022
Have you ever thought to yourself that you don’t have time to read? Why bother, right? I can just watch the news!
There is a big difference between active and passive consumption of information, and while watching television is passive, reading a book, magazine, journal, newspaper – whatever! – is active consumption.
This is a huge part of my proven philosophy of growth that requires you to take ownership of your situation, work hard at being better, and plan for your future to become better. You can’t be a passive part of the world and expect great things to come to you. It’s not going to happen!
By taking the time to read, you are committing yourself to consume information and think about how to apply it to yourself in ways that passive consumption can never keep up with.
What Should I Read?
Honestly? Anything! So long as it is relevant to you. We can read for a lot of different reasons – relaxation, enjoyment, business, finances, personal growth. The topics are endless.
But in order to make reading work for you, you need to start looking to others who have read a lot before you to find things to read that can make your life better.
When I was in prison, I ignored reading for a long time. Sure, I read sometimes out of boredom, but that was not active reading – I just needed to pass the time. Doing all of that reading absolutely made me a better reader overall, but that was just a happy accident in my life.
When I started reading with a purpose, it was books that could help me achieve my goals of becoming successful, responsible, and a contributor to society rather than one who just took from it.
This meant books like Personal Power by Tony Robbins and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Steven Covey were exactly what I needed to be consuming when I started making an active effort to change my life. I knew that I wanted to do better, but I literally had no idea how.
Tony and Dr. Covey were just the first steps for me, so you have to think to yourself, “What do I want to get out of this?” when choosing where to start.
How Do I Find Good Books To Read For Me?
In order to read with focus and intent, you need to have an idea of what you want to get out of the reading. Decide what your goals are, then look for authors and books that can help you out.
For example, if you want to work on making friends and improving the general quality of your life, consider the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
If you’re looking for some help finding the best in yourself, consider Personal Power by Tony Robbins, much like I did on my journey.
But don’t stop at the hot new books, look around! If you check out my Facebook page, you’ll notice that I talk about books that have inspired me over the years. Many of those books are modern, but authors like Henry David Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt have a lot to share as well. Thoreau believed in the power of self, and standing up to the world to make it better, and Teddy Roosevelt was not only the president of the United States, but was a leader long before his time in office.
And don’t stop at non-fiction either! Michael and Jeff Shaara wrote some amazing fiction books about the leaders of the armies in the American Civil War. Those books might be fiction, but they are well-researched and contain a lot of true history in them. Leadership is timeless, and those men had to lead at a time of great loss and disaster for our country.
Take the time to educate yourself. Education is one of those things that can never be taken away from you once you get it, which is why I do what I do now. Read more about our education programs. Remember that there is always time to make changes for the better. You just have to pick yourself up, make the decision to take that next step, and don’t be afraid to get help along the way.
- The Upside of Fear, Weldon Long
- Walden, Henry David Thoreau
- Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
- Gods and Generals, Jeff Shaara
- Consistency Selling, Weldon Long
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Steven Covey
- Personal Power, Tony Robbins
- The Power of Consistency, Weldon Long
- Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill