I love to read.
Yet, we are in a sad state of affairs as a nation when it comes to reading. We live in the Information Age and most Americans read less then ever, less than a book a year, but spend more then 4 hours a day watching T.V.
Of those with a high school diploma, 33% will never read a book again after high school, and it is even worst for college graduates–42% will never read a book again!
Get As Much Education As You Can
As Gordon B. Hinckley said again and again, “Get as much education as you can.” It was not, educate yourself only while you are getting a degree or going to school. It was get as much as you can, and a book is one of the best and cheapest ways to do it.
On top of that, the best education is a self-driven education. Not a curriculum or teacher driven education. If you are in school or out of school, enlighten yourself, expand your mind, grow beyond yourself with a book.
Put down the T.V. remote and pick up a good book.
You will be amazed by how many of life’s solutions are found in a book, and how empowering an education can be.
Readers are Leaders
Many of the great leaders of world history were readers. The 33rd president of the United States of America, Harry Truman, was famous for saying “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Those that make an impact on the lives of others were and are readers.
Learning by trial and error can be done, but it is painful and less effective. The effective path is learning from other people’s life experiences. Books can do just that. Reading books puts you in the thoughts of the author. Learning from the author’s life events, their conclusions, their inspirations, in essence, their worldview. Reading is nothing more than guided visual thinking (see what they saw, picture what they envisioned, do what they did, experience what they went through). Even though the author lives on the other side of the world or they may have lived centuries before your time, with the gift of reading you can argue with the author, gain insights, find inspiration, illuminate your life’s path, and learn from the great minds of this and past centuries.
And at this point we can say we are “stand[ing] on the shoulders of giants” as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it.
Get the Book Through You
The type of reading that I am talking about is not just reading for entertainment or just to past time. The reading that I am talking about is where you bend the information in the book towards making an impact in your life.
I recently had a conversation with a good friend where we talked about the quote, “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” (Mortimer J. Adler) The questions that came from our conversation were:
How do you know if the book got through you?
How do you measure that?
Through a meaningful exchange, I got some really powerful information. I came to the conclusion that you know that a book gets through you when . . .
1) Your reading impacts and changes things you have personal control over (the thoughts you think, the images you picture, and the behaviors you do).
2) Increases in our personal influence on the people and the world around us.
When was the last time you read something that changed you?
Mentoring Yourself with Books
In reading, I have been on the slate covered hills of Afghanistan with Marcus Luttrell and his life altering decisions of survival and sacrifice. I have been with the Ingalls family on the prairie settling the wild west. I have been to galaxies far, far away with Jedi Masters, and I have learned from the teachings of the world’s number one leadership guru–John Maxwell. I have argued and debated points of psychology with Victor Frankel years and years after his death.
Because of reading, you can be mentored with great minds of this world and with God to become the best version of yourself.
The book I recommend on learning how to read like this is called Turn the Page.
It is a short, quick, wonderful read.
I read it last January, and I am reading it again this January. Learning how to read in this manner is a learned skill, and this book does an excellent job of teaching you the steps.
Get it now to help you with your New Year’s resolutions. See how reading is a great leverage point for personal change and guides you to the remedies for your life challenges.