Since Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized printing, the growth of knowledge and its spread has increased exponentially. With the Internet and the digital age, more and more people have gained access to information from all over the world. It is important to keep in mind how gigantic our possibilities are. But using these possibilities is a completely different matter, and that’s what I’m dealing with in this article.
First of all, I would like to mention that for a long time I only read what was necessary to achieve the required school grades. Thus, I associated reading with compulsion and foreign domination.
So let me tell you that you too can make a new decision to enter the world of reading, despite possibly bad experiences. Good habits increase the quality of your life, even if it can be difficult to implement them at first.
Once you make a conscious decision to do so, your journey can begin. With compulsion, however, it will be difficult to integrate reading into your daily life.
For me personally, reading has provided the following 5 benefits:
- It’s a great way to leave the daily grind behind. As an evening ritual, it was the best sleep aid for me for quite a while. Reading for long periods of time can make you tired. Over time, you get used to the strain and notice a significant increase in your ability to absorb it. I’m talking about a 40-day habituation period here. You can look at it like the training of a sport discipline, you should not expect brilliant successes right away. But they will come, your successes.
- My rhetoric has improved considerably. Through reading, I have become much more familiar with terms like semantics, emotional intelligence, tipping point, etc.
- My interest in the really important things in life has increased noticeably. I also reflect more than I used to. This is especially exciting before and after unusual life decisions. But reflection is also helpful in the case of failures and extraordinary successes, in order to find their common denominator. This applies to both private everyday life and professional life. I try to look at my behavior honestly and have developed more empathy for my fellow human beings as a result.
- my time horizon for long-term major successes has expanded because I spend less time chasing „happy hormones“. I will mention the keyword dopamine and the constant lure of our media society here. This is not meant to be a criticism of the possibilities we have today, but it should be used in a healthy way; quantity makes the poison in everything.
- I am no longer annoyed when I have to wait for my carpool, for example. Whenever I have to plan for waiting, I take a book with me to keep my spirits up. I’ve probably also become calmer and more relaxed, per se.
Of course, there are many other benefits that come from reading regularly. You will be amazed at how an exciting book can inspire you. For me, it has triggered numerous positive impulses. A wise sentence at the right time can do so much. You won’t believe it until you experience it yourself. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what led you to read regularly. Or write me why you don’t like to read 😉 . Personally, I don’t see reading as a religion. Let everyone do what they enjoy.
What successful people often have in common is that they have made regular reading a habit. So here are two examples of how reading has driven success in others.
How reading can help produce great things
Elon Musk: Elon Reeve Musk started reading at an early age. He is one of the innovation minds of our time. Tesla is his best-known company. However, he owns many other companies and was a co-founder of PayPal, among others. He is a prime example of how to acquire knowledge on his own. He is said to have devoured 2 books a day at times.
„The Swarm“ by Frank Schätzing: The tsunami of Christmas 2004 killed about 220,000 people in Southeast Asia. Those who had read the book „The Swarm“ knew how a tsunami was approaching. In his novel, Frank Schätzing describes very precisely and with a great deal of expertise how the water recedes before the flood, only to destroy everything when it returns. A few hundred lives were saved. Imagine the situation at that time pictorially. You see signs that announce a catastrophe! We would do anything to save our loved ones. Sometimes we can only do that if we have the appropriate knowledge to make the right decision. I am aware that I am giving an extreme example here, but you never know what information will get you off the hook.
All well and good, but why should I read when I can acquire knowledge in a much more convenient way?
So what is the argument against reading?
1. Regular reading takes up a lot of time. Time you don’t have to do sports, go to the movies, meet a partner, etc. instead.
- Reading can be an additional burden besides job, family and household. After all, I want to relax in my free time.
- People who read are only afraid of their own adventures.
- Reading doesn’t give you recognition from others. What’s sexy about saying you like to read. So you are boring.
- Nobody likes nerds, so by reading you will never have cool friends.
- What if I learn wrong wisdom from books?
- Books cost money.
- Most things are forgotten after a while.
Counterarguments for the individual points
- Everything in life costs time. Since there are so many ways to spend your free time, there will always be a greener pasture. So don’t think of reading as just a leisure activity. It’s a tool you can use to advance your skills in diverse areas.
2. If you are a beginner, you may find regular reading a burden. Instead, think of it as a discipline exercise. Those who always shy away from testing their limits will never feel resilient. Goals are hard to achieve with this attitude, and it can be a common thread throughout your life. Once you get the reading ball rolling, you’ll notice how easy it can be to keep it going. So it pays to practice discipline through reading.
3. Books don’t just provide knowledge or entertainment. They are experiences of people manifested in those people’s books. Certain adventures are difficult to imitate if you live in a different century, for example. Just think about the adventures of the womanizer Giacomo Girolamo Casanova. It will hardly be possible to break out of a lead chamber nowadays. Some books even tell of a person’s entire life’s work. Finally, it should be noted that foreign experiences can give you ideas for your own adventures.
- Reading offers a valuable occupation for every woman and man. This should be obvious. But can you look attractive if you read a lot? Well, it’s not the reciting of the hobby that’s sexy, it’s what reading makes you. However, that depends a lot on what you read. Books about personality development, rhetoric, psychology, communication and co. can make your behavior sexy if you also apply the learnings.
5. No one likes nerds, but the tide can turn quickly if they suddenly become successful and drive a Porsche past the cool guys. You can acquire financial knowledge from books. In school, financial knowledge is hardly a topic. The foundation for success is the „right“ knowledge. So build up your expertise in the important subjects, even if they seem dry and boring at first. And one more thing: Friends are important in life. You probably won’t make friends while you read, but what you read will help you hone your character to attract the right people.
- Basically, don’t assume that everything in a book is one hundred percent true. However, reading can be a way to become aware of your ignorance. What we believe to be true today may have already changed in a decade. However, if you read a lot and don’t limit yourself to just one subject area, you’ll be better able to judge what content you can take at face value. So also start weighing information against each other in order to be able to assess it.
7. Yes, books cost money if you can’t borrow them from a library. I myself buy them used if possible for example at rebuy or amazon. If a book increases your financial knowledge, the investment will multiply by factor X as your profit. Compared to other leisure activities, reading is also an affordable hobby. Rare or special books can also be considered an investment. Personally, I keep every book as a trophy.
- Especially at the beginning, it can be frustrating if you forget the things you have learned after a short time. Therefore, be aware that „forgetting“ is part of the learning process. Most of the information is not really gone and your memory space is still big enough for new things. Let go of the thought that you forget something old when you learn something new. Your „knowledge treasury“ is in your subconscious. If you can connect new knowledge with known knowledge, you will find that the information will be easier to remember. Figuratively you can imagine your knowledge treasure like the net of a fisherman. The more he fishes, the more will stick. With the surplus, the fisherman can buy better nets with tighter meshes or a bigger boat, later start a business, and so on. In other words, the more you know, the better you can absorb new things. If you have mastered two foreign languages, it will be easier to learn a third.If you want to learn how to better absorb expertise from books, check here.
If you want to learn how to better absorb expertise from books, check here.
As you can see, it is difficult to summarize all the possibilities, issues and benefits in a short text. For starters, try to look at reading from a new perspective and drop all negative experiences. Build a personal and positive connection to reading that you determine. Only when you have this positive connection will you stick with it.
You will not reap the sweetest fruits of reading after a few months. Only after years will you notice major changes, but since it happens so gradually, it will be your environment that will notice it.
So consider reading as one of your first long-term goals with a time horizon of 10 years. A big reward is waiting for you and with it you set a sign against the trend of quick successes with small rewards. You can be content with having completed a quarter marathon. However, after you run a full marathon, you’ll feel an even greater sense of happiness when you reach the home stretch. For a full marathon, you need to train significantly more. You can apply this principle to most areas of your life. Get the big reward by being patient and constantly striving.
To get started, it’s a good idea to read novels that convey important messages in an exciting way.
For example, I was quite impressed by the book „Wellenreiter“ by Gottfried Zurbrügg. But its only in german language available.
If long novels with a thousand pages don’t scare you off, I can also recommend the aforementioned novel „the swarm“ by Frank Schätzing.
Are you still not sure about reading?
Listen to a wise advice of a very sympathic old man. If you hear his story, it will change your view to your life. Give him a chance and listen to his life experience.
A advice of a old man is a youtube video from the youtube channel Bernard Albertson.
Rest in Peace Mr Albertson. Thank you for your wise advice.