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You are What You Read – Always be Learning

I am a big reader.  I think you should always be learning and to do that you need to read.  It is fun to discuss with others the books you are reading and enjoying.  I was disappointed when LinkedIn discontinued as part of a person’s profile, the books that they had read.  I would get comments all the time from connections on the books that I had read.

Many individuals don’t read books anymore.  They are going more to videos or blog posts.  These are fine, but sometimes you need more detail and that means books.

Reading is listening to others. And that is how you learn, learn from others and their experiences and knowledge.

Books clear your mind.  Books educate you and make you more creative.  Carve out time to fill your mind with useful stuff.  Unplug and read.  Stop playing solitaire and cut down on your FaceBook posts.

A few thoughts:

  • Read anywhere, anytime.  Have a book with you (or eReader) and grab a few minutes of reading in those in between minutes while doing something else such as waiting at a doctor’s office, waiting for a table at a restaurant or waiting for a friend for coffee.
  • I like to read books on business trips or vacations especially on planes.  Sometimes business books but mostly mysteries or science fiction.  Take advantage of those long stretches of time to read a lot.
  • To get the full value of the book, when done reading, summarize it in a book journal. Writing down the main points of the book helps to lock the lessons in your mind.  And your journal will be a resource for you to review at a later time.
  • You don’t only have to read books.  I like to read content from a few of websites such as http://www.marketingprofs.com and http://www.thesaleslion.com.  Great information on these sites.  I like to read print magazines including Sunset (love to learn about new places to travel to) and Time (try to stay current on news).
  • Don’t forget to find books on subjects that are outside of your comfort zone.  I enjoy science fiction books every once in awhile.  I read the Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars series and it was fascinating on the teamwork that was necessary and the interpersonal relationships between the adventurers.  Don’t always read the same type such as mystery books (which I read a lot of).
  • Doesn’t matter if physical book  or eReader (great for long airplane flights) or audio books (especially if you are in the car a lot or working out at the gym).  Just read.
  • One suggestion is to follow the 5 hour rule that Ben Franklin used in his adult life.  Invest 1 hour 5 days a week in deliberate learning.  Make it a habit and be part of your routine.  During this time set personal-growth goals and experiment.  Franklin’s 5 hour rule reflects the very simple idea that, over time, the smartest and most successful people are the ones who are constant and deliberate learners.  Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are big readers. Oprah Winfrey credits books with much of her success and says “Books were my pass to personal freedom.”
  • Plan out the reading and learning.  Set aside time just for reading and learning.
  • Prioritize your reading and keep a list of books and articles to read.
  • I get a lot of what I read via suggestions from others.  Talk among your friends and colleagues and ask them what books they are reading or their favorite books.  Maybe they will share with you a copy of their favorite book.   The reading of the same book is a relationship building event.
  • Read what you are in the mood for.  If I’m in the mood for a mystery book, it doesn’t matter how good the business book is, I won’t like it.
  • Pick the best time for you to read.  Don’t force it.  Maybe it is when you 1st wake up.  Maybe it is during lunch in a park, or maybe it is laying in bed right before you fall asleep.

Reading is personal.  To achieve your goals, you should always be learning and reading is an important part of learning.  Go grab a book and start your enhanced reading journey.  What are your thoughts on reading?

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