Do you read?
If you said yes then keep it up!
For the rest of you who answered No, with some guilt, of course, start right now. Read on this article and I promise you, you’ll turn you ‘No I don’t read’ into ‘Yes, I love to read.’ And even if you’re not convinced, J.K. Rowling’s words might help you give a nudge,
“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”
Let’s start with answering the question I asked, do you read?
The answer is a big fat YES!
The average person reads about 4 hours a day. How you’d ask? E-Mails, Websites, Blogs, Messages, and so on! Now, the only thing you need to do is that squeeze a book into your reading time. Maybe take away 30 minutes from reading comments on social media and grab a book instead.
Why, you ask? Well, here come the benefits:
It makes you smart
There is a reason why the top leaders of the world read one or two books a week. They have gigantic businesses to run and they need a super brain to do that. Robin Sharma said it the best, “In a world of quick fixes and short videos, taking a 200-page book and devoting yourself to reading it builds rigor, focus and depth.” If this is not the recipe to cook up a smart noodle then what is?
Books = conversations
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have Steve Jobs or APJ Abdul Kalam over for coffee and talk about all the things they did in their lifespan? Their childhood, their roadblocks, how they got inspired to put a dent in the universe. Wouldn’t that be great?
But you can’t because they are no longer part of this human race. What if I tell, you can have a conversation with them, or for that matter, with anyone you admire greatly but can’t talk to them.
Read the books they wrote!
When you read, you’re actually listening to the author’s views and forming your own in the process. AND THAT IS YOUR CONVERSATION.
You can talk to Benjamin Franklin one day and then to Elon Musk the next day, go talk to Nelson Mandela for the next three days. You can spend your morning, afternoons, and evenings connecting with the greatest minds that ever iced on this planet.
Build the bridge over the sea of the generation gap
How many parents are afflicted with the ‘my child doesn’t understand me’ disease? I’m sure a lot of you. And how many of you think that your parents don’t respect your views? Once again, many of you.
I did a social experiment. For some time now, I’ve been gifting books to my parents. Books that I think will help build the bridge between us by giving them a sneak peek into my thought process. And I kid you not; I saw a sea change within just a few months. We started talking about these books and shared our two cents with each other on topics we never ever talked about before. And of course, it goes both ways.
This is what Otto Frank said after he read and published the diary of his 15-year-old daughter, Anne Frank who died of typhus in a German concentration camp in 1945:
“I knew that Anne wrote a diary. But I must say I was very much surprised about the deep thoughts Anne had. It was quite a different Anne than I had known as my daughter. My conclusion is… that most parents don’t know, really, their children.”
Otto really got to know his deceased little girl after he read her diary (book: The diary of a young girl)
Books solve problems
This is the most powerful reason to start reading as early as possible. Problems are inevitable but so are the solutions; you just need to look for them. And where do you look for the solutions? Yes, you guessed it right, IN THE BOOKS.
Hollywood star Will Smith has said it the best. He says, “There have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have, with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.”
All you need to do is find that book that has the solution to your problem and in order to do so, start reading.
Reading is an exercise for your brain
Our brains change and develop in some fascinating ways when we read. Reading involves several brain functions, including visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and more.
Did you know that the same neurological regions of the brain are stimulated by reading about something as by experiencing it?
In simple words, reading is to your brain like running is to your body.
Now, let’s address the biggest excuse to avoid the reading:
Who has the time?
Well, here’s the solution:
Let me introduce you to the three R’s of speed-reading: Renowned Brain coach Jim Kwik has developed these three simple things you need to start reading at super speed and retaining it at the same time.
The first R stands for Read.
You can only understand something if you’ve actually read it. Schedule your reading because if you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.
The second R stands for Relate.
After you read something, talk and relate about what you’re reading to someone else. You need to train yourself to learn what it really means to understand something, perhaps for the first time.
Talking about what you read is a powerful tool to teach yourself what it means to understand something brand-new. Dedicate 3 minutes to talk about what you’ve just read. When you talk about what you learn in your own words, you make the information your own. You must externally verbalize what you’ve read.
The third R stands for W(R)ite.
Talking out loud about what you’ve read causes you to make the information your own. So does writing about it. Taking notes is one of the best ways to retain what you read.
So, here’s how reading few minutes a day can turn out to be a massive milestone in your life.
So keep Reading!