Reading books, both fiction and non-fiction have been huge influences in my life. In this article, I share some of the ways that reading has positively influenced my own life, and how picking up this habit can drastically improve yours.
Books Give You Shortcuts – Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
I don’t care what subject you are passionate about, you can drastically shorten your learning curve if you simply pick up a few books on the subject written by established experts in your area. The people who write these books are on the same path that you are on, but they are miles ahead of you. They know what it’s like to just start something, and have stuck with it through difficult obstacles and challenges.
Because they have been through the gauntlet and have had their share of tough experiences, these people will have secrets and shortcuts that you wouldn’t find out about except maybe through trial and error, if you are lucky enough to stumble upon them.
Books Give You A Glimpse Into The Minds of The Greats
Books also allow you to find out how these people think. By reading a book someone has written, you are catching a glimpse into their thoughts, and in the examples they give you can see how they approach different situations, and apply the lessons they have learned to your own life.
Also, books have been written by some truly great and inspiring people. On my bookshelf right now I am looking at books written by Navy SEALS, legendary hedge fund managers, FBI Investigators, Marcus Aurelius, Tony Robbins, the personal trainer of Michael Jordan, Ray Kroc (the founder of McDonald’s), and a holocaust survivor. And these are just the books that are in front of me.
All of the people I just mentioned are those that have been through truly amazing, life-changing, and horrific experiences and have learned incredibly valuable and applicable lessons in the process. They have been generous enough to give these lessons to the world by writing down their thoughts, experiences, and mindsets.
Books Give You Confidence
Yes books will give you confidence. If you read a lot, like I do and many of the people I look up to do, you absorb a lot of information. Every time you read a book you will pick up something different, walking away each time with a new idea, perspective, or attitude that you can apply to your life. Most of the time this happens without you even realizing it, and when you go back the next time and read the same book you will sit back and say “Hey, I do that!”.
Because you absorb so much information, you are also giving yourself ammunition when you are around others. Especially around smart, wealthy, powerful people, most of whom are very well read, books will give you something to talk about, a way to relate to people, and a way to get your foot in the door with some truly amazing individuals.
Simply by reading and opening yourself up to the ideas of others who have done what you have not, you pick up their experiences and thoughts, opening yourself up to other like-minded individuals who you can give value to, and who will help you along your journey in life as well.