Learning 101: Why You Should Make Reading a Permanent Habit Part 1
"We read to know we are not alone." C.S. Lewis
I never read in high school. I never read in college unless I was forced to and even then I didn't read. I never understood the reason behind reading. "Those authors are just trying to make money." "Is this really relevant to me?" "I'd rather watch a movie or play a video game. It holds my attention better." Yes I've heard (and said) most of these things. Until about a year ago. Heard some guy @niyisobo blabbing about the importance of reading and growing your mind. I always felt I had a growth mindset but looking back I never had one until I started reading with intent. Ryan Holiday's "Ego is the Enemy" is the first book I read all the way through at that time.
"Man is pushed by drives," Viktor Frankl observed. "But he is pulled by values."
It's really ironic how everything connects. We just talked about the existential theory in my theories of counseling class and Vicktor Frankl was a pioneer of the theory. Think about that quote for a minute though.
"Success is intoxicating yet to sustain it requires sobriety. We can't keep learning if we think we already know everything. We cannot buy into myths we make ourselves, or the noise and chatter of the outside world. We must understand that we are a small part of an interconnected universe. On top of all this, we have to build an organization and a system around what we do-one that is about the work and not about us." Ryan Holiday
There is quite a lot to digest in that beautiful statement. I'll address other parts of it in another post. What I want to focus on is "We can't keep learning if we think we already know everything." This is a trap many fall into. Belief that short term success must mean they "figured it out." For us to have sustained success, we cannot be satisfied with our current knowledge base. Ever. There was at one time a stern believe that the earth was flat and contrary to the opinion of an NBA superstar, it is not. People refused to believe otherwise until given solid proof. Books are the solid proof. While some subjects are subjective (yep I did that), it provides another theory or opinion on a subject. Right now, I have The Wild Diet, Bulletproof Diet, and the 4-Hour Chef on my bookshelf. All different theories and focuses (fat burning, inflammation, and ketosis respectfully) but all have the same outcome. Eat for health and energy. Yet some people call ketosis dangerous and the Simpsons actually joke about putting butter in coffee in 1998 (they are on a scary rampage of predicting events if you didn't know. Look it up! Latest one: the U.S. winning gold at curling.)
My point? You'll never know what information is out there and formulate your own opinion if you do not read. While I don't read nearly as much as I should or want to (thanks grad school) I've made it a permanent habit. Stay tuned for Part 2 when I dive into the C.S. Lewis quote I used at the very beginning.