Reading A BOOK A Week for 4 Years
Around March of 2015, a little more than four years ago, I made the commitment that I would read a book a week, for the rest of that year. It was the best decision that I made in my entire life.
Let me explain.
I was in my second year of college here in Argentina studying Business and I hated almost every single class. The books we were reading were not up to date, the professors didn’t make classes interesting at all and I wasn’t really learning.
I remember feeling I was wasting my life going there, memorizing and learning stuff that didn’t have any practical applications in the real world nor in my personal development.
I couldn’t wait 3 more years till I graduated to change my situation. That’s when I decided to take responsibility for my own learning and started reading a book a week.
To be completely honest, in the beginning it was not easy at all. Since it was a habit that I was implementing, it took a lot of work to get it rolling. I recall choosing the book I was going to read on Sundays, counted the pages and dividing that number by 7 to know how many I had to go through each day to finish it before the week ended.
This was difficult for the first 2 months – I would say – but after that implementation and suffering period, things started to change.
Reading stopped being something I had to do and became an activity I was looking forward to. I started taking my books to class and read while the professor was lecturing. The daily hour dedicated to reading began passing faster and faster.
And after a year I had to transition to a Kindle since I was moving to California and I couldn’t move 50 books around.
Reading is Not Boring!
There’s a spark of curiosity that I believe is inherent to each and every human being, and unfortunately, schools and universities don’t do a good job to ignite it and make it grow. The system seems to be designed to take the life out of learning and we end up unconsciously associating it with boredom and apathy.
But when I started reading on my own, this spark lighted up and began expanding, little by little.
Even though the first books I read were about personal development and business, my interests grew to physics, mathematics, philosophy, meditation, biographies and even history – which was my least favorite subject in high-school.
I realized that everything, every subject and topic, can be fascinated if it’s taught in the right way, by the right people.
And just like that, a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities was opened in front of my eyes.
The days of boredom and struggle were over and now I have more books to read than I have time and my willingness to learn, my fascination with everything that happens around me and overall curiosity are getting bigger and bigger every single day.
Benefits of Reading A Book A Week
I’ve noticed several benefits after reading for a couple of months, some of them I was not expecting:
My World Expanded
It might sound cheesy or weird but my sense of the world around me expanded. I was not living in my own self-referential bubble anymore, where my concerns and interests were limited to my environment, culture, university and friends.
I noticed that when I started reading about diverse subjects like relationships, health and politics, new roads to explore and think were created that didn’t exist in my reality. Obviously they were there, waiting to be discovered but I was blind to them.
For example, it never occurred to me I could improve my relationships, or I could be more honest and the consequences of not being so. Concepts like antifragility, meditation, visualization and much more were introduced to me that I would never realize for myself. And that was powerful.
My Ability To Think Improved
This goes hand in hand with the previous one.
Just like if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, when you are trapped in your own way of thinking and seeing the world, you can only see problems and reality in just that way.
After reading a bunch of books, learning new concepts, subjects, and points of views I realized that I was thinking and analyzing problems in ways that my friends weren’t. I didn’t just understand stuff in one way, but in several and everything was clicking and interrelating in my mind – almost automatically.
How different would you approach business problems, for example, if you also understood how scientific discoveries are made or you read biographies about successful entrepreneurs.
Books help you break from the inherent conceptual jail that we all live in.
I’m Became More Self-Aware
The more I read – specially about psychology and meditation – the more I understood myself. I learned about motivation, self-deception, addiction, beliefs, paradigms and mindsets and how all of that influenced my life and the results I was able to achieve.
And little by little, I become aware of the things that I was doing that were not serving me and began to change them. Obviously I have a long way to go but it opened me the door of personal transformation, which was not part of my reality years ago.
My Sense of Possibility Grew
What I mean by this is that before, I didn’t recognize what a human could accomplish in his or her life. My sense of possibility was constrained by my friends and family.
Yes, I knew about successful and famous people but I wasn’t holding that possibility for me. It never occurred to me that I could – with hard work and intelligence – achieve what I set my mind to.
How To Do It
For the ones that are interested in beginning this journey, here are some tips I found useful:
Don’t give it that much thought. Commit to reading a book a week for the first two months, no matter what. It will be hard in the beginning, but if you plow through, you’ll find yourself waiting for your reading time.
Choose books you like. Obviously
Don’t make my mistake and begin with some complicated, ancient philosophy book because a guy in YouTube told you to. It will bore you out of your mind and you’ll never want to read again.
Pick a handful of books that you will enjoy and start with those. Your interests will start to grow naturally, you’ll start reading more until one day you’ll find yourself reading about physics and string theory – true story.
Give it a Try!
So if you are deciding whether or not you should start reading or not, I fully recommend giving it a try for at least a couple of months, it will be hard and tedious at first but if you stick with it, it will change you in ways you cannot imagine right now.
For me personally, I cannot picture how my life would look like now if I had not started reading four years ago. And for the future, I don’t expect stopping any time soon and I’ll probably do it until I die. I found that there’s nothing more fun than learning new things and exploring the world around me.
If you periodically read, feel free to leave a comment down below speaking about your experience and how it changed you. If you have never read and you are about to start, also let me know – I’ll be happy to hear that too.
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