One major gift my mother gave me for which I am eternally grateful for is instilling in me the habit of reading as a young boy. I remember receiving and reading story books way back when I was five years old.
I read more of story books and novels back then. Books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Things Fall Apart, etc. And as I grew older my taste and volume of books equally increased. I started from James Hadley Chase, and then to Mary Higgins Clark, and of course, John Grisham, and a whole lot of others. These guys were great story tellers, and I was developing a habit without knowing.
But sometime in 2008, I started getting introduced to books like "The Power of Positive Thinking", "The Impossible is Possible", and a couple of other motivational books. And before I knew it, I saw myself delving deep into the world of success, leadership, vision, financial intelligence, business development, relationships, goal setting, and motivation generally.
But it all started with reading just about anything, including newspaper.
To be honest, most of the things I know now that are currently helping me today in life are not things I learned in school. They are things I learned on my own, through books and seminars/conferences.
I started building my library back then in my final year in University, and since then, I have always added to it, and I don't intend to stop.
I understand that leaders are readers, and every reader is a potential leader.
Do you want to live a life of influence? Do you want to live a life of impact? Do you want to live a life where you can stand out as an authority in any field of your choice? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you must add reading as one of the habits you must develop this year.
Reading gives you the ability to learn in a few hundred or so pages what someone else had to learn in years. For instance, when I read the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", something shifted in me. Later on, I found out that Dale Carnegie had to read hundreds of biographies to write that bestseller. The same applies to Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich".
Books are priceless, and if you have the ability to read, then you really don't have any excuse for not succeeding in life, because, the secret you need to succeed in any venture you want to, is hidden in a book.
A friend of mine did a book challenge last year. The plan was for the participants to read a minimum of 25 books this year in 2017, and at the end get a reward. True to her words, she did it. And about four people got a cash prize of about $30 each before the end of the year.
But it is not about the money. It is about the transformation. Two of these guys just graduated from the university last year (2017). And just before the end of the year, they co-hosted a webinar where they both taught on Rebranding. These guys happened to be people I mentor, and I knew they would feel supported if I participated. So, I did.
But, what happened next was a huge shock to me. The webinar was a huge success, and I was so happy to hear them speaking extensively on their respective topics and adding a lot of value. I was amazed. I could not believe the level of knowledge they had amassed and were dishing out. It was simply incredible.
Presently, I am doing an MBA in a business school. But I must confess that all I knew and applied when I first started off as an entrepreneur a few years ago were things I learned through books. Selling, closing sales, marketing, customer service, branding, etc. I learned all those through the books I read.
And as an author, I must equally say that I never went to a writing school, nor blogging school either. But I saw a lot of materials online, and consumed them. They helped me a lot, and still help me now.
If you don't like reading at all, then try and listen to audio books. There are a lot of them available these days, and listening to them is as effective as reading books.
New Year, New Goal
In conclusion, this is a new year. One of my goals is to read a minimum of one book every two weeks, or two in a month. The plan is to read for one hour every morning after I wake up. There is no rush. Just one hour. And if I do this, I would have read 26 books by the end of the year.
What about you? Can you read one book a week? How about one in two weeks? Or at least one book per month.
Either way, you just have to read. Spiritual, sales, business, relationship, success, motivation, leadership, etc. These are all key areas where you will need knowledge if you wish to succeed this year. Omg! And of course, you must read books on finances if you want to live a financially free life too.
In conclusion, every successful person reads, so if you read, you are closer to your success than you were before.