The One Reading Habit That Can Change Your Life
I was going to write about a different topic today, but at the last second, I felt this was equally as important to shed light on.
When I first started to read more books, I started because I had found out that reading is one of the main factors helping people get rich and wealthy.
Initially, I didn't want to start reading.
Carried over from my previous years in school, I had this notion about reading where I thought that it's just a waste of time and nothing good comes from it.
The books that we were reading in school were action books, fairy tales, I didn't even know there was a business section because I never even acknowledged the topic.
So for a few weeks or even months after learning about the impact reading has had on others, I didn't actively decide to read.
In my first ever article, I mentioned how I got into reading and entrepreneurship.
The trigger for me, surprisingly, was finding the book 'Rich Dad Poor Dad,' in my sister's room.
My sister is not a reader, and neither was I.
That's why it was such a surprise to find this book in her room.
I used this event as a starting point, and from my very first book, I made it a habit to read at least one book every month.
Around a year and a half later, I have 17 books in my collection and it will only keep growing from here.
Till now, my favorite book is still the same and has not changed. It can be found in this article here.
Seen as 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' was the first book on business and finance I ever read, there were some ideas and beliefs that I didn't quite understand looking back now.
Whilst working on Condensr, my previous startup which was an app that summarises business/finance books into really fast and detailed 10 minute narrations, I researched a lot about reading.
I had to do lots of research on how long it takes to read the average book, habits surrounding books, the best entrepreneurship books, and I even took it into my hands to interview almost 30 entrepreneurs, almost all were successful, to learn more about their habits with reading.
Surprisingly, some of them didn't even read.
Although this was only a small minority, it still showed me that not every successful person reads books.
This is not the message we're trying to carry through today, so let's move on to the next finding.
One of the main reasons stopping entrepreneurs from having great reading habits was not the lack of time but the lack of good books available.
Many entrepreneurs had fallen into the habit of having to research a book before reading a single page of it.
Many even used apps like Condensr to first figure out if a book will be worth reading.
The 10-minute synopsis and overview of the book showed them if the book will contain some information worth reading.
Some even took it a step further and looked through the titles and contents page of the book.
They wanted to get an idea of exactly what topics will be discussed before reading the book.
Through all of my research, I don't recall many people mentioning what they did with the information they learnt.
Although most entrepreneurs I spoke to said that they take action on the book's contents and teachings, not many told me what they did after the book had finished.
We had developed a feature with Condensr where people are able to, after the summary was finished, reflect on what they learnt.
A simple exercise where you just look over what you've learnt and answer questions about it.
These questions can simply be things like:
- What were the main points of the book?
- What were the lessons the book tried to convey?
- Where are these lessons most applicable in your life?
- What does X mean to you?
- The implementation intention formula: which is pretty much 'doing [behaviour] at [this time] and [this location]'
- The habit stacking formula: Derived from Denis Diderot, this is where you implement a new habit right after one of your current habits.