The first personal development sort of book I read is Think Big by Ben Carson.
Before that I used to read fiction which I so much enjoyed to the point that I used to skip meals or even read all night just to find out what’s next.
But when I read Think Big, I was kind of introduced to the world that somehow I had no idea existed.
Ben Carson (by the way, he’s one of the Republican Presidential Nominees for 2016), used think big as an acronym.
And if I remember well, this is what each letter stands for.
T – Talent
H – Honest
I – Insight
N – Nice (be nice to other people)
K – Knowledge
B – Books
I – In depth learning
G – God
That impressed me so much back then.
And after reading this book, I shied away from reading fiction and searched endlessly for more and better self-help books.
Now, over the years as I delved into all sort of books in this tremendous industry, I also realised that my perception about life changed. In fact, my own life improved.
But it didn’t happen over night. As far as I can see it, it has been a slow but a sure process… Year after year, I felt better, I knew better, and wanted to learn some more.
In the end, there is one important lesson that I think I’m beginning to learn.
That’s, it’s not how many books I read.
It’s not how many goals I set.
It’s not what sort of ambitions I have.
But it’s the person I become as a result of doing these things.
If I read a book on how to communicate better and as a result I improve my communication skills, then I’m achieving something worthwhile.
If I set goals, big goals, and as a result of working my way into achieving them I become smarter and able to contribute more value to the world, then that’s the whole point.
I often look at my home library and think,
Have I become more, better and with greater mental attitude by reading these books?
And the answer is yes.
But then the next question is different. I goes a bit deeper.
Is what I have achieved and become as a result of reading these books the best I could have achieved/become?
And the answer is no.
Well because I read more than experimenting more.
You see, what we read from books are the set of skills and thoughts that if we use them in our own lives, we make progress, we get the courage to step forward, to aim higher than others.
But if none of that happens, maybe it is because we simply read the words and move on to the next.
Or maybe it’s because we have no a clear picture in our minds of where we want to go.
Or maybe, we are still afraid of success.
Maybe we aren’t ready for more, better life.
These days I just don’t read any book for the sake of reading.
In fact, I don’t even buy a book unless I know I have time for applying its lessons in my life right now.
I think you’d agree with me that that is why we learn – to become more, smarter and to be able to claim that spot of usefulness.
So in the end, I’d say if we spend an hour reading, we, in the name of growth, are suppose to put in about the same time in practising the lessons we learn. The time to practice the thoughts we learn in way that they become our own.