In the quest of giving you the edge, one focus is encouraging enhanced reading skills. Savvy Entrepreneurs read with the anticipation that the information acquired will not only improve our minds, but will – in some manner – improve our lives. The idea is not to read anything and everything that comes your way… the better choice is to read with deliberation to add value to your life. Select books that cultivate wisdom and intelligence – each of which improves our prospects of creating fulfilled and prosperous lives.
Think of each of the following genres and how increasing the number of books you read in one or more of them will positively impact you.
Don’t think in terms of boring text books– instead, look at all the ways you would be interested in increasing your understanding of the natural world. Pick up a book on commerce or society and allow your mind to consider how curiosity develops, or perhaps how we learn. Be receptive to the fact that scientifically written books teach us not only facts, but how to get in tune with our intuition and how to validate it with evidence. You may also be inspired with the wonder and respect we need to have for the physical world… and for our own intellect.
Philosophy grew from a seed of analytical thought, in much the same way scientific thinking did. The difference is that as science teaches us to understand an outside world – we count on philosophy to understand ourselves. Reading books such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible and the Koran is not always from a religious perspective – many readers select them for the inspiration they seek to live more loving, virtuous lives. At many levels a modern society offers a bias of philosophy being irrelevant; avid reader would contest it increases the understanding of human needs and wants… the kind of knowledge necessary to spread new concepts and be more predictive of human behavior.
Many serious-minded readers prevent the benefits of reading quality fiction – having at some time or another had impressed upon them that fiction in general is either wasteful reading or inferior in that they are nothing but made up stories. In my humble estimation, that line of thinking comes from someone who does not see the value of imagination – or fails to see that great works of fiction deepens a capacity for truth by elevating levels of consciousness. Good writers also provide readers with titillating amounts of history, psychology and philosophy. The renowned author, Truman Capote, is noted to have said that “a good novel is worth more than a scientific study.” Quality fiction is also where we learn language – and in that expanded language – become better thinkers, writers, conversationalists and speakers.
As children, unfortunately, far too much of the history was put before us in boring, dull text books. All we really got to experience was the tedium of lectures and the arduous task of memorizing timelines and dates. Did public schools inadvertently remove the possible excitement from learning history? As an adult I have had the privilege of taking a different perspective on history. It is filled with fascinating characters, remarkable anecdotes and the foundation of all ideas which have shaped the world we know today. It is a given by learning about the past, we are better prepared to understand our current culture. There is certainly no way to use it to determine what will happen in the future, but certainly increases our awareness and understanding of modern prejudices, the nature of humanity and the timelessness of morality.
I respect those who are capable of writing good poetry; I have tried my hand at it and failed miserably. Unfortunately, the number of people who seek to take it seriously is diminishing. When you think of poetry you are likely to find images of Shakespeare, or feel that it lacks substance. What is the greater travesty, however, is that to ignore poetry is to ignore the mysterious power of words. Really great poetry becomes a fusion of music and meaning… where the poet produces, in a limited number of words, a heightened eloquence and language skills. Pleasurable and instructive, well written poetry becomes the medium of humanities ancient masterpieces. It could be postured that to appreciate poetry is to reach for excellence.
Resources will be limited only by your need and imagination! Depending on what topic about which you want to increase your knowledge, you will have myriad different resource options. They could be in old, worn, smelly books you cull from quaint libraries; the Internet, of course offers easy-to-search locations that know few limitations, and industry publications that allow you to dig deeper into your topic of choice.
Regardless your choice of reading, don’t get into a habit of reading just to say you have read it; the real value comes from applying it to your own life. Make it your quest to read for self-improvement rather than educated! Read lighter books when your spirit calls, but remain open to those empowering moments when the discovery that is provided by challenging books becomes more exhilarating and transformational than any suspense novel you could get wrapped up reading.
The key decision for you to make, as you look at these new types of reading which you may embrace, is to make an effort to read with more deliberation. The reward will be wisdom, empowerment, and hours of productive leisure.