If you have been following this blog or my Youtube Channel for some time, you will surely know how much I absolutely love reading, and if you haven't it is never too late to start. But in all seriousness, reading is the superpower of the 21st century. I had recently just watched the Avengers: Infinity War movie and the superpowers exhibited by both the supervillian, Thanos, and by all the Avengers are remarkable, but they truly pale in comparison to the superpower of fostering a true love for reading and continuous learning. What makes reading such a game changer?
Reading is the most pragmatic and efficient method to learn about life changing ideas. Firstly, reading allows you to access an individual's knowledge despite never ever meeting them. Further, you are able to learn from their years and sometimes even decades of intensive focus in a specific area. We live in the information age and having access to such a breadth and depth of information means you should NEVER be reinventing the wheel, but learning from the pioneers who came before you and build on their work.
So if you are serious about producing superb work or developing your inner superhero then it is clear reading is one of the most effective tools at doing so because it allows you to learn from individuals you will never meet and absorb decades years of wisdom gained from direct experience and synthesize it into your life.
Let me give you an example of the profound effect of reading in my own life. Patrick McKeown, the author of The Oxygen Advantage, has been ardently studying the physiology and science about how to optimize breathing and connecting it with ancient eastern wisdom about the breath for the last two decades. So I could spend two decades myself trying to learn what he did, but I never may. Instead, I read his excellent book The Oxygen Advantage and I was be able to take his knowledge gained over 20 years of diligent studying and apply it to my life now!
That is why I love interviewing leaders in their respective fields on my Youtube Channel and why I interviewed Patrick McKeown (Read More here). There is absolutely no shame in saving years and sometimes decades of your life and learning from others wisdom. Nothing great is accomplished by yourself, and that is why leaders are readers. The core tenant of being a vanguard in your field is not about being the most intelligent or knowing everything. It is instead the ability to empower individuals to utilize their unique strengths and synthesize. Reading is the perfect tool to learn this important skill by honing your 21st century superpower of continuous learning and expanding your mind.
It is abundantly clear now the importance of reading, but how do you make reading consistently a habit? Like anything else in life you need to schedule it into your calendar. Not having enough time is a common complaint I get from many individuals who I recommend reading to help them conquer whatever challenge they are dealing with. Yet what I have learned from my own experience, and studying from productivity experts (by reading their books) and getting to interview Productivity Expert Carl Pullein on my Youtube Channel is how malleable time is. Until you become aware of how you are using time, then you do not truly understand how much we all waste this precious resource, and how to optimize a day to get the important work done AND enjoy life.
So schedule reading into your calendar. Just as eating, going to class or work, exercising should be in your calendar as a specific event so should reading OUTSIDE of your field or studies. For example last year during my second year of medical school I read over 20 books outside of what was required for my coursework. Great leaders constantly focus on developing their 21st century superpower of reading and continuous learning.
- Reading and Continuous learning is the 21st century superpower.
-Leaders are NOT the smartest individuals, but those who are constantly expanding their mind so they can see the bigger picture to empower individuals to share their special skills and synthesize a group of individuals talents into something better than the individual parts.
- Schedule reading into your calendar to make it a regular habit, since it is not what you do sporadically that counts but what you do regularly.
If you can’t sustain it, it’s not worth it.
I am a medical student who is obsessed with the Be Activated Muscle Activation Technique, mastering movement and understanding what makes humans thrive.