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Being Successful Starts With Books

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Fri Jun 21 2024

Being Successful Starts With Books
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With the rise of digital media, reading books is in decline globally. And yet, research shows that reading books improves our memory. Reading also helps lower blood pressure and improves sleep, according to a healthcare provider. In other words, reading books is enriching, instructive and meditative. So, why is it so hard to read?

The Path to Success Is Hard

In this world of instant gratification, we can quickly demotivate ourselves when it comes to long-term goals, including self-growth. Similarly with reading, it takes time for a fiction book to unravel its plot and get into the depth of its characters.

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Furthermore, a business or self-help book slowly shares its transformative insights so we have space to reflect. Many of those books are based on decades and centuries of psychology and philosophy with ideas that need time to be absorbed.

Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck named his book The Road Less Traveled for a reason. The path to development is hard and few truly undertake such a project.

Whether you’re looking to improve yourself as a person or to gather new skills for your career, you will need time and patience. Book clubs can make this path more fun so don’t underestimate the reading revival to boost workplace learning and success.

Books Are a Vital Ally to Nurturing Success

  • Grow your mind—reading about new perspectives and ways of doing things naturally expands your worldview. In organizations, this engenders collaboration and therefore, productivity.

  • Self-reflect—this CNBC article explains how highly successful people read differently. Don’t just passively read the words; make sure you also reflect and relate to those words.

  • Gain new skills—there are countless books for you to gain leadership and other skills. Making books part of your leadership development program also nurtures critical relational skills.

Creating a Reading Habit

Whether you’re developing a reading habit into your life or into your organization, it’s all about changing habits.

Perhaps one of the greatest misnomers of creating and sustaining new habits is that we simply need the right goals. As this research paper on perceived and actual triggers of habits in daily life shows, goals have little influence on our habits.

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Habits are usually deeply ingrained in our psyches and emotions whereas goals tend to appeal to the logical part of our brains. To understand our habits, we need to get to know what drives our behaviors.

The paper continues to explain that, for successful habit change, we must explore how our context and environments effect those behaviors.

We can then actively nurture environments that sustain a reading habit and remove cues that destroy that behavior, for example, turning off notifications.

This paper on transforming organizations through the power of books details how to create a reading and learning culture. Other key points include implementing the right rewards, nurturing a book club for mutual support, and encouraging cross-departmental participation.

The more people get involved, the more they can lead their reading agenda. Passion and motivation then naturally follow.

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Boost Your Reading Habit With These Tips

  • Micro-learning—book clubs provide a useful structure for going through bite-sized chunks of reading and learning.

  • Making it experiential—alongside reading rewards, insert book-learning into day-to-day work whilst also allowing time for offline personal experiences.

  • Changing your environment—instilling a reading habit is similar to creating a development program. You need a solid foundation and leadership buy-in. Most importantly, it needs to be a way of working. Personalize the experience through book clubs and allow your readers to co-develop the approach.

Make Reading Part of Your Life

Books open worlds and insights beyond what the online world offers. Of course, it helps to debate and reflect on those insights with others to gain even more perspectives. Either way, books feed both knowledge and wisdom.

With the right reading environment, you’ll start feeling the passion that comes with dipping into such wisdom that spans centuries. You’ll feel timeless as you soak in the experience of life from countless souls. What you then choose to do with that depends on how you define success but regardless, you’ll be a league above everybody else.

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