1. I don’t have time
2. I’m too tired
3. Books are too long to hold my attention
These are the top 3 excuses I get from my executive clients for not reading. I will regularly assign reading to them during our engagements and it does frustrate some of them for the reasons above. There’s no doubt simply reading will build skills in focus, business acumen, comprehension and story telling. This is a great opportunity to get smarter every single day, and who among us doesn’t need that?
It’s true we are absolutely washed over with information on a daily basis. It’s coming from everywhere. Books, blogs, websites, newspapers, satellite feeds, reports and emails. Yet, we continue to see research that the most successful people read… a lot! Mark Cuban dedicates three and a half hours a day to reading. Before you say “If I was as rich as Mark Cuban, I could do that too”, how do you think he got that way? Not only do master readers like Mark Cuban read religiously but they also do other very important things:
- They can easily identify the most important ideas and concepts from everything they read
- They never seem to forget any of it
No wonder they keep getting smarter every day. They continue to compound their knowledge and they institutionalize it. These outstanding performers have a distinct advantage, but it’s not like you can’t have it too. But to have it, you have to overcome the resistance to it. You have to stop fighting what is in your way. We call resistance to being your best self, The Dragon. If you don’t slay the Dragon in each of the areas of your life you need to be most successful, then your success rate will fall with each Dragon you allow to live.
How do we kill the Reading Dragon?
I don’t have time
You have the same amount of time as everyone else on Planet Earth. The difference is how you use it. Stop trying to manage time and conquer yourself. It’s not the amount of hours you have; it’s how you utilize them. I carry my Kindle with me. If I am waiting on someone, sitting in a doctor’s office or having lunch by myself, I flip it open and read.
I’m too tired
Just like every human on the planet you have high and low energy times. Reading requires focus and focus requires energy. If you have trouble focusing when you are reading, try doing it when your energy is higher. That might be early in the morning or it might be late at night. You know when your high energy times are. Low energy times are when the Dragon feasts on your success the most.
Books are too long to hold my attention
Don’t try to read faster, read better. What they may mean is try to read sections or a certain amount of pages. My personal method is to read two chapters per day. Since many business books are 10 chapters long, that is how I read a book per week. I also pause and jot down any ideas or concepts I want to remember, or sometimes I simply pause to reflect on how I learned or how it might be applied to a situation.
Do not allow the resistance you feel deny you from being the best version of you possible. Get smarter, read more and kick the Dragon out of your reading time.
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