Read. More. Books.
Simple enough, right?
I don’t mention books much in this blog because most of the books I enjoy and think are useful are not about life insurance. But make no mistake, I’m an avid reader. I usually have at least two books in play at once.
We can learn so much from books—about leadership, business, what works, what doesn’t. If you read the profile on me in the Chicago Tribune, you’ll see what I’ve read recently and some of my favorite books. I’ve been passionate about books my whole life.
The following is an excerpt from the Jim Rohn Weekly Newsletter. Jim Rohn died in 2009, but left us a legacy of his words. In my mind, he’s in the self-improvement genre Hall of Fame, right next to Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie, and many more. Below are Jim’s exact words from his newsletter article titled appropriately, “Read More Books.”
All of the books we will ever need to make us as rich, as healthy, as happy, as powerful, as sophisticated and as successful as we want to be have already been written.
People from all walks of life, people with some of the most incredible life experiences, people that have gone from pennies to fortune and from failure to success have taken the time to write down their experiences so that we might share in their wealth of knowledge. They have offered their wisdom so that we can be inspired by it and instructed by it and so that we can amend our philosophy by it. Their contributions enable us to reset our sail based upon their experiences. They have handed us the gift of their insights so that we can change our plans, if need be, in order to avoid their errors. We can rearrange our lives based on their wise advice.
The important question is this: In the last 90 days, with this treasure of information that could change our lives, our fortunes, our relationships, our health, our children and our careers for the better, how many books have we read?
Why do we neglect to read the books that can change our lives? Why do we complain but remain the same? Why do so many of us curse the effect but nourish the cause? Those who wish for a better life cannot permit themselves to miss the books that could have a major impact on how their lives turn out. The book they miss will not help.
Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. We must not permit anything to stand between us and the book that could change our lives. A little reading each day will result in a wealth of valuable information in a very short period of time. But if we fail to set aside the time, if we fail to pick up the book, if we fail to exercise the discipline, then ignorance will quickly move in to fill the void.
Those who seek a better life must first become a better person. They must continually seek after self-mastery for the purpose of developing a balanced philosophy of life and then live in accordance with the dictates of that philosophy. The habit of reading is a major stepping-stone in the development of a sound philosophical foundation and is one of the fundamentals required for the attainment of success and happiness.