IF I LEARNED ONE THING IN 2019, THIS WAS IT
We all know we should do it more because we all know people that swear there’s some benefit to it.
Most of us make the excuse of “I just don’t have the time to,” or “I just don’t know where to start.”
The truth is most of us just don’t value it. So we don’t bother.
Reading. I’m talking about reading. And I didn’t value it either.
Right toward the end of 2018 I decided to dive in and make reading a priority. Why? Because I knew that the tiny handful of books I actually did read here and there always gave me some benefit, some useful takeaway that I would always apply to my daily life. I was also finding myself crossing paths with so many high performers via the podcast that all had a few things in common:
- They set consistent, sustainable daily habits
- They aimed high and didn’t let the fear of failure cripple them
- They all regularly practiced some form of meditation or mindfulness (one of my goals for 2020)
- They read books
So I figured, “if I get a lot out of the few books I have read, plus these people that are getting the most out of themselves all avidly swear by reading, maybe it is something that’ll help me become a better me?”
So I read.
In 2018 I read two whole books. These two books helped tweak my mindset and perspectives towards life and helped me further develop the culture of both my team and my members at Valor into what it is today. If two books alone were going to have such a significant impact, surely by even doubling or tripling this number in 2019 it was going to help create some pretty substantial change.
In 2019, I ended up reading thirty six books.
Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. Revelation after revelation, new thought after new thought, fresh idea after fresh idea, completely flipped on its head new perspective after completely flipped on its head new perspective… everything I read flicked a switch or hit a button in some way. Every book nudged (or on many occasions shoved) me to challenge myself with something new, try something a little different, be a little bit better, kinder, more effective, more understanding, more vulnerable, ballsier, more disciplined, more relaxed, more mindful. These books helped me to try and be 1% better every single day, for me, for my family and friends and for my business and work.
Reading helped impact the way I write these weekly emails and the content I put in them.
Reading helped me rebrand and evolve the direction of my gym to something I am truly proud of.
Reading helped me become a better dad and a better husband.
Reading helped me perceive the world and every person in it in a better, more tolerant and more grateful way.
Reading helped me become a better me.
If there was one thing I learned in 2019, it was to read more.
Over the year I was finding that not only was reading helping me by providing me with insightful tips, advice, tools and perspectives. But it was helping me to slow down. To take some time out of our constantly busy on-the-go lives to learn and reflect. I realised that by never slowing down I was never truly auditing what I was currently doing in my day to day. I was just doing. And by just doing you’re not only never improving, you’re never able to fully identify what isn’t working or what may be holding you back. These books forced me to stop and look at what the actual fuck I was doing each day and how I was behaving and whether any of it was serving those people as effectively as it could be.
And I wasn’t.
You don’t need to read 36 books in a year. You might need just start with one. But the people that preach the benefits of reading aren’t spinning bullshit. They’re onto something. Something that I couldn’t be more convinced of that by doing so, your life will become 100x better off as a result. Better than going to the gym. Because it will convince you to take better, more effective action towards what you want out of life.
Happy New Year!