Looking back at the evolution of my reading habit, I’ve progressed from reading 6 books in 2016, to 10 in 2017, and in 2018 I’m currently finishing my 20th. Sitting down and journaling about my last post this week, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What is it that I’m looking for reading this much?”
To answer that, I started looking back at notes I was taking in 2015 and previous journal entries from 2016 on. Reading about the daily interactions I had described the exact situations of what was going wrong and why I needed to change. Indeed, journaling helped me record my initial reason why I started this journey and has helped me document the minor adjustments I’ve made to improve the experience of my life since. Whether it’s about personally improving, my passion for hockey, or my desire to be better in my sales territory. I’m fully on board recognizing the importance of asking myself questions about what I am doing so I can better understand why I want to do it. When I started understanding why I wanted to continue educating myself on any topic, I was motivated lean in to my interest and be much more engaged.
Another appreciative inquiry question I asked myself was, “What impact has reading had on my life, confidence, and work performance over the last 2 years?” Answering this was encouraging. I can point to “The E-Myth Revisited” for changing my mindset about how I ran my store and currently operate my sales territory as my business, and “The Sales Bible” for helping improve my sales process and confidence in cold calling customers. Books like “The Plant Paradox” and “The Big Fat Surprise” began shaping my health and eating habits. Then there’s transformative books such as, “Awaken the Giant Within”, “The Power of Now”, and “Born For This”, which helped develop a foundation for my life and who I wanted to be in the world. Even reading “Conversations Worth Having” helped me develop the question to begin this process. The results are obvious for me because they involve everything I do. And as a student of my results I see things going very well.
My last question I asked myself this week then became, “How much time am I willing to spend reading and educating myself moving to 2019?” In January of this year I doubled down on my documentation process of what I was doing for this moment and began looking at what I did to understand how I ended up here. Tracking my reading this year, after 348 days, I’ve opened a book 248 times resulting in reading 19.75 books. In 2017, I opened a book 124 times over 365 days. How did I double my reading? I simply started a morning routine and began reading before work for 10 minutes, as well as reading in the evening for 20-30 minutes. Clearly not a major time commitment, but with life changing results. So, if I increase my time commitment from 30-40 minutes a day to say, an hour, what would I results be next year? What could your life be like if you tried something similar? What value could you build for yourself within your organization if you voluntarily continued reading about your profession, learning new skills and techniques? How could your relationships be deeper and more meaningful? Insert whatever is most important to you and ask yourself honestly, is there room for growth?
Looking back at this journey and reflecting on where I’ve progressed to, I know I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t begin with a desire to know how to become a successful store manager or become committed to developing into a better leader and improving my communication skills. Satisfying my thirst for knowledge and reengaging my imagination has encouraged me to continue reading and make this a new standard of living for me moving forward. I encourage you to read 1 more book in 2019 of whatever you’re interested in. A hobby, an area to improve… learn something new. You never know where that journey might lead you.
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If you've enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!