“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”
― Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
Reading is one of those hobbies I cannot vouch for enough. I have always read a lot. Since I was a kid, reading has been really important to me. One of the things that took me out of reality yet somehow helped me grow more and get better in the real world was reading.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
Reading is one of the best ways to learn anything you want. Think of something that you want to learn, head on to the library, and there is bound to be a few books about it. With the internet, it has become easier for people to get their hands onto books that are expensive and difficult to get.
If you don’t have a lot to spend you can still read a lot. Library memberships are a good investment to read physical books. There are tons of ebooks available for free, the ones that require you to pay aren’t that expensive either. You do not have to have a dedicated e-reader to read an ebook. You can read the books on your phone or laptop.
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”
Most successful people have always read a lot. Reading is always advised by them. They all have a particular reading routine they follow. Today we will be talking about a few so that you feel inspired to pick up a book yourself.
Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, business magnate, and investor, is someone a lot of people look up to. His quotes are religiously followed by many.
When Warren Buffett was asked about the key to his success, he pointed to a stack of books, and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
At the beginning of his investment career, he took his reading to an extreme, he read between 600 and 1000 pages per day. He still dedicates 80% of his time reading. He starts his day by reading various newspapers.
“I read and think,” Buffett once said. “So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”
Read this post on CNBC that talks about the scientific reasons to follow Warren Buffett’s reading routine.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Mark Cuban is a businessman and investor. Mark Cuban is
- the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks.
- the co-owner of 2929 Entertainment.
- the chairman of AXS TV.
- one of the main “shark” investors on the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank.
- an author.
Many people starting out in business look up to him. Even with so many things to run, he still finds time to read. Mark Cuban reads for 4-5 hours every day. He starts with reading newspapers. He is subscribed to Dallas Morning News, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and six magazines. He reads curation sites, goes through emails, does technological research.
Since he was 20, he read everything he could get his hands on. He explained what he read with this, “every book or magazine I could get my hands on because one good idea would pay for the book and could make the difference between me making it or not.”
Mark wrote on his blog:
“A guy with little computer background could compete with far more experienced guys just because I put in the time to learn all I could. Most people won’t put in the time to get a knowledge advantage.”
“To this day, I feel like if I put in enough time consuming all the information available, particularly with the net making it so readily available, I can get an advantage in any technology business.”
Bill Gates is someone whose name is familiar to even people who have no interest in business or investing. He is a philanthropist, business magnate and investor. Who hasn’t heard of Microsoft? Gates was the principal founder of the corporation.
Bill Gates reads 50 books a year, making it one book every week. Unlike the other two we talked about, this one is easier for most to follow. If you don’t read, you can start by following Bill Gates reading routine. A book a week can be achieved easily if you are dedicated enough.
“The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.”
Non-fiction gives a lot of information on various topics. Successful people don’t read for entertainment, they read to gather information. They are interested in books that are dedicated to the craft they work on, as well as the biographies and autobiographies of other successful people. You can get life-changing information from reading. Reading is a form of entertainment that is sure to teach you a lot.
From their reading choices, you can make out that successful people are more selective with what they read, they value their time. Tom Corly, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals,” studied the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people over 5 years. He found that 67 percent of rich people watch TV for less than one hour a day.
“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
6 Reasons Why Listening To Podcasts Can Benefit Your Life
Podcasting is the latest way of sharing and spreading information. Some people also say podcasts are going to replace blogs as they are easy to consume and also entertaining. Only time will tell that. However, podcasting is an American way of sharing information and it has been there for a long time. In earlier times, people use to broadcast them live on the radio.
They are also more personal than TV talk shows and radios. Some of the podcast hosts really open up about their personal life and share stories that motivate and inspire the listeners. Some podcasts don’t show the speaker; they are audio only. While others show both audio and video. I like the latter format.
Here are 6 reasons how listening to podcasts can benefit your life.
1. Podcasts are a great alternative to books
Not everyone likes to learn in a structured way. In fact, there are some cultures in which it is frowned upon to take a systematic approach to learning and problem-solving. I know it is unlike American culture but there are some pros in learning things by osmosis. A podcast is a talk show where one or more than one people share their personal stories, experiences and knowledge.
For instance, listening to a podcast from someone like Neil Degrasse Tyson is far more entertaining than reading his books. His books don’t create the same dramatic effect that he is able to create in his podcasts. Consequently, listening to a podcast can be more beneficial than reading books. The listener gets to emotionally connect with the podcast host. Therefore, a better learning experience.
2. They provide entertainment
It is very rare that a top podcast on YouTube or Spotify is uninteresting or boring. Entertainment is a huge factor when determining how well a podcast is going to do on these platforms. No matter how much value a podcast creator provides via his/her content, it is not going to blow up unless it is entertaining.
Listening to podcasts is like watching a TV talk show. But the only difference is that podcasts are not scripted and are unfiltered. So, a listener gets to know what their heroes like Elon Musk and Mike Tyson actually think and feel. In my opinion, Joe Rogan Experience and Joey Diaz are the most entertaining podcast on YouTube. They are also packed with knowledge and interesting facts.
3. They are authentic and genuine
Unlike TV talk shows, podcasts are created by people who are doing great things in life and are willing to share their knowledge and experience with us. Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss are the best examples of such people. They both had already achieved so much in their life before they started to share their experience with people.
I accept that scripted TV talk shows can also be entertaining. But spontaneity and authenticity are two values that most successful people live by and also seek in other people. Jocko Willink is another example of a genuine and authentic podcaster. Jocko makes listening to podcasts a pure pleasure as he shares stories from his days in the United States Navy.
4. You get to learn from industry experts
Tom Ferry shares his knowledge on the real estate investments in North America on his YouTube channel. He not only educates people about investment but also teaches them how to become a real estate agent and grow their business in the same field. By listening to podcasts similar to Tom’s, you will not only gain knowledge of your desired industry but also get inner circle insights that are not openly discussed anywhere else.
5. It’s a great companion during the commute
It’s a good habit to listen to audiobooks while commuting to work or just traveling. Audiobooks are great at providing you with precise and step by step knowledge. But they can be flat and boring sometimes. Listening to podcasts while commuting has some additional benefits that the audiobooks don’t.
Podcast are entertaining and keep you in a social mood. Especially, when you are returning home. Audiobooks can put you in work-mode. Moreover, you can also listen to podcasts while working out in the gym, taking a walk in the park, running, etc. I feel like they have a perfect mix of entertainment and learning.
6. Most of the great podcasts are free of cost
Audiobooks cost more than $10. Even if you listen to one audiobook per week, your monthly expense on them goes up to $40. These $40 can be easily saved or used for something else. Most of the great podcasts are absolutely free of charge. You can stream or download them anytime you want. Moreover, listening to podcasts from several different authors may also give you a glimpse of what they are all about. This helps you buy the perfect audiobook for your needs.
I hope these reasons are enough to motivate and inspire you to add this new habit to your daily routine. This is one of those habits where you don’t have to do much. Just search for your favorite topic on YouTube, sit back and relax. You could support these content creator by donating a few bucks if you want but most of them don’t even ask for donations. So, there is nothing to risk or lose.
5 Life Skills Your School Should Have Taught You But Didn’t
There are a lot of memes about how what we learned in school is never useful in our real lives. The skills that we need to survive in the real world are seldom taught by schools or even elders. The most important things that we need to do as adults are something that most of us learn ourselves.
Getting out of colleges and universities, we feel like we are now ready to step into proper adulthood where we earn for ourselves and pay for our own bills. But, that is not how we continue feeling; the first few years pass in figuring out how to exactly to do the adult stuff. Here are a few things that people usually struggle with and why it is important to incorporate them into our lives early on.
1. Personal finance
As we grow up, we realize that money is one of the most significant aspects of life that we need to survive. Proper management of finances is seldom taught to us, it is learned through mistakes and experiences. Learning personal finance is usually expected to be coached by parents but isn’t it an important life skill which schools should be responsible for?
It is no surprise that most of the lottery winners end up getting broke or exhausting the money on addictions. Adequate management of funds and investment of money should be introduced from an early age by the school systems to make the future children more responsible.
2. Importance of mental health
Mental health is something which was not even acknowledged until the 2000s. Anxiety, stress, worry, paranoia, depression, etc. are realities of life, and children should not grow up kicking themselves for feeling these things. The way a person behaves in adversity is usually molded by how that person grew up dealing with problems as a kid.
The notion that not having a good head space is unnatural, uncommon, or not important ends up worsening the situation rather than dealing with the issues at its source. Many schools are starting to introduce psychiatrist and counselors, but they should also make sure students don’t feel worried or taboo to approach them. Respect and awareness for mental health should be introduced right at the beginning of a person’s life to ease things in the future.
3. Friendships and romantic relationships
A significant part of a person’s life is spent on maintaining friendships and romantic relationships, yet little to none is contributed in this direction by the schooling system. This is another important aspect of life, which is expected to be taught and taken care of by elders and parents.
The constant breaking of relationships is proof that people need to be taught how to respect others’ space, learn to trust, overcome bad times, share feelings, and communicate. Dating, romance, and sexual urges are frowned upon and ignored in certain countries, which ironically ends up worsening the situation as children grow up learning from wrong sources.
It is high time this is acknowledged as a fact of life, and schools try to lay down a foundation from the beginning of a person’s life. Some schools have taken that up by introducing sex education into their curriculum.
4. Basic life skills (cooking, repairing, and swimming)
We all come across memes online on “If only I learned this in school.” Cooking, repairing, and swimming, are all life skills which might not necessarily be vital in life, but they are very common and makes a person independent and confident to live alone. Cooking is not learned by someone unless it is necessary or they have an interest in it. When people move out of their parent’s house, this is one of their biggest regrets as food is one of the basics of life.
Repair work and swimming, however, might not seem as important as cooking but they are handy skills to have in the bag in case something goes wrong. It is often the case that people say growing up is a combination of learning and getting a lot of things right, but seldom do we realize very few of them were taught to you in school. This pattern has to change to make the future kids better equipped to deal with the reality of life.
5. Professional etiquette
It is often the case that people have to learn to speak and write formally. Writing a resume, email, or even a letter is a challenge for most; communication is poor in general. Communication and professional work etiquette are vital in life irrespective of the field one intends to go into.
In the past, recruiters have found it difficult to hire a person just because of the lack of common etiquette and communication skills. Respecting diversity and working in harmony with people you do not necessarily connect with is critical. Hostile work environment will always lead to inconvenience and less productivity. Common manners and etiquettes should be introduced by the school system to generate better workers and better work environment.
Where does this leave us?
While we all know this, and we all discuss this. Changes aren’t that easy to come. School systems changing isn’t as easy as just flipping the curriculum. Yes, we would love to have schools teach real-life skills. Many schools are making changes to incorporate various subjects and workshops for better preparing the kids for life.
It is slow, but there is progress. Meanwhile, as elders, we need to teach the children all that they will need to know when they step into adulthood themselves. Don’t shy away from teaching them about personal finances, savings, taxes, housing, anything that can be pegged as boring. Tag them along from time to time so that they get the experience of these things first hand. Take the children with you to the bank, to shopping for groceries, to pay bills – let them see what it takes and how it is done. Remember, we all need to do our part for a better world.
7 Things Not to Say If You Want to be Successful
When we begin our journey, there are a lot of thoughts that plague our minds. Some of them positive, but most of them negative. You must have heard people mention “Law of attraction.” It means you attract what you think. Fear is one of the most prominent emotions that controls us in the starting phase. These thoughts are a result of fear and sometimes, ego.
Knowing what thoughts to hold on to and what ideas to let go is crucial to develop a positive attitude. Most of the things that I am going to talk about end up making us pessimists, egotistical, careless, and cocky.
These are the things we use as an excuse as to why we aren’t doing anything to change our situation that we hate or why we aren’t working on our dreams. These also make excuses for our own shortcomings. To be successful, it is vital to get rid of emotions that do nothing but pull you down or make you feel comfortable in your own incompetence.
1. “I’m just waiting for the right time to start doing things the way I think I should.”
Right time never comes. No time is the right time. You have to take the time and make it right. If this is your excuse for not getting started on building things the way you want them to be, then it is just that- an EXCUSE!
Many people lose precious years because they wait for the perfect moment. The perfect moment to quit their job, the perfect moment to launch a business, the perfect moment to take a risk. Guess what? The perfect moment never comes. There will always be something that will give you a reason to not take the first step. If you are looking for a reason to stay where you are, then you will surely find it. You have to get over it and just start. The start is the tricky part; it then becomes easier emotionally.
2. “I’ll start working from tomorrow.”
Tomorrow never comes for people who use this as an excuse. I used to do this with my workout plans. “I will start exercising from tomorrow.” “I will start eating healthy from tomorrow.” Trust me; there is nothing healthy about this mindset.
It is a way of procrastinating but on a much larger scale. When you procrastinate on a specific task that you will have to do, that you are accountable for, that you will be answerable to someone for, you will eventually end up doing it. But goals that you have for yourself do not necessarily have a deadline, so it is easier for your brain to keep pushing it without feeling guilty. Ask yourself, “Why not today?” If you don’t have a logical answer, then start it today.
3. “I know I need to work hard but ….”
4. “I don’t need to change anything.”
5. “I’m too busy for this.”
When you know you need to work hard, but you still find some excuse not to, just know that the problem is you. We do not like to accept that we are at fault in any situation. We are also creatures of habit. While we want change, we don’t like to go through the process of bringing change.
When we want grand things, we have to make efforts that are bigger than anything we have done before. We want something, but we don’t want to change anything to get it. This is because we get too comfortable where we are. Getting out of your comfort zone is necessary to achieve success.
“Too busy” is an excuse I hear a lot. “Why aren’t you doing something that clearly needs to be done for yourself?” is something that people ask people who keep talking about their dreams but do nothing for them to come true. If being busy is your answer, then you need to realize that you don’t want it as bad as you think you do. When you really want something, you make time for it. That’s how priorities work.
6. “He/she was born to succeed. I don’t have what it takes.”
7. “I was just unlucky this time.”
Making excuses like success depends on luck or on other people being more skilled than you are the laziest ones you can make. If you really think that all it takes to succeed is luck, then you are wrong on so many levels.
“Success comes when preparation meets opportunity.”
If you want “luck” to be in your favor, you have to work hard. When you put all the work out there, you are sure to attract opportunities. Sure some people are more talented than others, but that will be the case in every scenario. Does that mean we should stop aiming for great things? No! Sometimes people with talent fail because they are not willing to put in the work needed. You will see people who are not necessarily naturally-gifted in a field making steady progress because they keep learning and improving themselves. It all boils down to consistency at the end of the day.
A negative mentality can hurt even the best works. This is why people focus so much on cutting negativity out of your life. If you are not a pessimist, surrounding yourself with people like that will make you one. People you hang out regularly with have quite an influence on your thought process. Surround yourself with people who know how to look at the silver lining.
When you are trying to make something of yourself, it is definitely hard. You are scared, you are worried, you want to be the best. You do not need to add the extra obstacle of your own thoughts. Don’t let your thoughts hold you back, if anything, they should help you propel. This is also why meditation is advised for people who have trouble getting their thoughts in order. Try meditating, and you will learn how much of an asset a clear mind truly is.
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