Bill Gates described himself as an avid reader. And as you who follow this blog might know, I am also an avid reader. I refer to a lot of books in this blog. I’ve had the habit of reading since my childhood by which time my favorite place had already been the bookstore.
The book Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century stated that there are three keys to effective learning which I believe are also the keys to becoming an avid reader. They are motivation, motivation, and motivation.
Motivation is the key. If you have it, everything will be much easier. Reading will be something you do effortlessly; it will be your pleasure. On the other side, if you don’t have it, everything will be much harder. Reading will feel more like chore than pleasure.
Consequently, there is only one way to become an avid reader:
Find your motivation.
That’s it. No more, no less. The more motivation you have, the more effortless and pleasant reading will become.
To get the motivation you need, you should realize the great benefits reading will bring into your life. The more you internalize these benefits, the more effortless and natural it will be to become an avid reader.
So here are some benefits reading will bring into your life:
- You won’t repeat others’ mistakes
One of the biggest time wasters is repeating mistakes which have been made by others throughout the history. Why should you learn it the hard way – and also waste a lot of time – if you can just avoid it in the first place? Such is the benefit of reading. Reading brings the experience of thousands, even millions of other people to you.
- You will be able to learn the wisdom of the greatest minds
Mentoring is a powerful way of learning. It allows you to absorb the knowledge, experience, and wisdom of someone who have gone the way before you. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to have the world’s greatest minds as our personal mentors.
Reading is the perfect solution.
If you read the writings of the greatest minds, it is as if you sit in front of them and listen to their sharing of wisdom and experience. Can you imagine sitting in front of the likes of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Asimov and listening to the stories they are telling you? What an incredible learning experience!
- You will see new options and opportunities
Reading widens your perspectives and enables you to see options and opportunities you didn’t see before. It gives you new “lenses” to see life through. A great opportunity may just pass right in front of you unnoticed if you do not develop the “sensor” to sense them. Reading trains your sensor so that it is capable of sensing every possible opportunities that passes.
- You will be amazed by the richness of the world’s history and culture
Reading will give you a sense of awe and amazement, and that is a great reward in itself. Can you imagine being transported in time and watch how people in Easter Island competed against each other in unconscious suicide, Alexander the Great conquered the enormous Persian empire, or Inca’s 10,000-men troop being defeated by Spanish’s 200-men troop?
- You will have a strong competitive advantage
All in all, reading gives you strong competitive advantage. As you know, knowledge is power. That is especially true in this information age. The more knowledge you have, the more likely you will beat the game and come out as the winner. The main way to gain knowledge is reading since the bulk of the world’s knowledge is stored in the form of texts.
If you want to have a strong competitive advantage in this information age, there is no other way but to read, read, and read. As the world’s economy moves more and more toward knowledge-based economy, so will the power of knowledge increase. You’d better cultivate it now before it’s too late.
Internalize these benefits, find your motivation, and you will naturally become an avid reader.