Reading is considered an absolute must in most successful circles. Reading opens you up to new ideas, concepts, and strategies that can help you in your personal, spiritual, and business growth.
At the beginning of this year, I made a goal to read 4500 pages of books. That’s about twenty-two 200-page books in a year. Only twelve pages a day. Growing up, I didn’t read much. I was too busy exploring the pasture field or having supersoaker battles with the cousins. Up until I was 20, I had read probably fewer than ten full-length books. So this goal of 4500 pages was significant. But I decided it was worth it because as Harry Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
As of today (August 13th), I am one day ahead of schedule on my reading goal. I have read over 2700 pages and am working through my thirteenth book right now. It’s a habit by now so I want to share with you three ways to get your reading in everyday so that you can work towards being a leader.
First, if you don’t consider yourself a reader or you don’t think you’re fast at reading, reading gets easier the more you read. I sincerely believe I have gotten faster at reading since the beginning of the year. Also, fiction certainly has its place in your reading schedule (great for mental breaks) but ensure that you read mostly non-fiction to spur growth. Books on personal growth (Intentional Living by John Maxwell), business growth (Good to Great by Jim Collins), and spiritual growth (The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn) are great for spurring you to leadership. So are historical biographies.
Alright, let us look at the three steps. These are shockingly simple and will get you to twelve pages daily, too.
1. Read four pages before work in the morning
This isn’t for everyone. Some people barely make it to work on time. But if you can get up just a little earlier, you can fit a few pages in before you get to work. Do you eat breakfast before work? Pound out your four pages while you chow down your cereal. Four pages, that’s it. Or you can do it when you get to the office!
2. Read four pages on your lunch break
I have an hour lunch break so this isn’t hard for me. I know some people (even many at my company) only have a half-hour lunch break. You can still do it! Based on average reading speeds, you should be able to knock this out in about four minutes. Four pages, that’s it.
3. Read four pages before going to bed
Think you can stay up another four minutes before your bedtime or get in bed four minutes early? I know you can.
I know, unbelievable how simple those are. But think for a second, how might this simple habit get you to your goals and dreams? It’ll open up your mind to new perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and processes. Might a book motivate you to actually start a business? Or maybe it will help you solve relational issues at work. It’s almost unimaginable the direction that simply picking up a book can take you.
Let me know in the comments how reading affects you and what your goals are!