“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.“— Confucius
Reading, like most other truly amazing gifts, is usually taken for granted. In our ultra-fast paced world, reading has become, for most, a lost discipline. We all have busy lives, but if you truly want to move forward, if you want to increase your chances of success -whatever that may be – you will have to swim against the stream—the stream of Facebook and Twitter, of HBO and Showtime, of iPhone and Droid and yes, your email. Reviving the lost art of reading for many will be hard; for others, nearly impossible. But of the many ultra-successful people in the world, reading is always at the top of their list of what made them successful. Reading is fundamental to YOUR future success. Whether you read business books or motivational books, contemporary fiction or the classics, newspapers or white papers, reading is a way of assimilating the hard-fought wisdom of many into one. I believe everything you read – on some level – changes you. It finds its way into the very DNA of our unconscious thought processes and influences us in ways we can hardly imagine. So develop a structured reading plan and stick to it.
I am currently reading “Coach Wooden: the 7 Principles That Shaped His
Life and Will Change Yours” by Pat Williams. Over the years I have read many books about Coach Wooden. I am in awe of his leadership skills, his disciplined ways and his highly developed “culture” of winning. Several years ago I was so impressed after reading about his “Pyramid of Success” that I inscribed the principles on a small card I carry in my wallet and read every day. In fact, I grade myself each day with those attributes and characteristics that made Wooden a winner. In Pat Williams’ latest book about Coach Wooden, the author focuses on the simple art of reading, and how Coach Wooden reminded us to “drink deeply from good books.” I actually enjoyed this book so much I contacted the author, who has allowed me to reprint a part of it below. Enjoy READING.
Chapter 5: Drink Deeply from Good Books, Especially the Bible
“Coach Wooden was raised with a love of books, and he has always been able to get more out of books than any other human being I know. Let me share with you ten tips for reading books that will help you to become a more effective reader.
1. Schedule a daily reading time, preferably an hour a day or more. Don’t have an hour, you say? Well, how much time do you spend watching TV or updating your Facebook page or playing Xbox or Wii? If you can’t carve out an hour a day for reading, how about half an hour? Or a quarter hour? If you made a commitment to read even 15 minutes a day—and kept that commitment—it would add up to at least seven hours per month. That’s a lot of reading, and those seven hours would make a big difference in your life.
2. Be a discriminating reader. When you purchase a book, you make a financial investment. When you read it, you invest something even more precious than money— your time and your life. So invest wisely.
How do you find worthwhile books to read? Many people like to read books that are on the bestseller lists. Others prefer out-of-the-way niche books. I enjoy browsing in bookstores—walking the aisles and picking up the books and thumbing through them. I’ve found that, by scanning down the pages, I can always get a quick sense of whether it’s the kind of book that speaks to me or not.
Ask for reading recommendations from people whose opinion you trust. Ask your minister, your professor, your doctor, your lawyer or your children’s teachers. When you see someone reading in the park or at the airport, stop and ask, “Is it good? What’s it about? What do you like about it?” You’ll usually find that “book people” love to talk about what they are reading.
Whenever you are introduced to someone new, here’s a great conversation starter: “What books are you reading? or “Who is your favorite author?” In fact, that’s one of the fastest ways to truly get acquainted with someone. You can find out more about a person from the books they like to read than just about any other way. And in the process, you’ll come away with recommendations for some books that just might change your life.
3. Keep books handy wherever you are. Never kill time. Fill your time with a good book. Keep a book with you wherever you go. Ever have trouble with insomnia? Keep a book by your bed. Do you ever have to spend tune on hold, with your ear stuck to the phone? Read while you wait. Do you have a long commute twice a day? Listen to audio books in your car. UCLA’s Bill Bennett told me, “I learned from Coach Wooden that life is about continuous learning. If you’re not learning, you are not living. So if you’re wasting learning opportunities, you’re wasting your life.” Reading is one of the most learning-intensive activities you’ll ever do. It doesn’t matter if you are reading poetry or a great novel or a Shakespeare play or a book of history or biography—it’s going to be a learning experience. It’s going to enrich you and make you wiser. Coach would say, “You never know it all.”
To read more, pick up a copy of Pat Williams’ “Coach Wooden: the 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours” or download the digital version from www.amazon.com.
Freddie Wehbe is the local owner of Gator Dominos; a nine-store franchise serving the greater Gainesville area. Freddie is married to Daurine and has two children, Ronnie and Dany. For feedback or questions, email Freddie at email@example.com