Becoming Smarter: How to Enjoy Reading Again
Great writers are great readers.
Great readers are great writers.
The 2 work together.
Professional chefs spend a ton of time finding high quality ingredients.
They understand that poor quality ingredients will lead to a poor dish.
No matter how gifted the chef is.
Likewise, a writer or storyteller should always be learning.
One of the best ways to get ingredients is from books.
How can you read books when you find them boring?
When something feels like a chore, the chances of quitting skyrockets.
A modern-day autodidact (self-taught individual) needs to keep learning.
I’m here to tell you that reading can be fun.
And it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read a book in over a year. Or 10….
Going Down Memory Lane
When I was a kid, I had a section in my classes called, D.E.A.R.
This was an acronym for:
- Drop Everything and Read.
When this part of class was announced, the other students would grumble.
They hated reading.
I hated it too.
Well, one day, I came to realize that the teachers would never tell us WHAT to read.
We could bring whatever we wanted.
For some reason, I automatically defaulted to the textbooks from class.
But when I realized I could read whatever, that’s when I got more creative.
I decided to bring a Harry Potter book and read that.
This was something I enjoyed.
Since my willpower was ALIGNED with the material, reading felt like fun, not a chore.
When it was fun, my sense of time changed.
When I was reading the boring textbooks, it felt like time dragged on.
However, when I began reading Harry Potter, the D.E.A.R sessions flew by!
I learned 2 lessons:
- It’s possible to enjoy reading.
- When your emotions are involved, time becomes warped.
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Why You Hate Reading
That moment from class taught me about the concept of a ‘personality-based learner.’
This is when you learn based on your personality, interests & desires.
There’s a misconception that you need to read what others are reading.
Let me share why this misconception exists.
When I tell you to picture communication skills, what do you see?
‘I see a person talking.’
When I tell you to picture listening skills, what do you see?
‘I see ears.’
When I tell you to picture reading skills, what do you see?
‘I see a smart-looking person with glasses on.’
Boom! Got the culprit.
That’s an erroneous conclusion.
When you keep picturing this nerdy individual in association with books…
That’s when you begin to put on an act.
You try to ACT like the smart guy.
Reading stuff that you do not remotely find interesting…
Even if you do read something that you find enjoyable, a part of you feels guilty.
‘I shouldn’t have fun reading. I should be reading what this man with the glasses is reading!’
Learning how to enjoy reading again comes down to dissociating that nerdy man from the act of reading.
Turn the person with glasses to a person who is smiling.
When you attach a smiling face in association with the book, a part of you will IMMEDIATELY feel different.
How To Enjoy Reading in Baby Steps
Each book connects down the line.
However, you will not spot these interconnections at the beginning of your journey.
The key is to begin.
‘Where do I begin?’
Find out what you are curious about.
If I was someone who hasn’t read a full book cover to cover in over 10 years, then I would start off with Harry Potter.
That’s because I have positive emotions attached to it.
Your book is based on your curiosity.
It may be a comic book.
Or it may be an advanced book.
I knew a kid who loved reading textbooks. He liked the formulas, the gloss of the paper & the hard cover.
He eventually went on to create a history textbook.
It’s a matter of getting your feet in the arena.
I talk about the importance of practical experience in my book, Street Smarts.
You can grab a copy here:
With experience, all books connect.
‘You’re saying books connect, but what does that exactly mean?’
I’m glad you asked…
Creating a Web of Knowledge
All knowledge connects at one point or another.
A concept that you learned in book #1 will strangely connect to book #100.
Also, you’ll notice books often reference other authors.
Make a note of these authors.
Because that’s how you can organically expand your reading list.
Asking for reading recommendations is great.
Heck, I have an entire section on my website dedicated to that.
This is my book recommendations section.
However, don’t get too reliant on others.
I forgot which Robert Kiyosaki book I was reading.
But I remember him bringing up the book, The Worldly Philosophers.
He was talking highly of this book in a few paragraphs.
So, I decided to get it.
Once I got it, I was happy because I organically discovered it.
Plus, I had an idea of what to expect.
This allows you to keep your reading journey continuous.
Rather than being like:
‘How many more books do I have to read until I can stop?’
You just keep going and going…
Final Tip to Learn How to Enjoy Reading Again
First you learn to learn about the world.
Then you learn to learn about yourself.
I’m not the kind of guy who just reads for the sake of reading.
I know there are people like that.
My philosophy is to read with purpose.
This makes the entire journey more fun.
Plus, this path makes each book a puzzle piece to a grander goal.
To read with purpose, you want to fill this out:
I will become the best _____ I can be & have PERFECT knowledge in this field.
Let’s say you said:
- I will become the best Storyteller I can be & have PERFECT knowledge in this field…
This is a powerful statement for a few reasons:
- Saying ‘I will become the best’ targets the mind towards a grand goal.
- Stating, ‘I can be’ eliminates competitive mindset & engages creative mindset. Reading books is not an act of competition. It’s a positive-sum game where anyone can win.
- By stating ‘PERFECT knowledge’ you set an infinite goal rather than a finite goal. There is no deadline to your learning.
Now you will magically get curious about subjects on autopilot.
Tell stories forever.
If you enjoyed this article, then be sure to check out my Speed Reading class.
Don’t worry, it’s not one of those speed reading classes where you are bulldozing through pages & not understanding anything.
Instead, it’s a class which will help you read each book efficiently while maximizing retention.