How to Make a Habit of Reading – The Fast Track To Success

I’m going to start off by clarifying the title. Reading is NOT a get-rich quick scheme, and it will not by itself turn your life around. It is a tool to expand your knowledge and wisdom beyond what someone of your experience would normally be capable of obtaining. As I will explain, reading is one of the most effective methods of self-improvement readily available to you, and its effectiveness only multiplies when you actively apply what you have learned to your daily life. In this article I will be your guide into the world of books, and at the end I will be explaining the steps to make a habit of reading in your life!

Hey before I get started I just wanted to mention that I have started a reading list that you can follow, it will be built from books I have read and those I am currently reading. If you want to check them out you can click here. Any purchases made through those links helps support these articles at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!!

Reading is the Difference Between Crawling and Driving a Car.

You might have heard that to be considered a master of any craft, it requires roughly seven years or about 10,000 hours of work. That’s a lot of time invested in one aspect of life. The reason for this is simple, experience requires mistakes to be made, and mistakes take time to manifest. A master craftsman has potentially failed thousands of times in his career, just as Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”. Every great person in history has at one point in their life discovered the value in being a good loser and being able to look past the personal component of their failures to turn them into a growing experience.

The beauty in reading comes from the distilled wisdom that it offers. When written by great writers filled with valuable experiences, books become a gateway to wisdom beyond our years. A twenty-year-old apprentice under the wing of a master will have all of his master’s experience at his disposal. Instead of failing 10,000 times, he might only fail 1,000 times before surpassing his master’s wisdom. Books are a way for us to empower ourselves without the time and effort that success would have normally required. This does not however, mean that we should push ourselves less.

To sum this up, becoming a master solely through trial and error would be the equivalent of crawling through mud on a humid day in the middle of a swamp with a broken leg, and only after crawling several hundred yards discovering that there was a pathway parting the swamp and offering a clear way forward. That being the conventional method of gaining wisdom, reading books is like taking a cool, air-conditioned trip through the swamp, which you now see is a beautiful jungle with incredible scenery, and only once you have prepared yourself adequetely for the harshness of it do you have a need to step into the jungle and its harshness. How Reading Affects Your Career – Universal Application

Self-Improvement – Books as a Guide, Not a Manual.

The most important thing to remember when reading is that not everything is going to apply exactly to your life. If you are reading to learn, grow, and improve yourself, it is crucial to understand that no one book has the answer. The fact that one book does not hold all of the answers should not come as a surprise, and it shouldn’t blunt your enthusiasm for reading either. Reading is a beautiful thing because of the multiplicative effect it has on itself. A single book may only provide you with one book worth of knowledge and experience, as you would expect. What you might not expect is that when you read many books, even if they are in varying fields of study or even fiction, the lessons they teach build on and compound the effects of learning, so that while one book might only give you one book of experience, two may give you two and one half, and three may give you five.

For example, three of the books I’ve read for various reasons, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Selling 101, and How to Win Friends and Influence People all carry very different themes, but the overlap of experience helped me form a clearer picture of what I wanted and how to accomplish it. Selling 101, a book by Zig Ziglar that is a brief rundown of how to become a successful salesperson, emphasizes the importance of understanding the needs of you client and provides some basic techniques for building relationships and helping people define their needs. The point of listening is further reinforced in How to Win Friends and Influence People, where Dale Carnegie shows the power of using your ears instead of your mouth, and provides some understanding of human psychology while providing a basis for being a better person. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People smooths out the edges of the foundation laid by the other two, and proposes that the path to true effectiveness comes from a deep understanding of oneself as well as the understanding of others.

With the understanding of personal growth from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in mind when using the techniques of the other books, it opens up the possibility of living a much higher quality life than if you had read the three of them individually and without consideration to one another.

Reading 10 minutes a day for one year would lead to over 60 hours of reading, at one page per minute, that’s over 3600 pages, or roughly 18 medium-sized books!

 

Developing the Habit Of Reading – Just Like Excersise.

Now for what everyone has been waiting. How DO you develop the habit of reading? The honest truth is to start, a little bit at a time, and to find what interests you. Personally, I like to read to improve myself, so naturally I began by identifying weaknesses in myself and began rounding them out, while hammering out the things that I do well in, but could excel at with practice.

If you read for entertainment, a good place to start is the news, where you can find a niche newsfeed for whatever you enjoy. Business insider provides updates on the business world, including a few articles on workplace sociology/psychology. Buzzfeed, however infamous for its nonsense articles, does pretty well to entertain with a few strange and oddly personal posts a week, while offering community involvement in the form of quizzes. The Verge is another popular newsfeed with Technology, science, and entertaining stories on current events. If you’re looking for something a little off the mainstream, Vice offers some less than PG stories, while also offering similar stories to Buzzfeed.

News is a great place to start because it is light, compact reading that if well-written will be full of useful/entertaining information that has been condensed down to save you time. A common reason that people shy from reading is that they claim that it is a waste of time, that there are better ways of obtaining information. This is only true when what you need to learn is something that does not require an in-depth understanding. It will obviously be easier to fix your fire wall setting by a simple google or youtube search and skimming a three minute long video than it would be to whip out a manual for your computer and mull through it.

Reading is like excersise, you’re not gonna get a six pack by working out extremely hard for one day and then shoveling junk into your mouth, progress comes from small, incremental progressions that will eventually compound into a sum that is greater than its parts. The best thing you can do to make a habit of reading is to start small and work your way into whatever you enjoy. That is a very important statement, so important, as a matter of fact, that I will repeat it, in italics!

 The best thing you can do to make a habit of reading is to start small and work your way into whatever you enjoy.

Wrapping Up.

In short, reading is something that can add a whole new lens to your life, it can make you better than you could have ever imagined, but it takes steady, consistent work to make it as effective as possible.

Are there any books that you’ve read that have changed your life? Maybe a great novel that really inspired you or a non-fiction guide that changed your perspective entirely? If you’ve got a book you think that the whole world should read drop it in the comments and tell us the reason you loved it!

One of my personal favorites is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , a great read for anyone looking to improve themselves and increase the success they see in daily life, you can check it out by clicking the link above!

 

 

 

 

 

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15 thoughts to “How to Make a Habit of Reading – The Fast Track To Success”

  1. Reading is really a perfect guide to your mind and soul. Sometimes I have to force myself to start reading my book, but once I’ve opened it, it’s hard to leave it behind!

    I couldn’t agree more with the Thomas Edison quote, it really takes time to make some things work!

    Recently I’ve been reading Creativity, by Osho and it’s a real eye opener.

    1. Hey thanks for the comment! I did some googling on the Osho series and they look like some pretty interesting reads, how did you learn about them, and have you read the others before?

  2. Awesome article! Everything you said is spot on. I’m a reading teacher, so of course I support making reading a habit. 😉 But I’ve also heard that the average millionaire reads at least one non-fiction book per month. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is! I read the 7 Habits book a few years ago and still apply its principles today. I need to look more in Zig Ziglar.

  3. I am a success coach and reading is a must- Love this article and would love to see some book images as well

    I read 1 book per week always focused on growing more success online and Dale Carnegie, Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and 1000’s of other great thought provoking authors come to mind as I read through this post

    all the best and well done you

  4. Love this article.  i am what you would call a lazy reader. As in I have to really force myself to read things of importance.  As I have started my own journey into business ownership in later life I have started to read a lot more.  These are mainly business and self help books from many authors including Mark Manson and of course Tony Robbins.  

    I totally agree with your point that these books should be used as a guide and not gospel and I have taken some great ideas into my businesses that I would not have had access to otherwise.  One question..  how do you feel about audio books?  As part of making this into a habit I have found it easier to listen to the books on a walk in the mornings?  I know there are definitely different points of view when it comes to accessing books in this manner.

    1. I prefer to read, but I have gotten into the habit of listening to audio books as I travel roughly an hour a day between home and work, and then more so when I visit old friends. The only drawback I see in audio books is that you lose the multi-dimensional aspect of reading. I had known this for a while but it didn’t click until a video I watched by Jordan Peterson. It is much more difficult to sit down with an audio book and re-listen and re-evaluate the meaning and application of the writing than it is with e-books or solid paper. That’s just my opinion and if you happen to like listening better I’m not going to stone anyone over it. 

      If you haven’t already read it I would strongly suggest picking up a copy of Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It is one of the most influential books in my life and one I think needs to be read by everyone. If you want to know more you should take a look at the review I wrote. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Book Review

  5. One of the scary statistics that I heard once was that only 50% of people will ever read another book after graduating high school! When I was much younger, I would only ever read books that were written for entertainment. Things like sci-fi or fantasy. But as I got older, I found that I had a desire to learn new skills and improve myself, and books were definitely a great way to do that. 

    My favorite author is Brian Tracy, and I think his books Maximum Achievement is probably his best one. I’ve read about half a dozen of his words, but that one is by far my favorite. It talks about the importance of goal setting and of keeping your mind focused on the things you want, and off of the things you don’t want. 

    Have you ready any of Brian Tracy’s books? He also talks about the importance of daily reading for self-improvement. 

    1. I have not yet read any of Brian Tracy’s books, but they do sound like something I will make my way around to eventually. If that statistic is true that is pretty alarming, and part of the reason I wanted to start this website in the first place. I want to help others break free of their victim mentality and reach their maximum potential by taking responsibility for the outcome of their lives. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and have a great future!

  6. I really like this article on how to make reading the fast track to success.

    Reading is great for gathering information 

    By reading the right material you can  increase your knowledge on  whatever your goals are and reach them. 

    How long will it take to master the craft Fast Track reading. This does not require that 10,000 hours to master anything. 

    Thank you again for this wonderful article and keep up the good reading

  7. As you said reading isn’t a get-rich quick scheme, instead it is one way to instruct ourselves and to improve our knowledge. We can read many different styles of books, some of them will show things we must learn and apply, some others make flow our mind and fantasy to other places. I like reading too, it is one of the things I have suggested in one of my post for people over 60. I like your suggestion about to get reading as a daily habit, I think families must think about this to apply with children. We become “rich” by reading books -not only money make people rich- One of my favorites is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, it gives us lessons for life, I also enjoy all written by Paulo Coelho. Thank you for your post 🙂

  8. I read the Bible, mostly and subscribe to Christianity newsletters to grow my faith in Jesus and in support of my Christianity blog. Understanding the depths of the Bible is challenging, but highly rewarding. It helps to get different perspectives from Pastors and those who know the Bible well.

    I am not against reading other material, though and I know what it takes to really study something as I have a BSEE. Your recommendations of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Selling 101, and How to Win Friends and Influence People is a very intriguing list that I will consider – thank you.

  9. I’m a lover of reading, too, so your article really resonated with me. I also read for self improvement and have encountered several books over the years that have changed my outlook and mindset tremendously. There were things that I don’t know if I ever would have figured out on my own. Or at least not before I was very old. Lol

    I like the way you outline how to start the habit. Most people I know who don’t like reading always say “I don’t know how you can spend hours doing that!” But, in fact, only ten minutes a day adds up to so much in a year, as you pointed out. And, depending on what you read, the benefits can be enormous.

    Great article and tips! 🙂

  10. I can stand by the info and message of his post, as I absolutely love to read and even write things, myself. Reading is not only an integral part of an education but also many of the opportunities and interactions you will have with the environment and outside world. It can even come to the point of shifting the direction of your psychology, what you find yourself biased in/by, and what you find yourself open minded to.

    Though I do find it quite funny that a post on reading with such profound words and paragraphs might just go unnoticed or passed by those who are in another mindset or just don’t read too extensively. It’s like a social media post directed at doing social media, that can/will only be read by people that are into/ active on social media, whereas those who simply aren’t won’t read or even see it. But that’s only my opinion, amazing post in any case!

  11. Greetings,

    Excellent article and I really couldn’t agree more. We were fortunate enough to be born in an era of unprecedented abundance of information and access to books. I majored in English in university and developed a relatively solid reading habit at a young age. I was fairly guilty, however, of reading for pleasure within only a few specific genres. As I’ve grown and pursued self development in a variety of areas I have also come to see the value in reading a wide range of books and pushing yourself to read things that may not be immediately fun. 

    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective people has been on my list for a while now and after reading your article I am moving it right to the top! I really agree the reading isn’t meant to be a blueprint for success but more of a practice. I have also been practicing yoga/meditation daily for a couple of years now and I find reading to be a very similar skill. Some days you just DO NOT want to read but if you approach it as a craft or a practice with at least a regular time goal it becomes much easier, which in turn make you want to do it more! 

    Just curious if you have ever heard of or read the book “Unlimited Memory” be Kevin Horsley? If you are looking for more personal development books this is one I would highly recommend. It presents a variety of strategies to improve memory but what I really enjoyed was the authors philosophy on the importance of memory and what a big role it plays in our lives. 

    I have bookmarked your site and am looking forward to using the variety of awesome resources you’ve put together to continue my journey toward success and personal/professional development! I am inspired by your mission to help others improve themselves. When we improve ourselves its good for us AND everyone else!

    Cheers 🙂

    1. Hey Conner, glad to hear you liked the article, I will be coming out with more on better ways to read and how to improve comprehension from what you read later this month, which is why I’m glad to hear that you’ve decided on coming back! I have not yet read Unlimited Memory but by reading the summary I can tell it would fit perfectly with those coming articles. Thanks for the heads up and be sure to stay tuned!

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