Importance of reading
The Big Picture: Where are we going?

Importance of reading : Part 2

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What do you do with your life? Where do you want to go? No matter what stage of life you're currently in, if you're still breathing, you have a future. Whatever your goal, you need to know that someone has been there before you. Someone has probably written a book or books about exactly what you have in mind. Maybe you're already following a life plan and are involved in your chosen profession. In that case, books can help you do even better. Whereever you are, someone has been down the same path you are on. Someone has a different perspective on what you're doing. Someone who's written a book can help you see what you're doing a little differently. Why not accept the challenge to accomplish more, keep your outlook fresh, and look at life at all sides? Books can help you do all these things.

I was reading about Benjamin Carson. He mentions in one of his books (Think Big) that as a child, Ben Carson spent his primary school years in the bottom of the academic pool. By the time, he'd reached fifth grade, the nickname "Dummy' has become his permanent label. Then his mom took charge. Though she was a single parent who had been a teenager when Benjamin was born, she understood what needed to happen, and it didn't involve teachers' conferences. Ben's mom restricted his leisure time and insisted that homework and books come first. She insisted Ben and his brother read two books a week, and to make sure they were retaining what they read, she asked for book reports, to. Young Benjamin hated it, but in eighteen months, he'd gone from the bottom of the class to the top.

One day, his science teacher asked the class a question about a rock sitting on the teacher's desk. Since he had just finished reading a book on geology, Benjamin knew the answer. No one else in class did. That was the moment Benjamin Carson understood what his mother was doing. Though unable to read herself, she knew her sons would not succeed in life without books. And today, Dr. Benjamin Carson is director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins (Yay!) Hospital, and the first person to successfully separate Siamese twins connected to the head.

What you read, what you see, what you listen to truly influences your thoughts. Earl Nightingale, leading authority on success gives the critical ingredient about what makes people successful.  "You become what you think about."

Lot of people tell me , " I wish I had the time to read books." Really!..Let me tell you where I get the time...If there is one thing that characterizes the times we live in, be it America, be it India, it is waiting. We wait at stop lightsl we wait in lines at post offices, stores, movie theaters and themeparks; we wait in doctor's offices; we wait at the bus stops like Forrest Gump.

My commute to work isn't a long one, but I have learned to make use of stoplights. Since I am familiar with my route, I have studied those lights. I know their cycles, and I know just about how much time I've got when I'm waiting at one. I use that time to read. Maybe you don't feel comfortable with the idea of reading at the wheel. I can understand that.  But make time when some one else is driving. 

When I hear people say that they don't have time to read, I find myself nodding in agreement with this advice from Ralph Waldo Emerson: " Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them, and their value will never be known. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. "

If you read one hour per day, it will translate into approximately 1 book a week which approximately translates to fifty books per year. If you read an hour  a day, one book per week, you will be an expert in your field within three years.


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