In 2011, I was introduced to a guy who would change my philosophy towards life, success, personal development, relationships, money, and work forever. The man was Jim Rohn.
At that time I was a hard worker. Matter of fact, some said I worked too hard and that if I didn’t slow down, I would burn out or burn up. Up to that point in my career and life I had success. I attribute that success to really two things: Hardwork and doing what I had to do.
Hardwork: Well my parents taught me this. They taught me to always show up, show up early, and to do my best when I did show up. That was easy.
Doing what I have to do: I haven’t always done what I needed to do immediately when I had to do it. Sometimes it would take me a few days or a few attempts to do it, but eventually I would get it done. The best example of this is home work while in school. I didn’t always do it on time, but eventually I knew I had to do it. Another example of this is attending college. I tried to take a few different routes, but eventually I knew college had to be done. I always end up doing what I have to do. I may not like it, but not everything in life that has to be done is something we like to do.
Having these two fundamentals instilled in me at the time I was introduced to my mentor really paved the way for what was going to happen next. We have all heard this “The teacher will appear when the student is ready”. So in 2011, when my mentor/teacher appeared I was ready. Why wouldn’t I be, I had been preparing my entire life.
My mentor challenged me with reading books. Lots of books. As many as I can on as many subjects as I can. At that time, I think I could remember on my two hands how many actual books that I had read. And I know I hadn’t read very many since high school, which was many many years ago by that time.
Based of the recommendations of my mentor, I made the decision to and set a goal to read a book a month in the years of 2011 and 2012. I easily accomplished this. In 2013, I upped the goal to a book a week. In the year 2o14 a book a week, and in 2015 my goal is to read about 150 books. We will see how close I get to this in a few months.
As of this morning I just finished book number 200. I am proud of this accomplishment.
As I accomplished this milestone this morning, it has me thinking about what I have learned through this journey. I have learned more than three things obviously. But I thought I would keep the broader picture in mind when thinking about this accomplishment.
What I learned:
- I have so much more to learn: I am sure you are thinking to yourself right now, duh! But it isn’t a duh moment for me. I am asked all of the time why do I read the same kinds of books all of the time. Books of the same genre and same concepts. The answer I give is this: Every book I read, even if it is the same concepts for the most part, I learn something different. A different author may say it in a way that didn’t make sense before, or apply a fundamental in a way I never thought to apply it before.
- Books make me money: Without getting too personal here. I will just say I have doubled + my income since becoming a reader. Now this may not be your motivation, but it was mine. I know the more I earn the more good I can do.
- Books inspire me: There are days and times in all of our lives where things may not be going your way. It may be in a relationship, a job/career, my finances, my faith, you name it. I know that when I pick up a book on one of these subjects I can get inspiration. Knowledge precedes inspiration. When I expose myself to new information (knowledge) I become inspired. My mentor told me years ago. Motivation comes from two sources: Inspiration or desperation. I prefer to be inspired. That is what books do.
Where do I go now? I am going to keep feeding my brain from the pages of great books. My advice is you do the same. Many of us work hard and show up and do what needs to be done. For me this wasn’t good enough. I wanted more. The only way to get more is to learn more. Many smart people have written books to inspire and educate others on almost any area of life, I would advise you to take advantage of them. I shared with you above the benefits that I have received, you can do the same.
To your success and your future.