“People who say they don’t have time to read simply don’t want to.” ~Julie Rugg
2016 was the resurgence of my book reading and podcast listening hobbies!
I loooooove to read. Ever since I could remember, I enjoyed flipping the pages of an entertaining, educational, or purely exciting book (fiction or non-fiction).
Even today, with the popularity of ebooks, I like to turn the page of a physical book. Not only does it take me away from technology for awhile but, as part of my self-care practice, it calms me and soothes my soul.
Side note: I love that my even my niecy poo (now 17) has loved to read since she was little. Here are her reasons: it’s fun, she likes entering different people’s world/reality, learning new things, learning life’s lessons. She’s my little mini-me!
But even after the 40 books I read and 100s of podcast episodes I listened to last year, there were ultimately only a few things overall I’ve learned.
1. There’s a BIG world out there. Listen, I don’t care who you are and what you know, you don’t know the half of it! This world is so large that we’ll never know it all and those who think they know need to take a chill pill. The more you learn, the less you know!
Because I read and listened to so many different types of genres (from modern mysteries, sci-fi, thrillers, classics and the vampire genre to personal development, business, history, health, leadership, psychology, communication, and spirituality), I’ve lived vicariously through so many different characters and scenarios. I feel like I understand just a little bit more the struggles, joys, and pains of other cultures and people in addition to feeling compassionate and empathy for their plight.
Although I consider myself a very open-minded person, I am made more open to the beliefs and values of others and have gained a better perspective of the lives they lead (if only MORE of us would be like this!). And I definitely count my blessings because so many of their seemingly awful situations and scenarios are nowhere near close to my own!
2. Challenge = Change. Regardless of where you are in your life, if you’re not challenged, you’re not changing! Nothing brings about positive change like some type of difficulty, bad situation, or obstacle in our way. Life’s challenges are what make us stronger (cliche I know but oh so true!) but only if we take heed to the lessons learned and find healthy ways to deal and move forward. I firmly believe that to really improve your life, you have to challenge the status quo within yourself and that means questioning everything, being flexible and, often, readjusting or completely doing away with old beliefs!
3. Everything is intricately connected. There is a connection in every part of our lives and even between each other’s lives. You see, the more I read and opened my ears, the more I realize that EVERYTHING is connected in some way to everything else. You can see this phenomenon show up in at least a couple of different ways.
a) Your life can’t be compartmentalized. My coach always says, “You can’t have a booming business with a busted life.” So true right and vice versa! If one part of your life is lacking, that lacklusterness weaves itself into other areas of your life. I also like the phrase, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” This implies that if you are allowing weeds to grow in your personal relationships, how can you expect bloom to happen professionally, for instance?
b) This idea of connectedness also helps me to understand that there is a lot of gray in the world. Nothing is ever as black and white as we’d like to think. There are similarities AND differences within us all but I ultimately believe that we are ALL connected by the simple fact that what each and every human being truly desires, deep down in their hearts, is love, connection, and security.
Everything is inter-connected, multi-connected, cross-connected – all of that! 🙂
4. Books are mirrors.Virginia Woolf once said, “Books are the mirrors of the soul.” When I read or listen to something, I often think:
There are so many things that come up in my head and not just while I’m in the middle of digesting the info but way later when I need it!
Note: I don’t recall every single thing I’ve ever read or heard BUT you’d be surprised what your mind can show you/recall when you need it most!
5. Finally, reading has made me a whiz in word games. I love playing word games either by myself or with an opponent and, inevitably, I learn new words and my scrabble game is more on point! 🙂
Tip: read with a dictionary so that you can learn how to use your newfound words immediately! Been doing that since I was a kid and it has helped me create a nice, well-rounded vocabulary.
Over to you…
Whew! Through all of what I’ve read and listened to over the past year alone, it’s been an exhilarating ride and I can’t wait to digest even more! There are always lessons to be learned beyond what I’ve stated here but these are the ones that stood out to me most. I hope they resonate with you as well.
Sooooo, tell me. What have you read or listened to lately? What have you learned?
“Books represent different things to different people. For some they are light entertainment, for others a resource of knowledge and learning, and for others they are reminders of important moments or academic successes. However, when you buy a book, you do not suddenly own the wisdom it contains—all you have bought is words on paper. It’s up to you to internalize whatever enlightenment the book has to offer.” ~Peter Walsh