Reading is worthwhile...Dec 07, 2023
Originally sent in the Salesforce Saturday newsletter on 11/11/23
Reading is a powerful mind altering activity.
It changes the structure of your brain.
You take the concentrated thoughts of the author, who often spent hours distilling their message, and picture them in your mind, effectively hallucinating in real time as you merge their ideas into your own knowledge base.
Its active meditation.
We all know attention spans are shortened by repeatedly watching short form content.
TikTok, Reels, and YouTube Shorts demand little from us.
The opposite happens when we engage with long form content like books.
Our attention lengthens. Our consciousness expands.
The medium is the message.
I think more than half the benefit of reading has nothing to do with the content of what you read.
It comes from practicing how to focus, reflect, and interact with the refined thoughts of others people, which is what happens naturally when you read a book.
It means we don't need to read books off some hyped up "must read" list.
The best book is the one you like to read.
You can get the bulk of the benefit of reading from any book you like.
The rest of the benefits probably do come from the content of the book.
And on that note, I read two good books recently.
Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Clear Thinking by Shane Parrish
Be Useful Quotes
"That's the beauty of pain. Not only is it temporary, which means you don't have to deal with it forever, but it also tells you whether you've begun to give enough of yourself in pursuit of your dreams."
"The picture in my mind [of his completed goal] was so clear you could have put a frame around it and hung it on a wall. This wasn't a fantasy. This was a memory that just hadn't happened yet."
Clear Thinking Quotes
"Each moment puts you in a better or worse position to handle the future. It's that positioning that eventually makes life easier or harder."
"You don't need to be smarter than others to outperform them if you can out position them. Anyone looks like a genius when they're in a good position, and even the smartest person looks like an idiot when they're in a bad one."
Books are like a conversation with a trusted friend.
I enjoyed my "conversations" with these two books, and thought a friendly reminder the reading can be fun might be worthwhile for you too.
Have you read any good books lately?
Let me know!
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