“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”
As you might have read, Danny and I started this blog to inspire and be inspired on our way to understanding magnanimity. Personally for me it can be an outlet for my thoughts on several subjects that run around in my head. Subjects that are not necessarily placed in the marketing or business category. They do have everything to do with the concepts of knowledge, growth and for a large part magnanimity. In this blog I want to look into an activity that sparked my search for knowledge and growth; reading books.
When you are young, if you are lucky, you learn to read text. You learn in school, you learn through your parents, and later on you learn because society forces you to read. You don’t want to be the kid that can’t read the “No Swimming, Beware of Sharks” sign. You learn because you must. That’s exactly the way I learned it. I had to.
Later, in my teenage years I discovered comic books. Tintin (or as it was named in Dutch ‘Kuifje’) being my favorite. It took me away on exciting adventures across time and space. Although the illustrations were the main thing, you were forced to read the balloons. And I loved it. I read faster and reading became easier. Halfway through high school I discovered that you could also read informative books about topics you were interested in.
I remember this one book about football. It was written for kids, and had lots of pictures. I love sports, and from a young age I was involved in lots of physical activity. Reading books, and learning tips and tricks about sports was unbelievable. A book about football! I loved to test my skills on the pitch, playing around with friends. I learned in training and from coaches. But reading books added a whole new layer on the learning experience. The layer of theoretical awareness of an expert.
When I went to University to study business, I read almost all the texts that were mandatory. Not because it was necessary per se. It was possible to pass with reading only the main texts. Some friends passed several courses by reading just by attending the lectures. I read all the texts, because I wanted to know as much as possible. Filling my brain with more information, didn’t hurt. And finishing a book or text gave a great feeling of satisfaction.
After my studies I continued this trend, and diverted my reading towards a broader category. About personal growth, development, psychology, sociology, history and biology. I could find interesting books in any topic. I was addicted.
Fast forward to today…. Currently there are some hundred plus books in my home. I try to read a minimum of 30 minutes every single day. In the weekends and holidays this can be much more. Taking in new knowledge, different perspectives, rare insights and inspirational content gets me out of bed. I can’t prove it all, but I have learned a lot of things through books. Reading informative books is a thing I would still do every day, no matter what age or life phase.
I truly believe that reading informative books has made me into a more balanced, honest, empathic, hard working and focused human being. When you learn the perspective of somebody that is knowledgeable in a certain field, you have not his knowledge. But you know his perspective, and that makes you open to learn his knowledge. Reading books has taught me about growth mindset. I can be anything I want. I can learn anything I wish. Books are as accessible as ever and thus knowledge and growth are as accessible as ever.
Why you should read too
Ok, watching some clips on YouTube can definitively develop your knowledge. It sure costs less energy to absorb the information. But reading a book, contains so much more depth, and because you read it, you store the information much better. Furthermore, when an author writes a book, he or she might have years of experience to back it up. Years of research has preceded the first draft, and editors check the content over and over.
A well-written book is timeless. It is a manuscript of the author’s soul. Whether fiction or non-fiction, it can inspire, inform, educate and influence your behavior. A book has the power to change one’s life. And changing different lives at the same time, thereby influencing and even changing the whole world. A well-written book gives you joy in reading. Brings you to a new level of thinking, feeds you with knowledge that helps you grow, and brings you closer to your goals.
Being magnanimous is to build on the great minds of the past. What better way to do this than to read their manuscripts, learn about their struggles, and reap the benefits of their research. Don’t be afraid to be called an intellectual or nerd. Read a book, and build your mind. Become greater than you were yesterday, and share it with others. Don’t be trapped in a dogma, learn something new. Grow your mind, grow your knowledge, by growing your library.
Do you have any favorite reads or recommendations? Let us know by commenting or sending us a message!
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