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The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
Two weeks ago we talked about the 5 Minute Challenge to Start Reading. As you know, the habit of reading is one of the ultimate habits of successful people. Just as we rightly insist that we need to take care of our bodies with exercise and a balanced diet, it is important for any business owner's growth to use the skill of reading to:
Increase your critical and thinking skills. Activate the brain. Look for new solutions. Arouse constant curiosity. Stimulate creativity. Use the time. Increase your coefficient of influence. Keep up to date.
Millions of people around the world have faced the challenge of getting used to reading with spectacular results. If you haven't started already, get started today.
If you have already started and are gradually discovering the power of the habit of reading, then very soon you will have an important question: what am I reading?
Each person has their own reading history; because every person is unique. Your tastes, your business, your interests, your hobbies are only yours. While it is always good to seek the recommendation and advice of someone you trust or admire, it is also true that only you can decide what you will read throughout your life.
The habit of reading does not consist of a list of "must-read books" or forced readings that you have to read for no reason. While there are books that I think anyone would benefit from reading, I won't be the one dictating the titles. I believe that habit must have two properties: first, that it keeps your curiosity mind burning; and second, that it helps you grow as a person both spiritually and professionally.
As Dr. Isolino Doval said reading a lot doesn't necessarily make you a better person. There are people who read a lot and are unhappy or bad. Wow: Hitler was a great reader. The habit of reading, to put it somehow, is a muscle that you can work out and that can give you a lot of strength. How you train this muscle and what you do with it is entirely up to you. Don't waste time reading trash. My recommendation: read good, original, creative, and constructive things that will help you grow, and then give them the power to grow your business and improve the lives of those around you.
Okay, but what am I reading?
I have encountered many people with the same concern. What do I read and the answer is always the same: it depends.
It depends on who you are; what do you like; What are your talents, your interests, your hobbies, your heroes? What is it to you and which books have you read? We're all in a different place. If you've never read anything before, you might want to start with a classic light novel like The Little Prince or Momo. Or for an anthology of Arreola short stories or a financial classic like The Richest Man in Babylon. There are thousands of options, but it really depends on what you want and where you want to go.
To make things easier for me, I've developed a quadrant system that allows me to immerse myself in the topics that are particularly close to my heart, to stay entertained and to discover new things. This reading matrix What am I reading? This is reflected in the graphic below:
The graph consists of the quadrants that occupy the spaces between two axes: the growth-pleasure axis and the fiction-non-fiction axis.
Then assign a week of the month to each quadrant and voila. It allows us to choose new books and readings that suit our personal and business needs.
Right now it doesn't matter whether you read one book a week or one a month. The concept stays the same and follows the quadrants in this order:
First week: fiction + grow
To start the month off well, find a fiction book – that is, short stories, novels, etc. – that is both exciting and useful. These include historical novels, fictional biographies and essential classics.
You may have a problem with the word "classic" because a high school teacher forced you to read Homer's Iliad and do a full analysis that banished your eyes from your ears, but I hope you lose your fear soon . The truth is, most of the classics have a reason, and many were the bestsellers of their time. Dickens, Twain, Chesterton, Hemingway, Cervantes, and thousands of classic novels are a good place to start as they are often easy to find, inexpensive, and mostly brilliant.
Second week: non-fiction + growing up
With the engines running this week, find a book that will help you grow personally or professionally. Personally, autobiographies are among my favorites; But you will also find great biographies of outstanding men and women; personal growth books for building habits of all kinds: financial, business, health, or interpersonal relationships. Little by little you will find that everything is connected.
Also, look for books that can help you improve your business skills: communication, sales, programming, accounting, or big data. It all depends on what your profession and business are. School ends when it ends, but education never ends. Grow Your Career and Grow Your Business!
Don't think that this means they have to be boring. If you are in the right business for you these books will be interesting, exciting, and engaging.
Third week: fiction + pleasure
This is the "free" week where you can read absolutely what you want; It doesn't matter if it's a deep novel or a simple novel, or if it's the most cultured classic in the universe. This week it says: Read to be happy.
Are vampires in love your thing? The wizards who live in a castle? The London detectives? The ghosts? Love? Ahead! Read what you really enjoy and don't worry about the rest.
This week is perhaps the most important week to get used to because it is a great time to have fun, relax, and discover the writers who will become your favorites. Not everything is learning and movement!
Fourth week: non-fiction + fun
Personally, my favorite week, in which we can learn new things, discover new topics and combine previous knowledge in new areas of knowledge.
The idea here is to examine topics that are not your core business, but are in some ways related to your passions, tastes, talents or dreams. It's a brilliant way to open your eyes to new things, encourage creativity, and think outside the box!
For example, if you are an engineer, "engineering books" are banned this week. The same goes for any job. This week you can read about opera, philosophy, dinosaurs, cupcakes, Amazon beetles or the history of an unknown country. Leave your usual zone and go on an adventure trip that will fill you with energy and new ideas.
And then … start over:
5 Questions and Answers: Rules for Reading
There are some questions that I keep hearing. Maybe they'll give you an idea!
Can i read what i want? – Yeah, but you can read really cool things too. Nobody forbids you to play in the garbage can if you want to, but you might be interested in visiting the beach or traveling the world. It's not about banning, it's about exploiting it. Do I have to finish every book I start? – no My personal rule is fifty pages. If the book hasn't caught up with me, I'll move on to the next one on the list. There are books I left on three pages! You are completely free. Is there a mandatory book? Nothing is mandatory, but I think there are highly recommended books for every person depending on their situation. A friend who knows you and loves reading can recommend some classics near you. Are you looking for ideas on goodreads.com – paper, digital or audio book? A lot of people argue about it, but it's an unnecessary discussion. I prefer paper, but I read a lot digitally and listen to audio books in the car. I also prefer live theater, but that doesn't mean I don't go to the movies or watch Netflix. They are different experiences for different times: they are all great and the best gifts on almost every occasion. Are the books underlined? Another capital discussion. It depends on everyone. I light my books, make notes and arrows; But I don't fold the sheets Long live freedom. Of course … if they lend you a book, don't scratch it! And please … give it back!