Readers are leaders.
Readers expand their worlds, their minds, their perspectives.
Readers develop a deeper flexibility to handle life’s challenges.
But these days, with all the flitting video distraction of the Internet, it’s sometimes harder to sit for long and sink into a great book.
Do you need help convincing yourself, however, that it’s worth it?
Here are six ways you can use reading to enhance your life, make you more attractive and at the same time make people more interested in you.
1. Reading Refines Your Intelligence
Follow your curiosity. Unlike school assignments, the books you choose are those that pique your interest.
Perhaps you’re interested in psychology, poetry, body language, or biographies of great historical figures.
Whatever it is that interests you, you get to choose. For this reason alone, you’re far more likely to turn pages and open up dusty corners of your own mind.
And as you vary what interests you you’ll start gaining a wide wealth of knowledge – knowledge you can start peppering into conversations with friends and colleagues. Everybody likes to learn – especially when you’ve done the heavy lifting for them.
2. You’ll Discover Practical Life Insights
Here’s a happy surprise of reading widely…
Reading across different topics tends to cross-pollinate and overlap.
You’ll start making fascinating and original connections among seemingly unrelated topics.
From reading psychology, you might understand your financial decisions as well as your relationship choices.
From reading about body language or social dynamics, you might figure out why you haven’t gotten ahead or the secrets of people you know who “mysteriously” succeed.
From a dog training manual, you may insights on parenting (I’ m not kidding). And from reading about social habits of primates, you might learn why your relationship with your family or partner is working or not working.
3. You’ll Expand Your Vocabulary
A good vocabulary is one of the most reliable markers of financial success in the world, according to academic studies.
Reading books by thoughtful authors allows you to discover new words and new meanings – IF – you take the time to look up those words.
Here’s a special tip: look up the roots of each word because that will give you extra insight. For example, did you now that the word “sarcasm” literally means “flesh-tearing”? Now you know why sarcastic people can be so hurtful.
4. You’ll Improve Your Writing Skill
Writing with care and precision is one of the other great indicators of success in business and life.
Bad communicators rarely get their message across – and rarely get what they want. But when you study the words, sentence structure, rhythms and cadences of powerful writers, you can adapt their power to your own communications.
The best writers all begin by copying or “modeling” the writing of others.
Tip: copy out the best writing you find by hand – it goes straight to your brain and becomes more natural for you to imitate in your own writing.
5. Fiction and Biography Develops Empathy
Feel like increasing your emotional intelligence? Find that you get caught up on your own head and can’t really feel the pain and joys of others?
Reading fiction and biography can help with that.
Stepping inside the minds of other and getting their perspectives is helpful in understanding why others make decisions, who they choose to love, what makes someone commit, or break up a relationship.
Having this increase in empathy can help you out in your relationships with friends, family, and even help you get your ex back by giving you the ability to finally get out of your own thoughts and see things from their point of view for a change.
6. You Will Get Inspired Anew
If you’ve ever felt like the world is crumbling all around you, then reading tales of triumph and adventure, and how others, fictional or real, overcame diversity can give you the energy and courage to rise to life’s challenges.
It’s why we love heroic tales! We see ourselves in these heroes. More than that, we FEEL ourselves in these heroes as we are carried along by the storyteller’s skill. This way, it’s not a mere mental exercise, but an actual “experience” in our own minds and imaginations.
Tip: rather than “compare” yourself to a hero in a book, look for that one quality that helped them succeed and find it in yourself. Then make a commitment to cultivating that quality in your own unique way.
So turn of the computer, put your cell phone in another room and crack open a good book. And be sure to inhale the pages deeply. Books tend to have a wonderful smell as well.
Best Selling Author, Emmy-Nominated Producer, Screenwriter and Entrepreneur, Adam Gilad leads a community of over 80,000 men and women on their quest to create love and a bold, inspired life. Having served as a Stanford Humanities Center Graduate Research Fellow and host of National Lampoon Radio, Adam blends a bracing mix of research, humor and global wisdom traditions to help men and women break through the habits blocking their ability to open into love and freedom.
He’s a regular contributor to Vixen Daily in the Personal Development and Inspiration section.
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