Build a Strong Foundation Starting Now

Neuschwanstein CastleWhen I left the Air Force there was a noticeable difference in the amount of free time I now had to do other things…like reading.  I just wish I had MADE time to read when I was on Active Duty.

Build yourself a solid foundation through reading if you are not actively doing so now.  If I could go back to my 20 year old self and give myself just one piece of advice it would be to start reading and read as much as you can.

Brian Tracy said something in one of his training tapes that struck a chord with me, and that was (paraphrasing) our base of knowledge and storage of that knowledge has a small leak and if we don’t keep feeding our minds with nutritious information then we will slowly become “malnourished”.

Since that time I have had this insatiable thirst for knowledge and reading just about anything I can that interests me but also that which is relevant to my current job or anything that is related to self improvement, financial intelligence, emotional intelligence, motivation, and meta-learning.

One of the first books that got me hooked on reading was “Psycho-cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz.  It also was the book that got me into self improvement, getting past mental barriers, and continuous learning.  Another great book that motivated me in to becoming more successful and starting this blog was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  Recently I got done reading another great book of his called, “Outwitting the Devil”, that has been truly influential.

If you are already a reader and looking for good books there are lists at Tim Ferriss’ and Steve Pavlina’s websites that have been very helpful.  Ryan Holiday and Maria Popova also have great websites and book reviews as well.

What I have noticed since I started reading on a consistent basis are the following:

Increased confidence at work

Increased motivation and inspiration

More creativity and ideas

Increased vocabulary

Decrease in what feels like addiction to TV and Internet

Less worry and anxiety about the future

Increase in memory and recall ability, and less forgetfulness

Another added benefit to reading and what I have noticed lately is the ability to debate and resolve conflicts or arguments at work or home. You tend to be able to have the last word more often than not after quoting books and authors who are experts on the topics being discussed.  And even if you do not win the argument or debate, you have at least been able to express your thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise way which I think is always a win.

Try reading one book a month at first and gradually increase from there after 6 months to a year in books that interest you.  Sometimes you finish a book that was so good, that you re-read it or immediately start a new one on the same topic.  A good technique to finding other great books on the same topic came from Maria Popova who suggested looking in the bibliography of the books that had the most impact on you.

Let me know what books have had a great impact on you and have been life changing in the comments.  I would like to have this post be a great place to find books/authors for future reading.

Lastly, have fun and enjoy the journey!

Links and blogs mentioned:

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com

http://www.stevepavlina.com

http://www.brainpickings.org

http://RyanHoliday.net

Many thanks and appreciation to those who spread their knowledge and findings from reading to others!

If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment.  If you have something to add please leave a comment.

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