Of course, there are hundreds of great books and I can recommend many that would be valuable to have as a knowledge base.... but books alone aren't the answer. In fact, for many, books and other content such as websites, blogs, YouTube videos, etc...often become an addiction and escape from what really matters - taking action.
Yes, we're back to that. But it's a very important topic and realization many have to make.
The real value of books
Books are only as valuable as the knowledge you take from them to propel you to take the next action. The should be seen as a means to an end, that being the achievement of whatever goal or milestone they are trying to achieve.
Books are neither good nor bad...they're just simply a step in the info to wisdom path we must consciously make sure we're on.
What do I mean?
Think of it this way. Our goal as professionals and human beings on this planet is to live with purpose. That purpose can be most anything that elevates us and in the process helps others.
Books provide lots of information we can use toward that end, be it financial rewards, healthier living, or even spiritual enlightenment.
When you read books you should see them as information that must be processed in your mind and turned into knowledge that is actionable. Knowledge that is acted upon becomes experience. Experience over time becomes wisdom. This is the learning process and path you should follow if you're goal is to achieve anything worthy in life.
INFORMATION --> KNOWLEDGE --> EXPERIENCE --> WISDOM
INFORMATION acquired toward a purpose becomes KNOWLEDGE, which when acted upon become EXPERIENCE, and over time experiences accumulate into WISDOM.
So what's the problem with reading?
Reading for the sake of gathering loads of information can become a crutch and an excuse to not act or apply your learning. For many, it's a form of procrastination. If this is you, you need to stop reading for the sake of reading and start being very selective about it and what you want to get from it.
How I read books
When I read books my aim is simply to get 1-3 nuggets of knowledge that I can apply to my most urgent need or project. I could get that from simply reading the table of contents, or from a single chapter, or through reading the book in it's entirety. This does require clarity about what your goal is and what you want to get out of the book.
So always start with asking yourself -
- "Why am I reading this book?"
- "What goal or task am I trying to accomplish? or
- "What barrier am I trying to get past?"
- "Is this book the best resources to find my answer?"
and finally -
- "Am I prepared to apply what I learn by reading this?"
These questions will get you focused on your goal and help you target your reading to only what's essential toward that goal.
Alright...with all this in mind let me know what you're reading now, what problem you're trying to solve, and how your current read will help you do that. I'll look for your comments below!