I’m reading a bit less compared to my last book update back in February:
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
The Happy Vegan by Russell Simmons
The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
And I’m currently reading:
Thinking Fast and Slow by David Kahneman
Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell
It’s one of the greatest feeling when I reach the end of a book but I took a step back and asked myself,
“Are you reading to finish the book or are you reading to learn?”
I was reading to finish the book. My honesty lead me to approach my habit of reading differently and made me look for better ways of soaking information in, but more importantly finding intention behind my chosen habit because to me, that is the key to being focused and consistent.
First, I made a small change to highlight.
I never highlighted until I read The Creative Habit. The author, Twyla Tharp, doesn’t read for pleasure, she reads to learn. Her books are filled with highlighted paragraphs, written notes on each page, papers sticking out with even more notes. She’s active with her reading and encourages her readers to do the same. This practice makes The Reader turn into The Learner.
It may seem straightforward but sometimes I go overboard with highlighting that my book turns into a colouring book.
So how do you know what to highlight?
You know those sentences that make you straighten your spine and nod your head? That’s your body signalling you that what ever was written resonated deep within you. Roll with it. Scratch that, highlight it.
Another way of determining whether it’s highlight worthy is asking yourself,
“Could I see it in Pinterest under the Quotes category or Retweeted on Twitter or posted on The Good Quote on Instagram?”
“If I saw this posted on a social media platform, would I pause and press ‘Like’?”.
Yep, it’s come to a point where social media is controlling our way of thinking. But don’t think of it as a negative thing. Adjust your perspective! Instead, think of it as a tool to benefit you. Control it instead of it controlling you. In this case, is what you just read worthy of you tapping on that imaginary Like button? Yes? Highlight it!
Secondly, I made a change to have a back up.
I usually read two books at once. One that’s very informative and another that’s more for leisure. This way when you feel like your heads about to explode with all the new information, you have another book to bounce back on. Read light after reading heavy –Balance!
It’s like doing a cleanse; All that grease from the fries start to catch up to you. You feel sluggish because there’s no such thing as a well-balanced meal in your world. Your first idea is to change your diet. Your food choices are based on what’s easier to digest, and that’s when you begin your cleansing journey. (I know, cleansing is easier said than done. I mean, it would be so much easier if it wasn’t coupon szn, right? [dramatic sad face emoji])
Lastly, I made a change to have an end time.
Before all I would do is read, read, read. All I did was read. I never knew my limit until someone asked me what movies were out. I just stood there blankly. TV was no longer my life. Netflix, maybe. But not TV. I wasn’t exposed to movie trailers or any commercials. I knew this wasn’t a big concern but instead, I took it as an area I needed to improve on — Time Management.
Setting yourself up for success begins with prioritizing your time. I made it my priority to set a designated time to read. It allows me to be more focused on what’s in front of me because everything I do already has a set time. I made sure that I focused my time on reading for two hours. Once I hit that two hour time mark, it’s on to the next.
When I schedule an end time for reading, I leave myself wanting more which creates the excitement to read again the next day feel so reeeal. (It’s so real I needed three E’s. One just didn’t cut it.)
I know a lot of you are struggling to keep focus, but don’t be discouraged. When you find that you’ve hit a wall, step back, be honest with yourself and ask questions that will lead you to overcome that obstacle. Remind yourself that an obstacle doesn’t mean to quit. It means you need to do something different. It means you’re about to embark on something new.
I was struggling to get through my “Reader’s Block”. I was reading to say I finished a book. Where’s the intention in that? So I made it an effort to realign my focus on what really mattered to me and what really matters is to continuously learn and grow. I made it an effort to challenge myself. Now, I am challenging myself to bring focus on the ideas and thoughts that stand out to me, to make the book my own by highlighting. I am challenging myself to find balance with reading and every thing else in my life. I am challenging myself to be organized with my time so that reading doesn’t take over my whole day. By just doing these simple small changes, I am now overcoming the idea of being The Reader to being The Learner. There’s a stronger impact on my habit of reading when I allowed purpose and meaning to be the foundation.
What are some of your challenges in your life right now? Why is it challenging? How will you overcome those challenges? Are you doing anything different today that’s different from yesterday?
A small change is a great beginning. Through small changes, a habit is formed only if done day in and day out. And a habit is the tell all factor of who you will be. Through my own mistakes, I’ve learned and now believe that intention behind what I do is what makes you focused, consistent and persevere even further.
Are you reading just to finish or are you reading to learn?