” Books have formed me, who I am today, what I think, how I feel….and all the things I do have a bearing on the books I read.” — John C Maxwell
Are you allowing the impact of books to manifest in your life? Are you doing your best to enrich your mind with quality books? If you’re not already doing that, this write up might inspire you, and I hope it will.
Anywhere you look, the impact of books and reading speaks. I believe that you know some of the world’s richest people: Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos. These people are all avid readers. The habit of lifelong reading has played enormous impact on their lives, and if you’re skeptical about what I have just said, read their biographies or autobiographies, or search online about the reading habits of the super rich.
The world’s innovators were also bibliophiles. Think of gurus like Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and others of the same category. They had gobbled up books. Why do you think they did that? Well, there could be many reasons. But one thing is for sure: Books supply them with ideas, and the synthesis of their indigenous ideas and those obtained from books resulted in the creation of the things they blessed our world with. Edison gave us the electric bulb, Jobs gave us iPhones, Michaelangelo gave us the sculpture of the David, and Leonardo da Vinci gave us paintings of the human body.
I have no idea about what you want to do in life, or what you wish to be, let alone what you want to have. Could you possibly lend me a listening ear and attentive mind for minute? Alright, whatever it is that you and I wanted to do, be, or have, if we read, we are going to achieve it.
One of my friends told me an interesting story about one famous philosopher named Immanuel Kant. Follow me patiently for you may get a ray of insight into what I’m going to say. “Mr. Kant was a man of books.”, my friend said. ” He never involve himself in anything without prior knowledge of it, gained mostly through reading books. One day, he decided to marry, and so his habit of reading before acting jumped on to the surface. He soon discovered that there are many steps involved in the process. Let’s use our traditional marriage setting as an analogy. Before Mr. Kant would proceed to ask for permission to see the lady, he would read the relevant books; before he would go out dating the girl, he would read books related to that , and on and on…. you get the point, right?” My friend interrogated. “hahaha, yes I do”, I replied. Then my friend concluded with this touching and sad remark: ” did you know that Mr. Kant died without getting married?”
My friend was trying to drive home the idea that whatever it is we want to do, be, or have, reading the relevant materials is essential. But at the same time, we should follow our reading with action, and we should avoid extreme exploration as Mr. Kant did. That is why in my soon to be published book, Open The Page: 101 Incredible Secrets of Reading Books, I stressed the importance of following reading with action, if we really want to see the impact of books manifest in our lives.
READ, no matter what you want to be, do or have. I have created an acrostic for READ in the three areas of achievement I have mentioned. Here they are :
What do you want to DO?
If you want to R =REFINE, then you’ve got to read. Refine your business, learning, thinking, writing, selling process, advertising, communication etc
If you wish to E= EXCEL in whatever endeavour you engage in, hit the books! READ!
If you do A= ASPIRE for great things, titles, awards, fame, fortune, then you have to READ!
Of course you wish to D = DERIVE meaning in what people say, hint, say, or thought. And to do that effectively, you’ve got to READ!
What do you want to BE?
Want to be REAL human being? then READ.
Want to be ERUDITE? I have given you the secret, READ.
Want to be AMAZING? Take my advice and READ.
Want to be DOMINANT? okay go to the books, READ.
And finally, what do you want to HAVE?
Want to have RICHES? Tangible or intangible, monetary or otherwise, if you would read the right books and other materials, there’s no telling how riches you would have.
Want to have ENTHUSIASM?
Studies have shown that there are two keys to enthusiasm: Learning and accomplishment. When you read, you learn, and when you learn, you have enthusiasm.
Want to have ACCOLADES?
Just bury yourself and gulp and absorb great books. You’ll tell me the story later.
Want to have DIRECTION?
With the right books we become more focused on the path to creativity, productivity and positivity. We become clear about where we are, and where we are going. We may have a sense of the general area we are going, but with books we are likely to be tailored toward the right and specific direction.
Remember to allow the impact of books to show up in your life.
Mustapha Ibrahim Abdullahi
Bayero University Kano