Today, I’m posting a guest article by Matt Furey who sends out one of my favorite email newsletters. He’s the owner of Psycho-Cybernetics.com. All of his articles are thought-provoking and motivating. This one on reading I found particularly interesting.
You can subscribe to Matt’s newsletter here: Psycho-Cybernetics.com
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the person who cannot read.” – Mark Twain
Even though audio and video recordings are incredibly valuable, and life-changing, they do not take the place of sitting in a chair, in a quiet room, with a book in your hand.
If you don’t believe me, all you need to do is test this out.
Begin your day with a book in your hands. Read something that makes you laugh, or think, or imagine different.
Avoid watching or listening to the news as your day begins. Stay away from email and social media for at least an hour.
You can listen to music if you want, provided there are no lyrics. Never listen to music produced by a rocker who is frequently depressed!
As you sit with a book in your hand, take a look at the clock. Plan on reading for 20-30 minutes, but before doing so, make a note as to how you feel.
When you are finished, close your book and sit silently for a minute. Notice how different you feel. Notice how your brain is now alert, energized, and ready for more.
Also take note of how you have an advantage, not just over those who cannot read, but over those who think that audio and video is better. Audio and video are important, and they are helpful. But when it comes to that “steroids for the brain” sensation you are looking for, books will always be numero uno.
Here endeth the lesson.
If this doesn’t convince you of the value of reading, check this out:
This is from a report, “Reading at Risk,” from the National Endowment for the arts. Get it here.
“Reading a book requires a degree of active attention and engagement. Indeed, reading itself is a progressive skill that depends on years of education and practice.
“By contrast, most electronic media such as television, recordings, and radio make fewer demands on their audiences and often require no more than passive participation. Even interactive electronic media, such as video games and the Internet, foster shorter attention spans and accelerated gratification. To lose such intellectual capabilities—and the many sorts of human continuity it allows—would constitute a vast cultural impoverishment.
“More than reading is at stake. As this report demonstrates, readers play a more active and involved role in their communities. The decline in reading, therefore, parallels a larger retreat from participation in civic and cultural life.”
Confession time: I find myself reading less and less and watching more online videos. They entertain and inform but what Matt says is true, they don’t engage my brain as reading does.
So, I’m making this pledge to myself, “no online videos for the next month.” I have a lot of great books cued up in Kindle on my iPad, so that’s what I’ll be reaching for the first thing in the morning.
I challenge you to do the same!