Books are something I avoided for a long time. Instead of books, I went for experience and taking action.
There’s a lot to be learned from making your own mistakes.
A couple of years ago, I went and lived in a foreign country for 2 years with no real plan. Just a suitcase and enough money to get me by. I made it a point to experience as much as possible because I knew I wouldn’t live there forever.
After coming back, I started picking up a ton of books to read for no real reason. Just to see what I could learn and apply.
Here’s what I’ve learned after reading at least 1 or 2 books a month for the past year.
1 – Your Instincts Will Be Confirmed Or Refuted
Many times, I’ve had a gut instinct about something only to latter be confirmed by reading a book.
- When you rack up a ton of experience, you build a database of knowledge. When you hit a fork in the road, you’ll have a gut feeling about something and take the path that’s usually more right than wrong.
If the path you take is more wrong than right, you go back to the drawing board.
Other times, what you read will be in conflict with what your gut instinct tells you.
“Humans have finite amount of willpower” is one example that goes against what my gut tell me.
My gut tells me that, humans have extraordinary amounts of willpower, because just look at all the people who are jacked up at the gym.
Just look at all the people training for a marathon.
Just look at all the 30-day challenges on the internet, where people complete them.
Just look at all the people who quit an addiction cold turkey.
Just look at all the people who said, “You know what? I’m a fatass today, but from now on, I’m going to the gym.”
And this is not even counting the business owners and people who are already successful.
Maybe the science is right, but ask yourself this, does believing you have finite willpower or unlimited willpower make you take more or less action?
I already know the answer.
2 – You’ll Try Out New Things
I think of books as a grab-bag of ideas. You rummage around and find stuff you try out and see if it works for you.
If something does work, I like to experiment with it and see if it can be improved…
For example, when I first heard about mantras and affirmations, I went all in 100% to see if it works or not. Turns out they do. So I decided to see how far I could take it and came up with several new ideas on how to implement them in your everyday life.
When I first heard about Wim Hof and his breathing method, I went all in 100% and bought his breathing course. I followed the 10-week program and came up with a morning routine that helps me get energized in the morning.
I make it point to not read any reviews, because that will have a negative influence on my belief.
3 – Books Will Influence Your Decision Making
Health, wealth, relationships, and money are important …
When you read a book, you are reading someone who’s been there and done that. Sometime they’re information is right, and other times it’s wrong.
“Wrong” could mean, it works for them, but not for you.
Anytime we are faced with a decision, there’s a thousand different forks in the road. The question is which path is the right path?
Instead of shooting in the dark, why not see what successful people do and take action?
4 – You’ll Earn More Money
Books on wealth are everywhere. The result isn’t always instant. The new frontier to study up on right now, is crypto currency and bitcoin.
I made the mistake of not buying bitcoin when it was hovering around $300.
Read up on these topics.
5 – You’ll Be Healthier
Books on health are a dime a dozen. There’s no reason to not be knowledgeable about diet and exercise.
6- You’ll Be Able To Explain Things You Couldn’t Put Into Words
Many times I’ve come up with things based on experience and instinct, only for it to later be confirmed by someone much smarter than me.
It’s an interesting feeling knowing someone else took an entirely different path than you, only to come up with the same conclusion.
When I’m reading books, I’ll often be surprised that someone else had the same idea. Their explanation is often much better too. After reading, I can adopt their lingo to explain something I’ve done all along.
7 – Your Writing Will Get Better
The best writers read lots of books. I’ve seen this advice posted everywhere and it’s true. Since reading a ton of books, my brain is able to spit out words much quicker than before.
I remember when I used to struggle to string together two sentences. I’ve come a long way since then.
Fiction is great for storytelling.
But non-fiction is were the I’m getting the most bang for my buck.
8 – You’ll Be The Go To Guy
A lot of people don’t have the time to read books or would rather go to someone who’s done all the research and get the cliff notes. A great example of this is a great YouTube channel called Historia Civilis.
I’ve read books on Roman History, but this guy must have burned through them all. He lays out strategies used in war and also covers the history behind historical figures. Great stuff:
When I lived in Japan, I came across a note taking device called the Pomera DM100. I was the first person to do a review over it and explain how to use it. All the instructions were in Japanese, so I translated a few key features and set up a website showing people how to use it.
If it weren’t for all the Japanese books I burned through, none of this would be possible:
Why You Should Balance Reading Books With Experiencing
Books are one thing, but nothing beats experience and living through some pain.
Those are the kind of lessons that stick with you.
The kind of lessons that get written into the books you see today.