Have you heard that leaders are readers?
Leaders are readers for three reasons:
• They are always improving.
• They don’t think they know everything.
• They want to pass on knowledge to others.
What Happens When You Don’t Read
I love self-help books. I enjoy reading how-to articles. I’m a sucker for a course that promises me a brighter future.
It wasn’t always that way.
One afternoon during my teen years, my dad handed me a book. The title was The Magic of Thinking Big.
He had great intentions.
But I wasn’t ready.
People in my life had hurt me. People at church. People at school. Even family members. I didn’t trust anyone.
My survival plan was to have as little human connection as possible.
Consequently, I had few friends.
Now that I’m older, I realize how dumb I was.
When the Student is Ready
If you want to change, you will. But it’s got to be your idea. If someone else tries to make you change, you’ll resist, get mad, and shut down.
If it’s your job and your boss wants you to change, you do it to escape punishment.
If your doctor tells you your diet is wrong and will kill you soon, you’ll change to escape death.
If your spouse tells you to shape up or ship out, if you want to stay you’ll find a way to shape up.
The key is we do everything for what we get out of it. You work at a job you may hate because they pay you. You keep smoking because you enjoy how it makes you feel. You keep dating that jerk because it’s better than being alone.
Find your why. Ask yourself, “What am I getting out of doing this?” If what you’re doing isn’t good for you, is there something else you can do to get the same reward?
If there is, you can form a new, more beneficial habit. You can give up the vice without giving up the pleasure. And you’ll be helping rather than hurting yourself.
The Teacher Comes
I eventually read The Magic of Thinking Big. Five years had to pass before I opened my mind to the idea. Protecting myself had its advantages while I lived under my parents’ roof. But it severely limited me out in the adult world.
When you’re ready to change, you’ll see the answers that eluded you before. Decide you want what’s best, and you’ll have it.
What books have you read that have opened up a new chapter in your life?
How has resisting change hurt you?