Through talking with friends and colleagues, it seems that most haven’t read a book in the last year, which would lead one to conclude book-reading may be on a steady decline. Have you ever wondered why or why not?  Let’s look at why we should be reading books on a regular basis.

Consider how children are taught to read and how it impacts their development as they prepare for adulthood. Tulsa Mayor, GT Bynum, has empowered his employees to go into Tulsa Public Schools on company time and read with our children. He knows the importance of a long-term contribution to our community when our children become more literate. When children become more active in reading, they expand their vocabulary and increase their teachability. Additionally, it boosts their development of their academic and emotional intelligence.  Wouldn’t it make sense that adults need these habits regarding routine reading as well? Could it possibly slow down or even halt cognitive decline in adults if they continued the habit of reading throughout their lifetime?  Reading different genres as an adult will give you a different perspective of others and what they may be going through in their life’s journey.

But you might say, “I am too busy”. So, start with a goal of 2-3 pages a day and then add to your reading plan as you progress. Grab a book that you have an interest in and then steadily gravitate toward others that might stimulate your brain.

Paper, audio or on a screen are all great options. What manner of reading you use may be determined by what you enjoy but consider all three for variety.  The choices of options help you adapt to where you are physically at the time. Remember
whatever method you use, they all count as reading and help with the busyness
of your day to capture the moments and stimulate our brains in purposeful ways.

An example of purposeful – most people relax when they are reading unless it is an intense or scary book. Some sleep better after reading just before bedtime. 
I have found reading the Bible just before I go to sleep feeds my mind
with great thoughts that seem to roll around in my head during my sleep. 

I teach Sunday School and when I study just before I go to bed it seems I have a clearer understanding of my lesson in the morning. My wife wonders why I study my lessons so much the night before. Sometimes it is because of procrastination and other times it is
because I do not feel I have clarity on the topic yet.  It works for me to put my final thoughts together on the lesson after sleeping on what I have been reading and
preparing.

When I go to the fitness center, many people are connected to their phone and I assume that some are listening to an audio book or Podcast on a topic of interest to them. Those with head phones hit the treadmill of exercise with greater intensity from what I have observed. So, listening to books while exercising may just make you more physically fit. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Productivity in the workplace could be enhanced by taking short breaks and pulling out a book and reading on a topic of interest and then return to your task with a fresh vigor and renewed focus.

Think about your brain. What are you feeding it to keep it stimulated? You may be extending your ability to think new and better thoughts, not only for yourself but for those around you.

So, will you think about stretching your brain and becoming a better person by reading more this year?  I hope so.

What I’m reading now – 

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

Recovering Leadership by Thomas Hill, III

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

 

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He is also a certified Career Coach and DiSC Certified . He previously served on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 350 offices

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