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Reading …Your New Habit

Want to know one habit that successful people have in common — they are prolific readers!

When Warren Buffett was once asked about the key to success, he pointed to a stack of nearby books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Here are just a few top business leaders and entrepreneurs who make reading a major part of their daily lifestyle:

Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year, which breaks down to 1 per week.

Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day.

Elon Musk is an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said “I read books.”

Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015.

Oprah Winfrey selects one of her favorite books every month for her Book Club members to read and discuss.

A study of 1,200 wealthy people found that they all have reading as a pastime in common.

But successful people don’t just read anything. They are highly selective about what they read, opting to be educated over being entertained. They believe that books are a gateway to learning and knowledge.

There is a notable difference between the reading habits of the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy. According to Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, rich people (annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million-plus) read for self-improvement, education, and success. Whereas poor people (annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less) read primarily to be entertained.

Successful people tend to choose educational books and publications over novels, tabloids, and magazines. And in particular, they obsess over biographies and autobiographies of other successful people for guidance and inspiration.

If reading as a pathway to success isn’t enough to get you motivated, consider these health benefits of reading: Reading has been shown to help prevent stress, depression, and dementia, while enhancing confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction.

Check out SUCCESS magazine’s list of 25 must-read books for high achievers. (see list below) These books take a comprehensive approach to money, life, and personal development.

And this is just one list, there are plenty more, and plenty of other ways to find good books. Another way is to go to Barnes & Noble and buy a large coffee. I would pick out 10 to 15 books and go through them as fast as I possibly could. I would read through the table of contents and pick the topics I was most interested in. I would then quickly read those chapter’s first paragraph and last paragraph and any headlines. If the chapter seems interesting, I would read the whole chapter. I could get through 10 to 15 books in about 45 minutes, I would then select a few to purchase.

My reading habits now involve a product called I look for books on the topic I’m trying to learn about and see if they have it in I’ll listen to the book and if it’s a book that I found very useful I’ll buy the hard copy as well. I also change the speed at which I listen to the book and find listening to it faster and slower allows me to grasp the information better. I will read and listen to the best books over and over again to gain more info. I am often disappointed when I find a book that does not have an audible version. I tend to buy these books anyway, but it takes me longer to get to them.

With the benefit of these tools I now get through 70 to 100 books a year. I just checked and I’ve been through 36 books over the last month.

Learning from other people’s successes and trials is one of the highest forms of learning. If you are an avid reader, you’ll find that the mistakes of others can become your lessons, so you don’t have to make them yourself.

I’ll get you started. Give me a call on my cell phone at 608-306-1199 and I will buy you the book of your choice.

SUCCESS Magazine’s list of 25 must-read books for high achievers:

  • How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  • The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying by Suze Orman

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

  • Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman

  • The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill

  • Acres of Diamonds: All Good Things Are Possible, Right Where You Are, and Now! by Russell H. Conwell

  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

  • Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed by Brian Tracy

  • The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn

  • See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar

  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent

  • Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

  • Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell

  • The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

  • The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

  • The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

  • The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource: Including The 10.5 Commandments of Sales Success by Jeffrey Gitomer

  • Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Dr. Spencer Johnson

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul Series by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

  • Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone

Thanks for reading,

— Joshua

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