One of the first books I remember that truly changed how I lived and worked was Seeds Of Greatness by Denis Waitley. I loved this book! It exposed me to think about many things I could do to increase my personal and professional impact.
“Knowledge is the frontier of tomorrow,” Waitley wrote. He suggested “one of the most important aptitudes for success is also a mystery to 95% of the world’s population.”
What is the mystery?
I am not sure Waitley was correct in describing it as a mystery. The power of reading and the importance of vocabulary development is well researched and documented. The mystery is why do so many of us ignore it.
The evidence solidly establishes a direct correlation between vocabulary and “real-world” ability and life chances.
The Johnson O’Conner Research Foundation has conducted detailed studies of 1,118 words arranged in increasing difficulty. They concluded that the group identified, as “major executives” possessed the largest vocabularies.
What are we reading?
Unfortunately, we are reading less and less.
- 33% of high school graduates will never read a book after they graduate.
- 42% of college graduates will never read another book after they graduate.
- 16% of the total population will not read a single book this year.
Over 250 years ago Thomas Jefferson said, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”
Seeds of Greatness.
If you want to be successful, study other people who are successful and emulate them. Thomas Corley, who is a recognized authority on habits and wealth creation, has studied the habits of high-achieving people. Corley’s research shows it takes the average self-made millionaire 32 years to become rich.
One of the principle seeds of greatness these self-made millionaires share is the habit of reading every day. In his book Rich Habits, Corley sites that 85% of the self-made millionaires included in his study read two or more books every month. They possessed a thirst for knowledge and their reading lists were filled with biographies, history, business, health, leadership, science, how-to, career development and psychology titles.
When we read we are engaging in one of the most viable ways to expand our knowledge and develop a powerful vocabulary.
What are you reading?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
So, I am curious. What are you reading? If someone only had time to read one book, which one would you recommend? What book or books have you given as a gift in the last year? At the end of this post, leave me your thoughts in the comment section.
We are living in an age of ready access to information and rapid change. One of the best strategies we can employ to keep the rapid rate of change from outstripping our base of knowledge is reading.
I love this pearl of reading encouragement from Oscar Wilde, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
15 Will Get You 30
Our pursuit of a better future is fueled by reading. I think of daily reading is like compound interest. You are planting seeds of greatness when you invest time to read every day. Your investment in reading will eventually allow you to do things other people can’t.
An investment of 15 minutes a day in reading will allow you to complete 30 books in a year for an average reader. If you were to read 30 books on any given subject, you will have few peers on the subject.
What’s on your reading list? Today is a great day to begin or recommit to the daily habit of reading.
A Classic: The Art Of War by Sun Tzu.
A Modern Classic: The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews.
Leadership: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John Maxwell.
Current Business: Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith
Parenting: A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle
Critical Thinking: Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre
On the Top of My this Year: Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen
For Fun:Elixir Project by Kary Oberbrunner