Recently I was tasked by FKA’s President, Michael Nolan, to write an article about my motivation to learn continuously. Michael had taken an interest in my reading habits because I am continuously quoting from the books I read during conversations in the office.
I have developed a passion for reading; inhaling books in their many forms on topics that grab my interest. Two years ago I set a goal to read one book per week, 52 per year. My motivation to reach this goal is a deep personal interest in acquiring knowledge; and ultimately wisdom, that I can impart to others. What better short-cut to gain wisdom and insight than to learn from the experiences and expertise of others versus the time it would take me to achieve this on my own! I often refer to the books I read as my “informal mentors”.
A statistic I have often heard is that successful CEOs read, on average, 60 books a year. I said to myself, “What is eight more books? I’ve got this; 60 it will be!” To accomplish my goal, I had to ignore my excuses, and instead identify periods during the week—specifically each day—when I could allocate time to accomplish this feat.
Here is what worked for me:
- Set a goal. Make it a big one!
You must focus on something specific and have a target date of completion. Why not aim high at the same time?
- Establish a routine and stick to it.
I decided to get up earlier each day. This is when my brain is most active and when I can find the quiet I need to focus. I also use the time during my daily commutes, between the country and city, to listen to audiobooks. I close each day with the bed-time read. I allocate 60 minutes each night to read before lights-out. I may only get through a few sentences, a paragraph, or a few pages, but I stick to my daily routine.
- Get started.
At first you might only have a few minutes to read a few pages. Build on that success. Step up and step out; take action and develop the habit. Trust me, it will grow on you!
- Passion, Interests, and Resources.
Stick to the topics that interest you or come highly recommended from a respected source. I will add that most of the books I read often come from recommendations within the book I just read.
In summary, my initial motivation was to acquire knowledge and impart this wisdom to others. My ongoing motivation was built as a direct result of a well “oiled”, yet flexible, daily routine. By committing to these daily habits, I have surpassed my goal of reading 60 books for each of the past two years.
Need a book recommendation? Connect with me here for a few of the titles.