I recently started reading again.
Doesn’t that sound strange? Clearly, most of us read something every day. After a few minutes of quick reflection, I just realized the bulk of what I read is online. It’s not an unexpected or huge revelation; media has been moving online for the past 15 years and it will continue. By the way… am I the only one who gets annoyed when a link tempts me with a juicy tidbit (“See Miley’s response to claims she’s twerked herself out of a career!” and it points to a video? At least give me a transcript! This is clearly important news.)
Three things about my previous reading habits:
- I was an avid reader growing up. In fact, I come from a long line of bookworms. It was not unusual to find my entire family sitting in the living room together, all reading our own books. Bizarro? Maybe.
- I never abandoned a book. Because I was typically so choosy about what I read, I didn’t want to give up on any book no matter how poorly written or uninteresting it became. (I’m looking at you Stephenie Meyer.)
- I never read two books at the same time. One must always be finished before picking up another. Clearly this doesn’t pertain to school reading.
So what changed?
My attention span completely diminished. I was so accustomed to multi-tasking that I rarely sat through any kind of media, not even movies. I prefer watching a series over a movie. And I continually found myself abandoning my nighttime reading for an hour on my smartphone, reading time-wasters, looking at Pinterest, amusing myself on gossip websites. I’m trying to break that habit.
I just picked up the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I’m not even close to being through, but his message is shouting at me loud and clear. You are the sum of your actions. And by taking small, positive actions every day, you lead yourself to an inevitable positive conclusion. This also holds true for the negative. If you continually make bad, unhealthy choices it will eventually lead you to a negative outcome. It sounds so simple. So why is it so difficult to follow? Because making changes is hard. A lifetime of bad habits are hard to break. This was a really powerful revelation for me that applies to all aspects of life. So I’m making a pledge right now for positive changes in my life, and you can too.
And that starts with reading again. An actual book!
What kind of positive changes can you start making in your life right now?