Steve Ogan, one of my mentors, says “ Some of the answers to your prayers are hidden somewhere in a book.”
Reading is one of my hobbies. It is almost impossible to find me without a book I am reading at any given point in my life. Books actually eat up a significant amount of my personal budget. In one of my shopping escapades, I spent close to a million shillings on books.
Like I have said before, there is no habit that has had a great influence on my life like reading has. I read at least 2 books each month. This implies that by the end of the year, I have read about 24 books. According to MentorBox, an average CEO reads about 50 books a year, I am doing my best to catch up with that number.
I haven’t always been a great reader.So, how did I get into this habit of reading? How did it all start out?
Here are the 3 things I did to force myself to get into this habit.
Carrying a book in my bag everyday: Since 2007,, I have been carrying a backpack with me almost every single day.. The backpack usually has my laptop. I knew that for me to start reading I needed to constantly have the books on me.So, in 2011, I started carrying along a book everyday. It did not matter whether I read it or not. I simply kept one in my bag. It took me a couple of months to start reading the books I was carrying. I actually started reading them out of guilt for carrying books I wasn’t reading.
Buying books using my hard-earned money: With time, simply carrying the books in my bag was not sufficient. I started to get sloppy and would avoid putting them in my bag all together. This is when I decided to employ another tactic. Allocating a specific amount of my monthly budget to buying books. When it got to this point, I would always feel bad having spent money on the book and not read it .This forced me to read all the books I was buying.
I got into a book club: Finally, I got into a book club to force me to read more. I had to form the first book club with a couple of friends and made sure I was on the reviewers list often. This always forced me to read the books I had bought and actually share the contents with others. I am currently a member of a book club at my workplace and in the last one year of operation, have reviewed the most times as a member. Being on the review rota always forces me to read because I have to share at the agreed time.
These 3 actions have enabled me to move from conscious incompetence to unconscious competence in my reading. I hope you too can adopt similar strategies to help you pick up this simple and yet very impactful habit.