Once you understand how to align your reading habits with your aspirations, you know how to leverage your best skills to succeed.

Readers are succeeders. Period. I have many friends, business associates and students that have said at some point that they just don’t read. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but you need to fix that. The wealth of the world’s knowledge has been written down so that we can learn from it. If you want to learn the theory of relativity, how to bake an amazing chocolate cake or understand how dolphins communicate, there’s a book on that. Or an e-book. Or a blog. With just 30 minutes of reading a day, you boost your brain power.

Not only does your brain activity get a nice jolt from reading, but you gain insights and learn new ideas to effectively leverage new skills and innovative solutions you may have never even considered before.

Bottom line?

There is no substitute for reading.

And while a lot of people read for pleasure, I like to learn. The challenge is that I’m not a gifted learner. It takes time and effort for me to turn words into understanding. But it’s worth the time and effort.

Powerful Books Change Your Life

Books have changed my life.

At 15, my mom forced me to read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Pretty heavy reading for a teenager. I didn’t understand it. So I read it again. And again. And again. Persistence paid off because I finally understood it. Since then, I have faced the same challenge with hundreds of great books that have shaped my career and my life.

The operative word there is ‘challenge’.

Reading and learning don’t come easy to me and I am not alone. But I need to learn so I never give up. My strategy has always been to highlight (or use sticky tabs) to mark portions of the books that I know I need to work at to understand.

I recently found a very helpful tip from an opera singer of all people. It was part of an article from Business Insider. If you’re one of those people that has issues with the learning part of reading, you might want to check out the full article. It starts like this:

“In his book “Fluent Forever,” opera singer Gabriel Wyner suggests that one of the best ways to learn a new language is to practice remembering it. In other words, instead of reading and re-reading a list of vocabulary words, you should read it once and then test yourself repeatedly.”

I have started to work at this. See, just another example of why reading is so important. I learned by reading an article about learning by reading. I like the way that sounds…