Coach John Wooden instilled a powerful life principle into his players: “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.” He would often tell them to live like they would die tomorrow, but learn like they would live forever. It seems like the desire for continuous growth and learning in many cases has been replaced by distractions such as television and social media. While both are necessary for a balanced life, I would like to see a renewed emphasis placed on promoting growth and learning. Here are a few ways I believe you can achieve this:
1) Build growth and learning into the culture of any group you are involved with, especially with your family and your business. Make an intentional effort to read books together and then have discussions about how you could use that knowledge to better your situation. A healthy discussion about a great book is more productive than last night’s episode of "Naked and Afraid.”
2) Read books that you enjoy. It is so much easier to create a habit of reading and stay on track when you are learning about things that interest you. A boring book is the easiest way to push yourself back to the TV.
3) Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the sharper and stronger and more conditioned it becomes. Unfortunately, when you don't use it, you lose it.
4) In order to make the time to exercise your brain, you may have to trim some fat in other areas of your life. Only fifteen minutes of reading per day can make a big impact over time.
5) The best way to start learning and growing is to create a habit. The best way to create a habit is to follow Stephen Covey's third habit of highly effective people and put the "First Things First.”
Don't expect to start reading a novel a week, but it’s easy to make reading a priority. Not sure where to start? Simply visit amazon.com, order a used book or two, and when a book arrives, start reading the first page!