How Books Saved My Life
Before my twenty-second birthday, I would have read, at most, one book a year. At the time, I didn’t understand the point of books, we had Google, YouTube and movies … Why spend hours reading a book when I had information on demand?
However, my perception of books shifted entirely shortly after I deferred from university. This would also be the year I stopped drinking and by the end of that year, nearly every aspect of my life had completely changed.
As I was no longer partying or going to class, the majority of my time was spent working, exercising or reading. And while I don’t remember the first self-development book I read, the first book that truly shifted something within me was Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini.
Throughout the book, Melissa described her journey from self-sabotage to self-love and as I read the book I felt as though she was speaking directly to me. Until then, I didn’t realise the abundance of possibilities that were available to me. Yet, here was a woman who had hit rock bottom, built herself back up and achieved so much as a result of this experience.
Once I’d finished that book, I then went on a reading spree, often reading one to two books a week. Unlike anything else, books provided me with comfort during a time where I was utterly confused about who I was and who I wanted to be. They were portals into different worlds, ones where I could learn from some of the greatest minds through the simple act of reading.
Truth be told, books saved me … alongside quitting alcohol, it is books that have inspired the most positive changes in my life. It was books that helped me acknowledge and face my limiting beliefs, learn about and improve my health and understand and restore my relationship with myself.
Books also humbled me in a way like never before. Prior to my obsession with reading, I believed that I knew everything there was to know. Yet, it was through reading that I realised, that there is a lot we think we know but truly don’t. As Socrates famously stated …
True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all.
So, for those of you who are interested in taking up reading, I urge you to start as soon as possible. Think of anything that you’re experiencing, anything that you’d like to learn about or anything you’d like to improve upon and read books on that subject.
Don’t simply read what’s popular and trending … "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." [Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood]
Instead, read ferociously and from a variety of sources. Some of the best books to grace the earth are books from centuries ago. They are books that have transcended time and location, that are still as applicable today as they were when they were written.
Also, it’s important to remember that merely reading a book will not yield results. While one can read countless books, it is taking action on the knowledge that you have learned that will ultimately produce positive outcomes.
Don’t just read a book once ... Re-read it, take notes in the margins, underline and highlight important sentences. Dog-ear important pages, re-write your learnings, talk about them, teach other people what you’ve learnt, research what you’ve read and understand not only the words on the pages but also the mindsets behind them.
Now, I want to hear from you! What's your favourite book? How did it change your life? Let me know in the comments below or message me directly.