Despite what you might think my life has not always been an adventure, but I can definitely tell how reading made life an adventure for me.
Act 1: Setting
When I was a kid I hated reading. I’m not sure why, but I think I have a pretty good idea.
As a kid we all try to fit in and at some point in my life someone told me that only nerds read. I don’t know why I believed this so easily or why that made such an impact. Perhaps it was that even though my parents were readers, I don’t remember my parents ever sitting to enjoy a good book. It was typically something they did in private.
And so as I went through school, I would avoid reading books. I would find ways around it. Sure I would read, and I would even read passages for school work. But when it came to full-fledged books, it was almost as if I was duty bound to avoid them. I missed a lot of the classics in school and didn’t do so great on the related tests.
But something happened after I left school, and it’s how reading made life an adventure for me.
Act 2: Conflict
As I was focusing on becoming successful, I came across a piece of advice. A very successful entrepreneur said that if you wanted to be successful you had to read. He went on to say that he didn’t know any people who created successful businesses that didn’t read at least one book a month, many of them much more.
I took that to heart, and I changed. It made an amazing impact on my life, but before I explain how reading made life an adventure for me, let me explain three stepping stones to help others undo harmful triggers like I had about reading.
We can’t change other people, but there are things we can do to help others want to change and motivate them as they change. If you find someone who is stuck with a negative trigger that is stopping them from being all they can be, try these three stepping stones:
- Pay Attention: In order to see subtle hints that someone is doing something that’s not benefiting them, you have to pay attention. Giving people we care about our focus helps us better help them when they need it.
- Listen: We often want to fix, when what people really need is validation. When people need to feel validated and we try to fix them, it makes them feel broken which is the opposite of validation, and so they become closed off. If instead we listen, they will feel validated and, often, realize their own need for change, although this may take a long time and a lot of patience.
- Tell Your Own Story: Sometimes part of being validated is knowing you’re not alone. If you want to help someone else who’s going through something, when the moment presents itself explain your own struggles with the same thing. It has a way of showing others they have an ally.
When I think about how reading made life an adventure for me, I think about these stepping stones and how to help others.
Act 3: Resolution
I’m thrilled that I came across that advice. It changed my life. I’ve read over four hundred books and have written five of my own. I’ve also written over a thousand blog posts and scores of scripts.
Books have helped me shape my world immeasurably to start my own business, put out dozens of videos, help tens of thousands of people, speak to leaders at Fortune 500 campuses and universities, and much more.
People often look at how you can get lost in a book and find yourself in a world of adventure, but I see it differently. Sure there are great books you can read to take you to different worlds, but I see how reading made life an adventure for me. Instead of being lost in a book about adventure, I’m living a life full of it.
Now how can reading make life an adventure for you?