“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” – A C Grayling
Next to my bed on my bedside table I have 7 books. Most of them are books related to personal development. The other few are business or finance related. I tend to read more non-fiction than I do a good novel. The reason being is I love to learn and apply proven strategies into my own life. The downside is that as a result I am not as creative (although The Start of Happiness has become a great way for me to explore and develop this!).
However, the truth is these books have been sitting on my bedside table for the last 2 years and for some of them I haven’t even read a page.
Whenever I come across a good book I put it in this pile, thinking to myself that “I have to read this at some point”. However, life gets in the way. The only time I used to read was on holidays.
Something has changed in my life. I have now read six books this year and we’re only a few months in. I’m feeling more motivated, confident and in-charge of my life than I have ever felt before. There’s just something about reading that draws you in. It gets your mind flowing. It does actually get your creative juices flowing. It helps you to take action which is the critical piece of the life puzzle.
Why has all this changed all of a sudden?
A beautiful thing has happened.
I now catch public transport.
In fact, my productivity levels have gone through the roof since I’ve started catching public transport. I’m currently sitting on the train as we speak heading over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and I’ve already typed 300 words of this post. This is a different day for me however, as normally I read.
The six books I have read are:
- The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (by Patrick M Lencioni)
- The Seven Secrets to Wealth (by John Fitzgerald)
- The Art of Possibility (by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander)
- The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins)
- Screw It, Let’s Do It (by Richard Branson)
- Catching Fire (by Suzanne Collins)
To be able to read six books in just a few months and at no extra disadvantage to the use of my time feels great. Now, I think I’ll save the topic of productivity for another week, but my juices are flowing right now as a result of reading and I just need to get the message out to you that reading is amazingly awesome.
What has motivated me about the 6 books I have read? Let’s explore:
Book #1: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
The first book I read this year was The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. This book is an amazing read for anyone that is looking at building a team, be it managers in business, coaches in sports teams, teachers in school and even ‘family teams’.
To put this into context of how I have applied the learnings from this book into my own life, I’ll let you in on some details on my own life and my own team.
As the Area Talent Manager for Australasia in a well-known multinational company, I am responsible for all leadership, training and development, performance management, reward & recognition and motivation tools, team building tools, coaching and mentoring framework, employer branding, culture and wellbeing strategies and more. This is mostly part of implementing an effective talent (people) attraction and retention strategy. I am responsible for the markets of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.
Now, this is a LOT to cover, and all I have is 3 people in my team. Working as a team and being as effective and efficient as possible is critical to our success.
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team identifies 5 key areas of which if one is lacking, the team will be dysfunctional.
The book has shaped the way I conduct my meetings with my team as well as interact with each team member on a daily basis. As a result, we have been able to implement some big initiatives in the last couple of months that will see ongoing success and return on investment well into the future.
Book #2: The Seven Secrets to Wealth
The second book I have read this year is The Seven Secrets to Wealth by John Fitzgerald. This has to be the most straight-forward, simple book on property investing that I have ever read.
If you’re keen to learn the ins and outs of property investing, then I highly recommend this book. Note that the content and data is based primarily on the Australian property market.
But how has reading this book motivated me?
While reading this book, my mind was buzzing with ideas around how to make cashflow not only in property but also from other sources. It motivated me to attend a couple of seminars and look more deeply into the property market. As a result, I have recently seen a consultant who has mapped out a schedule for property investing for me. Whether or not I start doing it is another question… but you never get results if you never take action!
On top of this, it reinforced the fact that wealth is not built through working as an employee in a company. It has motivated me and inspired me to look into alternative sources of income to ensure I retire happy, healthy and wealthy.
Book #3: The Art of Possibility
Ok, I’m going to admit. This was the least favourite of my books that I have read this year.
After hearing some great reviews of this book and with a title that just screams out something that I’d be excited in, I was overly disappointed.
The book was a lot more ‘technical’ than I expected, digging quite deeply into one’s conscious. The other thing that I didn’t enjoy were the examples provided. The authors are part of a world-class orchestra and all of their examples revolve around this. Simply put, I couldn’t relate to this book.
In saying that, I’m glad I gave the book a shot. However because of my low levels of engagement it did not motivate me to take action in my life.
What I learned from reading a disappointing, low-engaging book like this is that if you’re not feeling engaged while reading, then don’t read it! You need to feel excited and energized but what you’re reading. If you’re doing this, then you know you have found something that you are passionate about and want to actually apply the principles into your own life.
Hopefully you’re somewhat energized and excited while reading this 😉
Keep in mind, this is purely my opinion on this book and as per other reviews I’m sure you might be able to get a lot from this. Don’t just dismiss this book because of my feedback, there are loads of positive reviews on this book. The key message I want to get across is to find another book if you’re not feeling engaged, motivated or inspired by it… I did, and it helped me regain that excitement, being book number four.
Book #4: The Hunger Games
This book didn’t provide the same level as motivation as a couple of the other books, however it absolutely captured my imagination. And imagination is so important when it comes to being able to look for opportunities and create success in your life.
While reading this book, it was one of the highlights of my day. I was absolutely engaged every time I read The Hunger Games and I would eagerly await my next train trip so I could continue reading.
The Hunger Games created more happiness in my life. Reading the book was great, but so was the anticipation. Anticipation is half the value of happiness. When you anticipate something with excitement you are happy and motivated during this time.
Reading ‘The Hunger Games’ proved this to me.
Ever read a book where you can’t put it down? This is exactly how I felt reading this book. This is fantastic. It creates energy. It creates positively. It fosters your imagination and it gets your juices flowing. This is what reading is all about!
Book #5: Screw It, Let’s Do It
This has by far been the most enjoyable read for me this year. Richard Branson has had a life like no other. It’s absolutely extraordinary and such an interesting read. His business ideas and his success are based on such an optimism and positive outlook like I have never heard of.
This book has been a major catalyst for me in exploring business opportunities and taking action. More importantly, it has heavily reinforced the fact that you have to be having fun in whatever it is that you do. If you’re not waking up super-excited and passionate about what you’re doing every day then you need to make a change.
Richard Branson did this on a number of occasions. When you’re passionate and interested in something you are also much more likely to succeed. Branson represents the epitome of demonstrating this.
I now have a plan in place to make some huge life changes and this book has been a big confirming factor for me. More on these big life changes shortly 🙂
Book #6 Catching Fire (Part Two of the Hunger Games)
The second part of the Hunger Games is just as good as the first. Again, it captured my imagination and helped build excitement, positivity and anticipation that led to more energy in my day.
I’m actually also half-way through the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy and I’m absolutely loving it! Will be done with book #7 shortly 🙂
What Are You Reading?
What are you currently reading?
Are you getting motivated, excited or energized by what you’re reading? If not, then ask yourself why are you reading it? Explore new books and find what truly excites you. You will not only learn some new things, but you might just uncover a hidden passion or interest of yours. Perhaps it might create the little bit of motivation you need.
Whatever you do, make sure you continue reading. And if you’re not reading a book at the moment, head to the local library and grab yourself an exciting read. You won’t regret it 🙂
What are you reading or what have you read that has motivated you to change something in your life?