Reading has been all the rage for the past few years. That is, it has been all the rage for self-help experts to tell us all that we need to read more.
They say that reading more will solve all of our problems and propel us further both personally and professionally.
The truth is that most people screaming at you online to read more are writers. And those writers are hoping you’ll decide to read more of their work. Nonetheless, we think it's not bad advice, but simply telling you to “read more” is rudimentary guidance at best.
What we’ve found matters most when it comes to reading for professional purposes is your mindset and what you do with the concepts afterwards.
When we say mindset, what we’re talking about is dropping the notion that more is more. You don’t need to spend 2 hours reading through 15 articles on the same topic. That two hours would be much better spent reading 3-5 articles, analyzing them and discussing them with your peers.
Once unique perspectives and real-world experiences are tied together, concepts are solidified for us in a way that reading can never achieve.
Then we must take those concepts and do something tangible with them.
Apply the knowledge you’ve accumulated in the real world. That’s how we learn. Reading simply helps to frame up concepts so that we can apply them.
Ask any successful business owner and they’ll tell you that the greatest lessons they have to offer stem from events they actually experienced. Those anecdotes are what great business books are made of, but there is a huge difference between experiencing them yourself and simply reading about them.
So should you read more? Hell yes, but do so intelligently. Discuss what you read with your peers and apply what you’ve read in the real world. The only way you can truly learn is through your own experiences.