There are many factors and habits that support the achievement of success. One of the most common habits is avid reading. This is not surprising considering that reading can expand our knowledge, skills and improve cognitive function.
It is widespread knowledge among the success community that reading is a common habit of most successful people. Some well known avid readers include Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Tony Robins and Mark Cuban.
Of course, we can access content through other forms including video, audio and general communication. However, each of these have their own benefits and drawbacks, and some are more suited to different people in different situations.
Because reading is a much more focused and intimate process, it can provide more than just knowledge or entertainment. Reading provides a matrix of success-oriented benefits that many other mediums may not provide.
In this article I will cover all the success-oriented benefits that are achieved through reading. Of course, other forms of content consumption will include some, but not all benefits.
You Become What You Pay Attention To
By now there should be no surprise that we become what we pay attention to the most. This is especially true regarding the people we interact with or are exposed to.
Unfortunately, for most people, they are not privileged to be surrounded by highly successful people. Often, they do not have immediate access to world class success icons or a true success mentor. This limitation is often due to location or lack of money.
However, we can easily access these success icons or other great influencers through their books, articles or other written form. Almost anything that you want to learn or achieve can be accessed through written form.
Whenever you read a piece of content, you are tapping into the knowledge and mindset of that author. Essentially, you have the privilege of spending quality time with the author. This allows you to learn or adopt their mindset, thoughts, advice and outlook in an area of interest.
One of the greatest benefits of reading is the discovery of new words and their uses.
Increasing your vocabulary in your field of interest will provide a deeper understanding of that field. Just think about how many times you read or heard something but was lost or confused because of unfamiliar words and their uses.
Additionally, expanding your vocabulary will help you sound intelligent and more relatable to others in your field. This is especially important when networking, participating in meetings or being required to make a speech or an announcement.
Improved Writing Skills
The ability to write effectively and professionally is an essential asset for the achievement and sustainability of success. Often, we will be required to communicate through email, social media and other written forms including applications, permits and other documents.
Of course, its only natural for reading to improve our writing skills due to the increase in our knowledge and vocabulary. This will allow us to write and express ourselves much more effectively and intelligently.
Improved Thinking Skills And Understanding
Reading shapes and broadens our perspective. It can positively influence the way we think and how we see the world. Reading will influence the way we behave, how we present ourselves, react to things, people, events and experiences.
This is greatly beneficial from a success achievement standpoint because it broadens our awareness and influences our decision making. This gives us a greater ability to identify and choose options and opportunities that fuel success.
Reading Is Exercise For The Brain
The brain not only controls the body’s physiological functions, but it also provides and regulates success dependant functions. These functions include memory, concentration, attention span and creativity.
Like muscle, the brain performs on a “use it or lose it” basis. The more we exercise the brain, the stronger and broader our cognitive function develops.
Memory is the storage center of everything that we have learned through knowledge, experiences or other influences that we have been exposed to.
Because reading constantly provides new material, it strengthens the brain’s ability to retain new information.
Additionally, the more knowledge that we gain in a specific area, the more it supports and relates to existing knowledge. This allows the brain to tie everything together which will naturally improve memory on that specific subject.
Concentration and Attention Span are an important element to the achievement of success. The act of reading naturally improves concentration and attention span.
By reading, the brain is forced to sustain focus on the continuing flow of words and the unfolding of a thought, storyline or a piece of knowledge.
Creativity is a must for long term success. Anybody can copy a success model or idea to generate initial momentum. However, because the world is changing rapidly, innovative ideas will be the life blood of continued success.
Yes, watching a video can provide knowledge and ignite the imagination and creativity. However, our imagination and creativity will be greatly influenced by the visuals that was presented. In many cases this can be greatly beneficial.
However, by reading the same content without video allows our creative theatre to form its own unique version of what is being read. This allows the imagination to run wild without the influence of someone else’s visual creation.
As a result, the imagination is naturally forced to grow and evolve to a higher level of creativity resulting in new and innovative ideas or solutions.
There is no doubt, trying to achieve success at any level can often create stress from time to time. Stress, despite what many may think, is a normal part of life. A healthy dose of stress from time to time strengthens our ability to cope and overcome challenging situations. However, too much stress or sustained periods of stress can be harmful to our health.
According to many studies, reading can greatly reduce stress. One research conducted by the University of Sussex, suggests that reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent.
The act of focusing during reading allows the body and mind to relax and naturally lower blood pressure. The act of focused reading puts us in the zone or a different headspace. The process of reading pulls your mind away from the outside world and stressful thoughts or events. This naturally lower stress levels.
Of course, in order to relieve stress through reading, you must read content that you enjoy and which puts you in a relaxed state. Avoid content that upsets you or triggers stress. A win-win situation is when you read content that relaxes you and provides success-oriented knowledge or influence.
Adopt The Habit Of Reading
If your goal is to achieve and maintain success, then adopt the habit of reading. Find authors who write about the type of success that you are trying to achieve, or those who provide a positive influence in your life.
Reading can be a little challenging at first for those who are not used to it. By making reading a daily habit it will soon become effortless and enjoyable.
Read, enjoy, but do not forget to exercise and enjoy other areas of your life. The goal is to be diverse and adaptable to changing events along the journey.