How Reading Can Change Your Life

August 5th, 2009

Reading in NatureDespite the overwhelming feeling that comes along with the need or desire to learn a new skill or make an important decision, there’s almost always someone we can learn from who has overcome the same challenge. Between books, video, and the internet, we have more access to useful information than ever, but few of us take nearly as much advantage of it as we could.

Almost everything we do in life requires the knowledge of how to do it and this is especially the case when pursuing an important goal. As such, getting what we want out of life often requires a genuine commitment to learning.

If Knowledge is Power, then Books are a Blessing

Many scientists and other types of researchers spend much of their lives chasing down the answer to a single question. If we had to go through this much effort every time we were faced with a significant challenge, chances are that we wouldn’t accomplish much. Fortunately, many of the worlds most intelligent people share their many years of wisdom in books that cost less than what most people earn in a single hour.

This is a tremendous opportunity for personal advancement. No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s most likely a variety of excellent books and other resources that will help you do it. Furthermore, reading will introduce you to new ideas that may change the direction of your life and open the door to fulfilling experiences that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. The fact that more people don’t take advantage of this is a mystery to me.

How Reading has Changed My Life

I’ve always had an inquisitive mind and a need for logical answers. Despite this, I wasn’t always the avid reader and learner that I am today. Reading has provided me with an advanced level of knowledge on a variety of topics including fitness, tennis, software development, website development, reef aquariums, personal development, blogging, and obviously health. Some of these topics represent my deepest interests, and without the knowledge I gained from reading, I wouldn’t be getting half the fulfillment from them. In fact, if I had taken more of an interest in reading and learning earlier in my life, I’m sure I’d be well ahead of where I am today.

Clearly, the most significant impact that reading has had on my life is in regard to my health. I spent more than a decade pushing through life exhausted, irritable, and withdrawn and had a long list of symptoms that I unfortunately rationalized as normal. After finally complaining to a doctor about one of my more annoying symptoms and subsequently discovering I had a major susceptibility to hypoglycemia, I read a book about it, and by doing so, had a revelation that I’ll never forget. Nearly every complaint I had was listed in this book as a symptom of low blood sugar and I suddenly recognized my potential to experience life in a much more vibrant and happy manner than I ever thought possible.

Although I didn’t realize it back then, hypoglycemia was the least of my worries and was merely a symptom of larger underlying problems. However, it made me realize that I had some health issues to address and it ignited a passion within me to learn everything I could and make myself as healthy as possible. Since then, I have literally transformed my health, and in turn, my life. Without the initiative to pick up a book and start learning, I may have never realized this opportunity for improvement, and without the persistence to continue learning, I could very well still be pushing through life exhausted. The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.

Transcending the Mainstream

Although it’s easy to assume mainstream information to be the most effective and logical information available, this is often far from the case. Unfortunately, money and political influence have a lot more to do with the spread of information than it’s credibility or usefulness. As such, some of the best answers to the most significant questions and problems are only accessible to those who are willing to search for them, and reading books is one of the best ways to do it.

Even before I started learning about natural health, I always had an intuitive feeling that the symptom chasing approach of modern medicine was flawed in a fundamental way. My intuition turned out to be right and reading helped me understand why conventional medicine wasn’t doing much for me. It also helped me to further realize the significant need to take responsibility for my health and continue learning which is what enabled me to do much more for my health than the variety of doctors and specialists who I had sought for help.

Start Building a Better Life

As valuable as I consider reading to be, it’s worthless unless you take action. One of the reasons why I think that people don’t get as much benefit from books as they could is because they don’t do anything with the information that they learn. If you’re motivated to find the answers you need to improve your life, start reading and take action! To help you get started, here are some of the books in my library that have left a lasting impression on me.

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