Hyrum W. Smith of Franklin Covey tells a story about a seminar he once taught on time management. The topic of reading came up, and it was clear that everyone in the room felt it was a worthy enterprise, but few had actually opened a book recently. Hyrum said , “You’ve obviously placed a value on reading, but you’re not doing it. Why aren’t you doing it?”
One man raised his hand and said: “Books don’t ring.”
It’s true, books don’t ring. But when your telephone rings, you stop what you’re doing and answer the call. When your doorbell rings, you at least peek out the window to see who is at the door. When your alarm clock goes off in the morning, you can’t very well sleep through it.
However, when you set a book aside, it doesn’t ring or flash or do anything to grab your attention again. It just sits there on the table gathering dust and waiting for you to pick it up. Books quietly allow you to go about your day, doing nothing to assert themselves into your routine.
There are times when a book may capture your attention to the extent that you can hardly put it down, but not all books worth reading are exciting or riveting. It takes discipline to read. This is the kind of discipline that Jim Rohn called “the bridge between thought and accomplishment.”
Reading is a bridge that can span the gap between what you know and what you should know. Anyone interested in self-development needs to make reading a regular discipline.
If you aren’t an avid reader and you need a little help with this discipline, consider the following: reading only 10 pages per day will allow you to read 3,650 pages each year.
The CHILD Game Plan, a book that NFL agent Bruce Tollner and I wrote about developing a winning game plan for kids, has 163 pages. By reading 10 pages per day, you could read 22 books that length per year. When was the last time you read 22 books in a year?
War and Peace contains 1296 pages. It’s a thick book! Reading 10 pages each day would allow you to completely read through that book almost 3 times in a year! Not that you’d want to, but you get the point.
Now, could you commit to reading 10 pages per day over the next 90 days? If you make that commitment, and stick to it, you will read 900 pages, or just over 4 average length books.
There’s a wealth of information and ideas out there, and you have a choice. You can let that valuable information collect dust, or you can turn the ringer off your phone and pick up a book.
Develop the discipline of reading, and it will enrich your life and business for many years to come.
Will you commit to reading 10 pages a day for the next 90 days? If so, what are the 4 books you plan to read?