Header4Would you like to become a world-class expert in some field? You can. And the path to expertise is reading. That’s right, reading! We are told that the basis of becoming an expert is to read in a chosen subject area for one hour a day for seven years, you’ll become an expert in that field. Earl Nightingale said many years ago that just one hour of reading a day in your field would catapult you to the top of your field within three years. Further, Brian Tracy has said that if you read one book per month, it will move you into the top 1% of earners in our society and make you one of the smartest, best educated and most competent people in your field.

I love to read and have been reading since my teenage years. But I have not always been a good reader. I know it sounds silly, but becoming a good reader involves more than reading. I have heard the statement, “I am not a good reader” from scores and scores of people through the years. The fact is, many who say that do not realize that the reason they are not good readers is simply because they don’t read. Because I love books, I’ve been asked on many occasions about my reading habits and how I came to enjoy it so much. The fact is, over the years I have taught myself several principles that have changed the way I read, what I read and my reading comprehension. So, over the next several columns, let me pass them on to you, with the assurance that if you practice them consistently, you will become a better reader and look forward to reading like never before.

TIP# 1: Approach reading Positively… Approach to reading is nine-tenths of the battle. Perhaps because of past experiences like school or work, where you were required or have no choice about what you read, you developed a negative attitude, and consequently view reading more as a task than an opportunity. If that is the case, then your attitude is your biggest enemy to becoming a better reader. So it has to change. That means you must change your approach and start seeing reading as an opportunity to grow not a task to complete. If you approach reading as a task, that is exactly what it will become. But if you approach it as an opportunity to grow, learn, and stretch, it will change you. In time you will begin to look forward to a good book, or an informative article for the value that it adds to your mind and your life.

TIP# 2: Learn your reading Pace… Too much emphasis is placed on how fast a person reads. I learned along time ago that I have a reading pace—slower than some people and faster than others. But staying within that comfortable pace is essential to benefitting and enjoying whatever it is that I am reading. Likewise, discover your own pace and don’t worry about how it stacks up against the pace of someone else. For years I’ve heard people say, “I don’t read very fast” as if apologizing for their pace. When I first began reading as a teenager, frankly I was very slow and didn’t comprehend very well. Today I read relatively fast, but that is the result of years of reading and becoming more proficient with time. It’s similar to exercising a muscle… the more you exercise, the stronger it becomes; the more you read the more proficient your reading pace becomes. But pace is also determined by the content you are reading. You should always keep in mind that some material has to be digested slowly and thoughtfully, while some material is light and quickly devoured. The key is to avoid making your reading pace a reading race. Instead let it be a comfortable journey so that you can enjoy every facet along the way.

More to come next installment…

 

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