Not surprisingly, reading is by all accounts a common trait amongst the worlds billionaires. The one thing that binds them all together is one other than reading. And not just occasionally, almost all billionaires read a ton of books. But as you dive deeper into this, it becomes so much clearer with these books playing a major role in shaping who they are.
Reading lists are shared like trophy cabinets, it’s a symbol of one’s aptitude for knowledge and experimentation. Warren Buffett says, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” Yes who would have thought, he spends up to 80% of his time either reading or thinking.
Earlier this year i picked up the book ‘Business Greatest Adventures‘ after reading Bill Gates annual reading list – which is now a hotly anticipated event. Gates’ says “I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”
Elon Musk, the modern day Iron Man has often gone two books a day. Though Musk has degrees in Physics and Economics, he is self-taught in aerospace and automotive engineering, ala SpaceX and Tesla. Sorry college, not needed.
Oprah Winfrey is famous for her love of reading. She accredits much of her success from a young girl, to difficult business challenges to reading. It’s the reading she says ‘that had her wanting something greater.’ Oprah’s book club has also gained a lot of influence in the literary world.
So why do these people read so much? There are so many benefits to reading. Let’s explore just 5 which i’ve discovered:
Emulate – that’s right, by reading a lot about someone you admire you’re exposed to their experiences, influences and success. It’s a great first step in that direction.
Ideas – Ideas are generated by other ideas, more often non related ideas. So the more you read, the more your mind is mapping, connecting and solving problems your subconscious is tackling. The book Medici Effect is a great example of this.
Dinner Dates – dinner is the perfect occasion to tackle the world’s problems. A broader base of knowledge gives you more enlightened opinions, vocabulary and of course more invitations.
Relax – reading is a great way to relax the mind, dive deep into a subject and really learn. It also helps you to slow down, see things clearer and take a breath.
Happiness – learning is one of the easiest ways to feel happy. So long as you’re learning, you’re going to find yourself becoming more happy as dopamine enters the system and real discovery occurs. Find relevance in your reading for best effect here.
It’s 5 goodies, but you’ll very likely discover more. So stop the social, take a break, and pull out a book and start exploring that life that could be yours.