Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is Your Vision Limited?

Do you use the same 5 words in conversation? Are you embarrassed by how small your vocabulary is? Have you wondered why you have problems analyzing ideas and new information? Do you lack vision for your life? If any of the above describes you, then I have the likely answer.

You don’t read.  

 And no, I don’t mean magazines or the funnies section of newspapers. I mean books; literature, fiction, non-fiction.

We are living in the techie generation. Our obsession lies with the latest iPhones, iPads, computers, PlayStation, and the rest of the lot. Reading has become some sort of “uncool”, obsolete practice. The problem is that the rise in technology comes with a drought in deep thought. Most of the techie generation, a.k.a. “our generation”, have a clear disconnection from history and people in the world at large; not to mention difficulty mustering up more than a “sure thing,” “what had happened was,” or “like I said” in conversation.  And if that isn’t bad enough, our ability to dream and envision a future brighter than what we know seems to have flown out the window too. The solution is simple.

Bring back “uncool” reading.  

Books expand our understanding of the world and what is possible while introducing us to new terminologies and methods of critical thinking. They have the magical ability to transport us from our living rooms to places like the Saharan Desert, post-World War I Germany, 20th century Japan, the Victorian Era, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and more. And then there are books on personal development or skill building that help us enrich and enhance our personal lives and our work. (I'm currently reading Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown and I read my favorite book, my Bible, on a daily basis.)
Reading increases our focus and concentration. Reading can make you less judgmental. It helps you further understand the psychology behind human behavior, depending on the book and the story. It’s great for improving your memory too. 

Reading is like exercise for the mind. 

We all know how our bodies feel when we don’t stay physically active. (trust me, as a lover of starchy food and not of gyms, I know.) That’s the same thing that happens when we don’t read. Our minds feel drained of energy, sluggish, and under-productive.

We need to read. 

Now I’m not saying only readers can be deep, intelligent, or cultured. You can travel the world, get introspective, and surround yourself with great minds to become all of those. I am saying however that the people I’ve met in my life that have an interest and knowledge in history, diverse cultures, plays, museums, and/or art tend to have a similar love for books. Also, almost all the people I respect as great thinkers and great contributors to society have mentioned reading as a constant habit in their lives. Not to mention that on a personal note, my mental acuity and memory are at its sharpest when I am in the daily habit of reading books.  

If you've never been one for books and are ready to try something different to improve your life, NOW is the time to start. I say we get mentally unlimited this year. I say we get clearer vision(s) for our lives and start walking in purpose. I say we start adding words like "mindfulness" and "extrapolate" into our vocabulary list and start dropping others like "bummin'" and "shit". I say we read more books. 

You don't have to read all the books out there; some will suffice. Go ahead, pick up a book or two…or three this month.

Besides actually being good for us, they’re pretty darn enjoyable too/:

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  1. Replies
    1. I love that you're a fellow book - lover Vegan! I read so much when I was younger and I don't doubt that is where a lot of my critical thinking abilities and imagination come from. I stopped reading sometime in college and definitely felt the negative consequences of it. Now I'm back in the groove of it and I'm loving it.

  2. I love books, I love everything about books; there's nothing better than the smell of books (the old book smell AND the new book smell) but I have to admit, growing up, reading just wasn't my thing. I grew into it.

    They are trying to encourage Children's reading here in Australia through various programs and actually there's a company trying a new "book swap" idea, where they just put up book shelves randomly around the city and you can go an borrow a book. I like the idea of encouraging people to read.

    I feel like reading AND writing are fading fast because of technology, there's now less emphasis in the school curriculum (here in Oz) in regards to writing and I really think it's because in today's world, we barely WRITE anything, snail mail is becoming obsolete because we have e-mails; people don't WRITE books, they type them; there's just very little reason to pick up a book or a pen these's's really sad, people are missing out!

    1. I love the smell of books too Kerri! And the crisp feel of the pages of new books. I truly get giddy when I get a new book, like it's a new pair of Jimmy Choo's.

      I've never heard of the book swap idea, it sounds great. I hope the youth take advantage of it. Like you said, technology has drastically reduced the level of reading and writing which is scary, especially with what you said about the school curriculum in Oz. More and more kids have a problem reading and understanding, talking (text lingo is the new form of speech), and they don't know how to properly communicate their thoughts/feelings which makes them even more confusing to one another.

      My suggestion would be fewer Androids and game consoles for birthdays/Christmas and more books as gifts instead.