I love to read a good book. In fact, I love to read a bad book. That’s my problem. While reading is a key element to finding success, done without purpose it can waste your time and kill your dream. In fact, doing anything unintentionally has that danger. Living an intentional life toward success involves purposeful actions. It also involves creating. This is what Seth Godin calls “shipping”. It may be written content or it may be widgets. What your shipping doesn’t matter, ship something. When I discovered that I have something awesome to ship, I was shocked to realize how much time I was wasting consuming. When we are consuming, we are providing for someone else’s dream. Certainly some consumption is necessary for survival, and some is directly relevant for our own dreams (i.e., motivation, inspiration, facts, and ideas). We are all provided, free of charge, an allotment of 24 hours each day. I heard once that Alaska gets 24.5 but I cannot verify that. When we consume too much, as in my case, reading, we are wasting time we could be using to create (our ultimate purpose). My high school economics teacher called that the “opportunity cost”. For me reading is relaxing and fulfilling. It is also a distraction. Remember Steven Pressfeld’s resistance. Reading has become “covert resistance”. The resistance has taken over something that is clearly an element of my personal growth and turned it into a distraction. My goal is not a goal to read, reading is a tool to achieve my goal of being the best person I can be. As covert resistance, It is a distraction taking away from the real work. I am currently reading Tim Feriss’s hit book The Four Hour Work Week. He shares insights on information overload and reads only fiction before bed to relax him. I chooses to be very specific with what he puts in his head. That’s not for me. What I did learn from him is that we need to be purposeful about the things we are doing.
If a certain task you are doing do not specially fulfill an objective or goals of yours, STOP!
As a solution, I’ve decided to get more intentional toward my reading. Instead of a blanket goal of reading 30 books in 2014, I am going to specify that these books are motivating me to create, inspiring me to be a better person, teaching a specific skill I need and want, or are entertaining fiction for my periodic fiction break. I’m also going to stop reading each books once it provides me with enough value. You may be seeing the resistance put a sneak attack on you. Over focus on running, writing too many blogs and not working on your book, over booking appointments, are examples. Be aware and remain intentional.