Reading is a Waste Of Time

Running circles

Running circles (Photo credit: Dave-a-roni (Dark Spot Photography))

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.

What are you doing to be more intentional doing the things you love?
Rocco
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Intentions Are Everything on the Road to Purpose

Recently I asked my boss for an opportunity to develop my leadership skills. I was given an assignment to teach a short workshop at an upcoming sales meeting. I began putting together some thoughts. Immediately I went into “impress” the boss mode. This is a ridiculous self aggrandizing exercise of compiling how much I know and finding a way to look good. The “what’s in it for them” is getting schooled by me. This misses the point. My purpose is to provide value; to do good. I was focused on looking good. Zig Ziglar said You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. Unless the room is full of groopies rather than my co-workers, I have been working with the wrong intentions. This happens. You may have experienced a lapse in your purpose as I have. By our nature, we think of ourselves first. After all, no one cares more about you than you. You must leave it at that step away from your inherent nature if you live in any society that involves other human beings. You will create more influence. You need other people in order to function and succeed. You need other people on your own journey to find happiness and to live with purpose. Fortunately, I was able to discover my mistake before delivering disastrous results in front my peers. Here are a few take aways you can use to make sure you are “doing good” while “looking good”.

Bumpy Road

Bumpy Road (Photo credit: donrul)

1. Have Purpose: Back to basics. Is your success associated with influencing others to find success?
2. Stay Golden: Remember the Golden Rule? Are you leading in a way you would want to be led?
3. Find happiness in helping others succeed. Helping others bears such wonderful results. Often times, the person sharing learns as much if not more than the person being taught.
4. Be good at what you do. Intentions are nice, but if you don’t have anything to offer, you can’t help anyone.
5. Start with the end in mind. Ask WHY am I doing this. What do I hope to gain? The answer may be startle you to the core.
6. It’s never too late to refocus your intentions. A bumpy road to purpose is better than a straight road away.
How are you going to DO GOOD today?

Rocco De Leo