“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
—Edmund Burke, 18th Century Irish Statesman
Image from Flickr by Sebastien Wiertz
Think back to your biology or life science classes in high school. How much do you recall about the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, or in the case of today’s quote, the digestive system?
The journey a single bite of food takes from our mouth, into and through the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and colon takes somewhere between 18 and 24 hours.
What do you think would happen if the length of digestion time were cut in half, and food was processed in 9 to 12 hours instead? What percent of the vital nutrients would be available to nourish our bodies?
Consider speed reading, executive book summaries, the classic CliffNotes or Monarch notes – and even Twitter – as ways we short-cut the learning process. What valuable nuggets of wisdom are being missed or lost through the use of short-cuts?
Where specifically would greater reflection on the materials you are currently reading make the biggest difference?
Consider re-reading one of your most highly prized and valuable books from your past. Read it slowly, with the intent of digesting and teaching the most important lessons to a class composed of people you know would benefit the most.
Please let me know which book you would re-read, and what you discovered in the process.
“Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
—Mason Cooley, Late American Aphorist
Photo by Laëtitia Buscaylet on Unsplash
My mother, Rose, was the most avid reader I’ve ever known. As a boy, I would frequently go with her to the library where, every three weeks, she would pick a new batch of 12 books. She devoured them every evening after dinner.
I recall her frustration on one occasion, in that she could not find, in our small local library, enough books of interest that she had not already read.
Although she was never a world traveler or college graduate, she took countless trips with her vivid imagination – wherever her written portals to adventure would take her.
Consider visiting your local library or bookstore to pick up a book that will take you on a great adventure, from the comfort of your favorite chair.
“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.”
—Joseph Joubert, 19th Century French Essayist
Image from Flickr by Saimad
Because I am heavily invested in personal and professional development, I am always on the lookout for the next ground-breaking book. I thrive on new ideas and the concept of finding a better way to improve the world.
If you are like me, you sometimes find new books a bit of a letdown in that they often repackage old ideas in ways that fall short of the originals.
Consider a Google search on this phrase:
The greatest ___________ books of all time. Fill in the blank with whatever types of books you value and enjoy most.
“When you read a book, you hold another’s mind in your hands.”
-James Burke, British broadcaster and author
image from cntraveler.com
Throughout my childhood and into my early adult years it was rare for me to read anything but an occasional comic book. My mother, Rose, meanwhile, was a voracious reader, often consuming 10-12 books every three weeks—the maximum allowed by our local library.
Although her formal education ended when she graduated from high school, she was more highly intelligent, articulate, and “in the know” than most college graduates. I greatly admired this quality in her and adopted her practices to a good degree throughout my various careers. This is especially true in my work as a Coach, in which I often get to share the minds of others through their wonderful, world-expanding books.
How would a good book related to your existing interests, challenges, or priorities provide a mind-expanding contribution to your world?
Consider the practice of always having a good book handy, so your mind is always expanding.
Click THIS LINK to see some of the world’s most amazing and beautiful libraries. They clearly demonstrate the honor given to books and learning.
“…one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
– Will Rogers
I love to learn: it is one of my signature strengths. I take a great interest in the world of blogging and books, because they constantly feed this passion.
A book, for me, can be a source of crystallized wisdom from someone I may have never met, who took the time to share their knowledge, insight and perspective of perhaps many years.
Who are the people in your world (that may not necessarily be smarter) that have much to contribute? Are you committed to having open ears and an open mind, and the desire to learn and to be your personal best?
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