We’d all like to read more, or at least, I hope that’s the case. Reading opens our minds to new ideas. It challenges our minds and causes us to think more, which is good. Well, as long as what you read benefits you. Which brings me to the question: are you aware of what you read?
I used to read a lot when I was growing up. I read everything I could lay my hands on: novels, newspapers, magazines, science books, everything. I loved reading and didn’t care what I read.
That was until I grew older and wiser and came to understand that everything you read affects your subconscious mind in a tremendous way and will determine your way of thinking.
That’s right. Reading doesn’t stop when you put your book down. The content of that book stays with you for a long time after that. It shapes your thinking, your thinking shapes your behavior and ultimately your character. And then your character stays with you for the rest of your life.
The question is, is that character the one you want? Because if it’s not, then you have to be mindful of what you let your eyes feast on.
What determines the kind of books you should read?
Your life goals
What are your life goals? What do you want to do now while you are still alive? If it’s to be a teacher, then you should dedicate all your reading time to reading books that feed the right knowledge into you. The same thing happens if you want to become a doctor, a pilot, a business owner, anything and everything in life.
Now, that doesn’t mean it’s completely wrong to pick up a book outside of your profession. I’ll explain now. You might be a teacher with a lot of interest in medicine. There’s nothing wrong with reading a book on medicine. Nurturing your dreams is vital to enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle, but so is nurturing your hobbies, your interests.
Doing that keeps you joyful and excited about life, leading you to live a more fulfilling life.
So then how can I make a poor choice in what I read?
Good question. I’ve thought long and hard about this question, and now I’ve come to a conclusion that I believe will stand for as long as I live.
Yes, you can make a poor choice in what you read, even if what you read nurtures your dreams, hobbies and interests. What do I mean by that?
I’ll give an example. I want to be wealthy in every way. That means in my physical health, my relationships, spirituality, personal development, and my finances.
Now I’ll pick finances for this example.
I’ve read books on how to be financially successful. I won’t name those books out of respect for the authors because I don’t want to come straight out with names and bash ideas the authors feel strongly about.
But I once read this book about accumulating money that literally told me to meditate on money and think about it all the time. It was a great book, but I have to be honest with you, when I got to that point, I felt a sense of shock and honestly, a little bit of disgust. To think about money all the time just felt very extreme to me. And completely appalling.
Now, money is very important, there’s no doubt about that. But money isn’t everything. There’s more to life than having money. God clearly says so. He says he’ll take care of us and will never leave us.
That’s why even without money, life continues. Haven’t you realized that the best things in life are free. The most magical things like nature and life itself are given to all of us whether or not we have money.
There’s no law that separates those who have money from those who don’t. Happiness can be enjoyed by both groups, salvation can be enjoyed by both groups. Life in general can be enjoyed by both groups.
And that wasn’t the only book I read that I found very questionable. I’ve read many self-help books that focus too much on the self in a selfish way that leaves no place for God’s intervention.
Let me tell you, when a book tells you to take everything upon your shoulders, then you might be headed for disaster because you are trusting only on you and when things fail, you feel like a failure.
Today I’m much more aware of what I read. In fact, I avoid any piece that excludes God because then it only leads me to the world’s way of doing things when I should be seeking God’s way of doing things.
I love self-help books, don’t get me wrong. But today I don’t just blindly pick up a self-help book. No. I pick a self-help book that will focus more on God than on me. A book that encourages a strong relationship between me and God in whatever I do.
The final word
I’m not trying to limit you in what you can read. This is not some kind of punishment. In fact, it’s good advice to say to you, be aware of what you read. If you’ve been grabbing any book like I used to, then it’s time to stop, take a step back and clearly establish what it is that you want to read and what you hope to achieve out of it.
There are many books out there. Don’t think you’ll limit your choices if you become picky. Never. You can’t possibly finish all the good books out there. So relax. Don’t slack on your expectations. Be firm about reading only what benefits you. When you read books that benefit you, you’ll open your mind in unimaginable ways and truly enjoy your days.
Thank you for reading this post. Maybe it’s a bit controversial but I hope you still got to learn from it, appreciate my thoughts, though you might not agree with all of them. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of this post? Are you aware of what you read? Tell us in the comments below.