Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Read as If Your Life Depended on It

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You should read as if your life depended on it because in many ways it does. Whatever it is you want to do in life acquiring information is an essential task and reading is the fastest and most purest way of acquiring information. Some people say they learn by doing and that’s a valid way to learn but if you limit yourself to that you will find that learning this way is a slow process. Reading makes the learn-by-doing process faster by acting as a guide.

In most cases, reading provides you with the best source of information. Without it, you are dependent on what the media and your contacts are willing to provide. It is common knowledge that the news media has a tendency to sensationalize and often what you are hearing is only the juiciest part. Depending on your family, friends and coworkers for knowledge is also questionable. Unless you know an expert on a particular topic you would be better served by reading about it. Even if you do know experts, quite often they don’t have the time or the patience to teach you everything they know.

Even with reading you can’t depend on a single book, blog or magazine article if you want to really get to know about a particular topic. You will need to read from a number of different sources in addition to asking for input from your social circle. If you rely on one source of information your knowledge is not your own, it is of the writer or speaker. By absorbing information from a number of different sources you will be able to come to your own conclusions about the topic.

Your time is valuable so, unless you need to be extremely thorough when researching a particular topic, you should only read the best materials you can find. Read reviews and try to verify that a particular source is well respected and recommended. If it is a new book, read reviews of other books by the author. Often you will find that there are only a few  (in some cases, just one) books or authors that are considered the ultimate source for a particular topic. For example when I was researching the topic of Data Warehousing, I found that the author Ralph Kimball was the leader in that field and his book The Data Warehouse Toolkit was the most highly recommended book on the topic. Sure, you can continue your research by reading other books on the topic, but it is important to start with the best.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

2 Responses

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  1. Whew! That sounds rather intense..

    It’s also not a bad idea to read to feed your spirit. Not just the best in a field of information, but also things that inspire you to be the best you possible (not in compeitition with others, but to learn, grow and realize your own potential)

    How to books are great. Stories also have value



    April 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    • Good point regarding competition. Competition distracts you from what you are really striving for. Thank you for your feedback.


      April 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm

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