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Reading and the Three Golden Rules of Wisdom

Reading and the Three Golden Rules of Wisdom

Every person that I meet wants to read more. Two problems face us when it comes to reading. First, we don’t have enough time to read at all and second, when we do – there is so much to read and so little time.

Conversely, We don’t spend as much time reading as we used to. This story is conducted in the US, but the decline in reading is probably global.

Rule #1: Context Matters. It’s not just about what you’re reading, but also about how and why it relates to the real world.

There are people who don’t read books at all – and this was surprising to me. Until I heard someone on TV say that we read just as much as we used to. Blogs and tweets have replaced books.

While you can gleam peripheral and superficial knowledge about something in 140 characters or from a quote – what you don’t get is context. 

So here’s the first golden rule: You choose what to read. And that either you can give yourself context as to why and how that book (or phrase, or chapter, or tweet) relates to the real world, or the author can give you context.

Context is important because it’s not about the what but also about why this book matters to your existence as a human being 

Rule #2: No book is bad. That’s like someone saying I’m a bad person. why? Is it because of my ethics or morals? My lack of people skills? My dressing sense? Be specific as to why a book is bad.

Saying a book is bad is an unnecessarily vague statement. Why is it bad? What’s so bad about it?

Is it:

  • written incoherently?
  • Has no point?
  • Grammar and/or language is unsuitable?
  • Author is otherwise a bore?

Whether or not you like a book is subjective to your own tastes of course. A history buff would love to read something about East Germany while someone into fantasy would think that same topic is oh-em-gee-so-boringggg!

So, no book is bad in it’s entirety. Coherently structure what is so “bad” about a book and try to look past it to get the ideas out. Concepts and ideas improve our understanding of the world.

Which leads me to the third point:

Rule #3: Your time is your own. If you can’t get past page 42 of a certain book – chuck it out.

Invest time where your returns are more guaranteed. It’s your time. It is possible that one is not enlightened enough to understand the book – either unenlightened because the language is too elegant or unenlightened because the concepts don’t make sense.

Conversely, it is possible that a book is “bad”. Give the book a benefit of the doubt and see, if, perhaps it’s not the book but one’s understanding of the world due to which the book is unable to teach us.

Why do we need a book on positivity and optimism?

Why do we need a book on positivity and optimism?

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

I recently finished reading a book that I wanted to read last year.

It was a brilliant book about optimism – with pictures and a whole lot of entertaining stories and facts – “The art of being brilliant”. The original goal of reading the book was to, of course, become smarter or more “brilliant”.

What I got from that book is something different entirely, and glad for it. It was a book about optimism and about the willingness to look at the positives of each situation, and eventually that culminates into an optimistic or positive outlook in life.

The fact that we need to read and write a book on why optimism is better than being pessimistic is worrisome. But, that is the state of things.

We live in a world where we are constantly told that we aren’t good enough.

That we need to be on this diet, to eat sugar, don’t eat sugar, eat this not that, coffee leads to cancer (it probably doesn’t) or that we need to buy the newest version of that phone to be happy. That we need a bigger car and a bigger home to really feel like we’ve made it in life.

Outside of marketing directed at us to not make us feel good – we have the news and social media – when the news isn’t telling us about all the terrible things that are happening in the world, there are the ten social apps that show you how fancy your friends are and the beautified food that they’re eating or the beach where they went last weekend.

We know from countless sources and from the wisdom of aeons that 1) suffering is human, 2) that happiness is found in little things and that 3) materialistic, outward view of life isn’t enough to create a meaningful existence.

Thoughts?