Reading was never something I was interested in while attending school. Nor was it something I thought I would ever do again once I graduated. My choices in life after school seemed to take me on quite the adventure — living in four different states in five years, jumping from all different kinds of jobs. Eventually I ended up working for my father’s family business.
In the beginning, I was excited about the growth and how much I was learning and improving. But after a few years, the unsatisfied bug popped up again. I had a great future set up for me, but I still wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing. So I decided to start reading again. Except this time, I started reading self-help books instead of the fictional, entertaining ones. To my surprise, my life start changing dramatically within the first few months.
Here are three ways reading books completely changed my life:
1. Reconstructed my mindset.
A lot of people don’t understand the power of reading. I hear things like “How can reading change your life” or “Books are just wasted paper; why do you read them?” Before I ever read my first self-help book, I thought I had a fairly decent mindset. At the age of 25, I picked up my very first self-help book and, to my surprise, I was wrong.
I didn’t have the mindset I thought I had. Within three months of reading my first book, I went on to read 10 more. My life changed drastically. Reading books completely opened up my mind to all the possibilities that were around me. I started seeing the world in a different perspective — a more positive and optimistic perspective.
So many people think that opportunities come to only the “lucky” ones, but what I figured out by reading, is that you are the one who brings the opportunities into your own life, you just have to figure out which one to go after and which one won’t get you anywhere.
Related: Here’s Why You Should Quit Reading and Start Doing
2. Strengthened my relationships.
I heard a saying a while back, and it has stuck with me to this day. The quote was something like “you are only as good as the relationships you’re a part of.” At the time, I wasn’t sure about this quote, but after reading a lot of books and learning about some of the most successful people, I realized this is as true as it gets.
Three months after I started reading, I was introduced to an incredible woman. What brought us together was that I actually read her book. After reading, I got this spontaneous feeling to send her a message and tell her how much I enjoyed the book. To my surprise, she replied, and three years later we are living together in Australia. Reading books allows you to bring in more positive connections.
You start following people who have the same mindset as you. You start connecting with more positive people. This eventually leads to having more positive relationships with people you encounter. And if you’re continuously positive and optimistic, people will tend to gravitate towards you because your positive energy makes them feel good.
Related: The 10 Best Motivational Books of 2016
3. Helped me start a business.
Most people dream of starting a business. They have great ideas but they never take action and eventually end up working in a job they most likely don’t enjoy. When I graduated high school, I knew that I wanted something more out of life than to just work a job, but I didn’t have a clue of what I would do or what I wanted to do.
Seven years later, I started self-educating by reading books that would help me in life. Two years after that, my girlfriend and I started our own business together. I simply started writing while I was working a part-time job. Next thing you know, I started getting my writing published all over the internet. With that came immense opportunities. If it wasn’t for reading and expanding my mind, I probably would’ve never started writing and if I did, I’m not so sure I would’ve been able to see the opportunities that nobody else could see.
Related: 5 Serious Business Books to Read Over The Holidays
I owe everything that has happened to me in the last three years to reading self-help books. It showed me there were other ways to think. Not just the one way that I had in my mind. Open your mind, start reading a book that can help you, and implement what you read.
If you were wondering, here are the first 10 personal development books I read:
- How to win friends & influence people — Dale Carnegie
- The 7 habits of highly effective people — Stephen Covey
- Think and grow rich — Napoleon Hill
- Retire young retire rich — Robert Kiyosaki
- The 10x rule — Grant Cardone
- Awaken the giant within — Anthony Robbins
- #Success – Mastering the basics to a happy, healthy, and wealthy life — Carla Schesser
- Mindset — Carol Dweck
- Goals — Brian Tracy
- The 4 hour work week — Tim Ferriss