One of the best things you can do to develop your strengths or talents is to read.
Find books that force you to think.
No matter what business or industry you are in, there are foundational books you should read.
For example, if you are in business or sales then Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People is a must.
If you practice medicine then you undoubtedly have read Gray’s Anatomy.
There are books about fundamental design principals, investment strategies, cooking guides, and millions more.
What about other industries? One of the best ways to find the books you should be reading is to go to a site like GoodReads.com or Amazon and search for the most recommended book based on your industry.
Finding time to read can be a challenge. Humans instinctively take the path of least resistance. It is far easier to sit down and watch T.V. then to let your mind be still and retain information from a book (obviously not true for all individuals).
Human’s look for activities that give back immediate value.
It can be hard to quantify how much value you get from reading 200+ pages of a book. The problem lies in how much information our brains can absorb and retain. Most of what we read, unfortunately, never makes it past our prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that controls our short term memory.
If you are like most readers, you only retain a fraction of what you actually read, and even less of that you can recall in succinct thoughts.
But this should not discourage you from reading. In fact, the more you understand about how your brain works, the smarter you can read. You can literally train your brain to pick up on concept.
There have been thousands of studies showing how human brains learn and the importance of exercising your brain.
But try this…try reading everyday for 5 minutes
- For me, mornings work best. Find a time when your brain isn’t full of the day’s thoughts.
- Pick a book that you think you should read.
- Spend 5 minutes a day reading.
- Reflect on what you have read and see if you can apply any of the new knowledge to your day to day schedule.
If you are able to find important concept in a book, apply them to daily life exercises, and reflect on the impact (either good or bad), you have just developed a strength.
You are improving the analytical part of your brain. A part of your brain that needs to be sharp and well trained when looking to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and about every other way you can grow.
The more you are able to read a book, extract the most important points, and act on them, the more likely you are to see personal growth. Your strength lies in the fact that you can turn inwards and analyze situations with new knowledge and make a sound, rational decision.
We all want to grow, sometimes it just takes a little retraining, and refocusing how we learn.