26 Nov 2016 by Bappy Golder

What and how to read for enlightenment & success?

In my last post I shared that if there was one word I could share before I die with people I care about that would be read. As I was thinking about these the first people that came to mind are people who I deeply care about and feel responsible for (heads up Stanly & Isha). People who are young and has a long time to go in life. As I promised, let’s share what I mean by “read”.

What do I mean by reading

When I say read, I mean consume books in any form. So read or listen either way you are consuming books.

My recent obsession with reading?

I never was a big reader. For a long time I also read non-fictions mostly. But that trend has changed. I still read more non-fictions than fictions, but I started enjoying fictions just as much.

Here’s how it all started. I stared using an app called blink list. It provides summery of all the non fictions in the planet (more or less). Usually under 15min you can get the whole summery of a book. But blink list lost it’s appeal very quickly as I started to crave more content on single subject matter.

Next I started using Audible. It provides 1 audio books a month for a subscription fee. But this allowed me to enjoy and consume full length books much faster.

I still use Audible but I realised that there are lots of audio books that are freely available on YouTube and other sources. So I make use of a combination of different sources and listen.

There are however some books that I want to listen, read and re-read again. So those are the candidate for a hard copy reading.

What and how to read for enlightenment & success
One of my most favourite book from recent reading.

Why read?

I have been listening to TED talks, YouTube videos, podcasts and reading blogs (infrequently) as a method for my unstructured learning. However none of these are as effective as reading for life transformation. I find listening to a whole length book or reading the whole book is much more satisfying and impactful.

When you listen to a book, depending on who is reading it feels like a grandpa, a brother, a sister or a good friend is whispering in your ear the learning of their lifetime. As you listen through a 7-8 hours book, it slowly transforms you to a different person over the course of the whole book. You get fueled with hard earned life lessons, knowledge of someone who is usually successful or an expert in their field. I am a firm believer that we are products of who we surround ourselves with and our experiences. We are however limited to what we can experience. A book transports us from our current environment to a different environment. This is a magical experience. These days you get a lot of books read by the author themselves, it makes you feel like you are talking to them.

Ultimately when we read it changes us, liberates us from our existing beliefs. Reading introduces us to who we can be, what we can do and how we can get to our dream or vision. Reading is transformative and that brings me to my next point.

What should we read and how to find them?

I recently read a book called As a Man Thinketh By James Allen. A short read (less than an hour to listen). I absolutely loved it. One of the concept the author introduces is our mind is like a garden and whatever we put in it is whatever grows there. That is why there is a saying that says:

You are the product of your closest 5 people you surround yourself with.

Just like how you don’t want junk in your body or weed in your garden, you don’t want to put trash in your mind. That’s why it is so important to be able to choose what you want and what you need when you read. Our choices are endless so how exactly do we choose what we read?

Well, I like to read and learn things that will have an immediate impact in my life. Here’s how I have been choosing my next reading:

I think about the area of my life that needs to be improved. Then I do a google search with, “Top books on ______” (fill in the blank with that area of your interest. For example:

  • Top books on marketing,
  • Top books on money & finance,
  • Best books on self discipline, over coming fear, blogging, starting a business etc. You get the idea.

I refine my search on the topic with the help of Google’s suggestion at the bottom of the page and usually glance/read through 5-10 search results to see what the top book are on that subject.

As you do this you start to see a common set of books on most of the recommended list. You observe the ones that are resonating with you. After reading through a few list I know exactly the ones I want to try.

This method is particularly good for choosing non-fictions and I haven’t been disappointed so far. If you make the search relevant to the issue you are dealing with right now you will not be disappointed.

Once I found the book I want to read, I would often search the title as audio book.

Finding books organically

Another thing I do to find books is ask people I know questions about books. Such as:

  • What are the top 2 books that most impacted your life?
  • What are the 2 of your most favourite books?

And I ask why? It is especially great to know the books of people you most respect or love. It tells a lot about them. I have a list of books from asking friends and family members. And if they are relevant I read them too. Some of the non fictions in my list came this way.

I also search for things like:

  • The top novels to read before you die
  • Must read classics etc.

Sounds a bit corny I know but who cares, I get good books this way. It’s a good idea to respond to your intuitions as well. There are some titles that are not so popular but really relevant to your needs. This is another good reason to ask people who you are close to you for recommendations. Because they know you well and know what you might need or enjoy.

A few books I recently read and recommend to anyone

  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
    – Read it if you want to get richer and think clearly about wealth.
  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
  • The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

Currently Reading

  • Deep Work Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport (Absolutely love it)

A few from my soon to read list

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
  • The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
  • The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This is a never ending list.

This is my fourth day in blogging and this is another uncut & unedited post hope you enjoy.

Oh, one more thing, what are 2 books that most impacted your life? Feel free to share your answer in comments here or in one of my social profile.

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