The One Habit Every Successful Person Has
February 12th, 2013
What do Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and J.K Rowling have in common?
They each have a net worth of over a billion dollars.
Want to know what else they have in common?
They read. A lot.
The other day, Bill Gates joined the Reddit community to participate in a Reddit thread Ask Me Anything. In it, he shared a list of books he has recently read and reviewed.
The list went on and on and on.
How can that happen? How can a guy as busy as Bill Gates find so much time to read?
Or better yet, why does Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban insist on spending three hours every single day reading?
Because successful people read.
Growing up, J.K Rowling would read everything she could get her hands on. No surprise she was able to become the first billionaire writer ever.
Thomas Edison loved reading. So did Albert Einstein. Hilary Clinton too.
Pick any person you respect and admire and I’m willing to bet a significant amount of money that they spend an incredible amount of time reading.
Even branding legend Gary Vaynerchuk, who has openly admitted he’s not a fan of reading books, spends hours each day combing the web to stay on top of technology and marketing trends.
Coincidence? I think not.
Sure you have to work hard, make the right connections, and have an element of luck. But reading is a must.
Will it guarantee success? Of course not. Does reading take time? Yes.
The reality is: successful people read. Period.
What’s your excuse?
I know when I couldn't read after my accident, I felt lost at times. Reading is like dreaming with structure, inputting new information, uploading new data, rearranging one's webs of thought... So many things. Since I built back the ability to read, I know that when I read regularly, my life somehow is a little less cluttered. Maybe it is the simple act of making time for one thing that is important to me. Maybe it is all the other stuff I wrote above, or a combination of both.
To bring it closer to home, look at the people around you. I found I have more interesting and exciting conversations about ideas and possibilities with people who read compared to people who do not read.
Amen to that, I'm reading like a maniac - be it blogs or books that I buy for my Kindle. It's not only improving my writing, but also my understanding of the world.
This is good stuff.
Do you think it matters whether or not you're reading hardcopy? I absolutely hate reading physical books because I have a hard time locking myself into something that removes my ability to multitask. So I read online. I just never feel like I'm really reading when I do that, though.
@Aboundlessworld @Thomas Frank Yea multitasking is my downfall. I don't even like talking on the phone because it removes my ability to multitask... unless I only give the person on the phone part of my attention.
What I've found, and this is really lame, is that I hate holding books lol. I have yet to find the perfect combination of body position, book position, how to hold the book, lighting, etc. So I usually end up uncomfortable every 2 minutes and that's a huge distraction. Before you know it, I'm not reading hardcopy anymore.
@SeanDavis You definitely need to get over the multi-tasking if you're going to get real value from reading.I'm pretty conflicted when it comes to hardcopies; on one hand, they're really nice to hold and I can highlight them, but they also take space that my Kindle doesn't.
@SeanDavis Hey Sean, thanks so much for the comment. Also, I'm not sure why the font is so messed up so bear with me.
Interesting point you bring up. I'd obviously recommend against multitasking while reading a book, as I don't think you'd get nearly as much value. That being said, if your'e someone who [needs] to be doing something try reading a hardcopy while taking notes. :)