Leaders are readers.
We all seem to believe that the only way to truly learn is through trial and error. Yes, this is true in most scenarios. Like when we learned that touching a hot range top, even if it’s not glowing, is not advisable. You can’t trial and error enough to become the best and most complete version of you. Furthermore, you would probably end up severely injured or dead if you tried and errored everything you possibly could. This addiction to trial and error would be the reason daredevils typically have short lifespans.
To evolve, you must learn from others.
I came across a quote by Richard Dawkins, author of “The Selfish Gene“. He said, “organisms that only learn through trial and error, lose to organisms that learn from other’s trial and errors.” We wonder why we are not evolving as a species, and it’s evident all around us, we are not learning from each other’s trial and errors. And the best way to do that is to read.
A good example of learning from others’ trials and errors is how you cross the street. You carefully look both ways before crossing a busy street. Not because you were once hit by a car. You look both ways because you learned from others that a two-tonne car really can kill you. You’ve heard about it through other people’s experiences.
According to a Pew Research Center report, only 24% of Americans read a book (audio, printed or electronic) in the last year. Books are a treasure chest of past trial and error knowledge that, if you let them seep in, can change your life. When applied learning is shared through the author’s word, your mind awakens, and you begin to become the best you.
My life was saved by reading, not b
y trial and error.
Two books, in particular, changed my life. Up until I read these books, I was among the 76% who wouldn’t pick up a book if you paid me to. Reading was boring. I never saw the value of a book. But I got desperate and needed to find answers to how I was feeling. So, I read a copy of “Playing With Fire” by Theo Fleury. This book shot me the confidence to become a survivor of sexual abuse. Then, after I read “Mindset” by Dr. Carol S. Dweck, my entire world changed. These two books propelled me faster into healing than anything else I tried. Ever since I read those books, I have been a voracious reader. Hell, I even found the courage to write my book!
There is so much to learn, perhaps we are afraid of learning about ourselves?
It puzzles me as to why so many people aren’t reading to learn. Instead of digging into the mind of a great author, many people spend countless hours delving into the mind of a great director. While TV has it’s space in our lives; I don’t believe it should replace our thirst for knowledge. To escape into the vast hole of our TV sets is OK from time to time, but to flee from learning about how we feel, think and live because books are hard work, it’s an off-screen tragedy.
In an Impact Theory podcast, Tai Lopez talks about how grinding it through life is not the way to live. He said that “if you don’t have the dedication to read, there is no solution for you. You will always be poor, and you will always be beaten by someone who will.” How can you evolve your mind and expand your horizons by running from your most burning questions? If you have self-doubts or curiosities that hold you back, chances are, someone else has already been down that road. Sit down and read.
You cannot learn to be you, through trial and error alone. You’ll end up dead from trying.