My Reading Journey

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My Reading Journey

At the age of 18, I started reading books, mainly motivational books. I still remember my first book by Swett Martin, I was simply astounded by the audacity of the writer’s way of motivating the readers. Reading those words was electrifying. At that time I was searching for some strong dose of motivation after a string of setbacks (yes, I viewed many events that way). So, I remained hooked to such bold and beautiful books which dared to see life differently. I read Wayne W Dyer, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Normal Vincent Peale, Shiv Khera, Shriram Sharma Acharya, Stephen Covey and many more. Every time I started reading books, I felt that I should finish this and then I would implement what is written in the book. Then no one could stop me and I would be rich, powerful and popular.

On the hindsight, I felt books have helped me discover my passion but at the same time, books made me procrastinate. Let me make myself perfect, oh let’s read one more book before trying to do something new. So books have also become a kind of excuses for me.

But books also gave me inner strengths and freedom to express. Which is far more valuable that I will always trade my long procrastination with such an awesome reward.

Later on, I started reading books on diverse subjects and not just motivational books. In fact, I remained a little wary of these books because I felt that many books are trying to pump in motivation which may just peter out in a few days’ time and then things would be back to square one.

Over the period, I realised that taking notes while reading the book is a very effective technique. Also, after every chapter, writing a short note in my own words makes me internalise that subject. Sometimes, it may also result in my disagreement with some assessment of the writer. I think, it’s important to ask questions as  questions provide a deep insight into the subject and takes you to unknown and fascinating destination.

After more than 32 years of reading countless books on various subjects, my observation is that we should treat books to free our notions, to liberate us from the prison of prevailing thoughts, dare to dream freely and to develop compassion for each one including self. But then we need to choose our books carefully and remain open to viewpoints which challenge our existing beliefs.

 Still I feel, besides reading, what is equally or probably more important is to do meditation, write our thoughts & feelings and experiencing setbacks as well as celebrating each and every victory however small they may look to others. All this takes us towards awakening and self-actualisation.

Currently I am reading “Tools of the Titans” written by Tim Ferriss. A fascinating book where nearly 200 successful people are sharing their secret sauce to success in the field of health, wealth and wisdom.

But my best book till date is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. If there is only one book left in the world and I have to trade all my money and my career to get that book, I will happily do so.

Manoj Pandey