One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us. ~ Cassandra Clare
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go! ~ Dr. Seuss
The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading. ~ David Bailey
I decided to start my thought process today by using those quotes above so that at every point in time, not only will they center me and keep me focused on what I need to put down, but it will constantly remind anyone reading this that those quotes above are true as they go along.
I joined this medium so I could read the lovely works of brilliant minds and to also share my own thoughts with people. In that regard, I would say that it has been and will continue to be a success as this place is filled with a library of thoughts that I’m always glad to dive into from time to time.
That being said though, I’m still of the opinion that a lot of us on here come for the thought pieces that give room for debate, the emotional tales that fill some of us with empathy while others come for the slightly erotic tales that we find so scintillating.
How about in relation to our jobs? How many take the time to read books written by masters in their field and apply them day in and out on the job? For the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure to be part of an intensive training session that opened my eyes to the fact that while I thought I had experience in my field, what I actually had was “four years of crossing t’s and dotting i’s” without actually understanding what I was doing. The second half of the training was conducted by Chika Mbonu (a financial guru in Nigeria) who showed what reading can do — not just reading for the pleasure of it. He showed (with practical evidence) that a lot of us in banking actually go through our entire career only knowing 5% of what we need to know without knowing that this is even the case. How much of this is true in other fields?
Let me use a scenario. When we enter an aircraft, we expect the pilot to take off and land without issue right? We get upset when the flight isn’t smooth and complain that somebody isn’t doing their job properly and most of the time give no thought to the process that goes into flying a plane yes? Imagine now that the pilot doesn’t know his job. Imagine now that you are interviewing a pilot and asking him questions as to what each button does in the cockpit and there is no answer for you? Would you still go ahead and fly with that pilot?
Let me give you another scenario: imagine you go to the hospital and a doctor isn’t sure what is wrong with you even after you have described your symtoms to him. Wouldn’t you wonder what’s wrong with said doctor?
Now let me bring it down to those of us who have 9-5 jobs. Yes yes, I know we start by 7:30am here in Nigeria for most jobs but just go along with me. In your office; in your particular unit, if the head of your unit (I’m speaking to those who aren’t the heads of their unit obviously so the rest of you just read on) should fall ill and the subordinate who usually relieves said boss has been fired or isn’t currently available; would you be able to step seamlessly into said shoes?
Did I hear your mind tell you; “but it can’t happen” or “I can sha try” or did you pause for a bit and actually consider that you would actually be able to do it? Whatever the case may be, let that give you a moment to think deeply and consider why you are still where you are in that job.
If a random stranger came up to you and wanted to discuss indepth your particular field after you’ve mentioned what you do, could you do it effortlessly or would you find a way to escape?
There are no excuses in this life. No matter where you find yourself; even if you don’t think it’s where you should be, be the best at what you currently do! Read! Study to show yourself approved. Not just fiction now or the autobiography of some famous person or a motivational text. Read books in relation to your field that will make you more competent at your job and give you a level of confidence that has been missing in all this time.
Let this be a clarion call to wake us up from our slumber. There is no “I don’t like to read”. There is no “books aren’t my thing”. If they aren’t, why are you currently reading this? If they aren’t, do you want to continually kiss ass to get to the top or sleep your way to the top?
The most successful people I know find different methods to learn and more than half of them read up on their field for only then can their depth of knowledge and competence grow.
That being said, has anyone read a book in their field recently after years of neglect that opened your mind to things that you’d first thought unimportant? Drop your comments below so we can all learn from you.