Our dad was an avid reader. It was not uncommon for him be simultaneously supporting a sporting event or practice and reading a book. One eye on the kids, one eye on learning. He would repeatedly say “Reading is the gateway to knowledge and knowledge is power.” I don’t know if this is an original Mike Akin phrase or a famous quote.
He would write quote, one liners, words found in the pages of his latest book and then study them. He had “3 by 5” cards (as he called them) nearly everywhere. In his pockets, in the visor of his car, in a ziplock baggie in the shower. Always learning, always growing.
I didn’t always share his passion for continual growth and knowledge until I was much older. I think I got the Cluff Notes on most reading assignments in high school and college. I wasn’t passionate about it. I later realized that the more info you can gather, the more likely you are to have the right words or comment to say to someone in a time of need or council. I think this was my dad’s main purpose in reading all the books he read.
When my dad moved into a different house in SLC, UT we helped him box up all his belongings. The book shelf and the meticulous order in which to box these prized books was quite a task. I think all of us kids gave up on him and moved to different areas of the apartment to help and let him deal with “the library”.
When I got married I realized quite quickly I needed more help and information to make a happy, healthy and successful marriage. This is where I started reading-not for assignment or projects but sheerly for information to enhance my life. I had embarked on a brand new adventure and I needed other’s experience to help navigate.
Some of the best books for me at that time were, “The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Another was, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.” by Gary Chapman. This book single handily changed my marriage. Well…not my marriage but how I viewed my marriage which is a huge part of your marriage.
I had grown up feeling loved by certain acts and words. As described in the book there are 5 main love languages. I was words of affirmation and gifts. This book made me realize that there are so many different ways someone shows their love for you not just roses and praise. 😀 Once I let go of my ego, I saw the many things Brian did for me (he’s acts of service and quality time) and appreciated all that he was as a husband. Every once in a while I will tell him that he’s behind in the old flower department or that I am having a bad day and just need a compliment. lol. Communication is key with us.
As my life shifted and I became passionate in my career in health and fitness in particular Zumba Fitness, I once again was embarking on new territory and have since read some great business, motivation and success story type books and have learned a lot.
The two I am in the midst of are “QB My life in the Spiral” by Steve Young and “Unshakeable” by Tony Robbins. These are two men I find fascinating for different reasons and think their stories and knowledge is so applicable to us all.
I also have listened to a number of amazing audio books. I think my husband is shocked when I pick up a paperback book as I have turned mostly digital these days. However theres something about being able to make notes, dog ear your favorite pages and whip out a book on a trip. Both are good for different reasons and convenience.
A few audio books I LOVE:
The Awakened Family by Shefali Tsabary—Incredible insight on raising children to be what THEY need or ought to be and not raising them to be what WE think or decided they should be. Helping them to find their best self. Yes yes and Yes.
The Small Big by Steve J Martin, Noah J Goldstein and Robert B Cialdini—Small changes you can use in business and life that make big differences in the outcome.
I feel better when I am filling my brain with tips to make a happier life. I feel more refreshed after reading or listening to a book rather than on Facebook or instagram. I spend a lot of time there too, believe me but one of my goals is to read more and learn as much as I can to pass that on to my kids, attendees of events of trainings, but mostly to myself. I realize that I need all the info I can get to steer me in a good direction for a balanced life.