Tag Archives: reading

Why You Should Read Every Day

To many people, reading is a waste of time. “Get out, take action, and go!” is what they say. But I think it was Abraham Lincoln that said, “Give me three hours to cut down a tree and I’ll spend 2 hours sharpening my ax.”

There are so many reasons why we should read every day – hundreds of them actually – but today we are going to look at the top three. When I say every day, I mean literally every day. Successful people in any field (business, sports, food, investing, etc.) are never the product of one event that made them successful. Their success is the sum of daily disciplined tasks, rituals, and routines that make up who they are. Reading is one of the most important daily habits. It dramatically correlates with higher education and income, as well as overall happiness.

 

1. Exercise Your Mind

We regularly obsess over the best ways to exercise our bodies: how to trim or strengthen them and what to feed or keep away from them. According to a study at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, mental stimulation like reading can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially with age. The authors of the study even suggest that reading every day can slow down late-life cognitive decline, keeping brains healthier and higher functioning for longer.

Another study on the brain benefits of reading fiction was conducted at Emory University. The researchers found that becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. Interestingly, reading fiction was found to improve the reader’s ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and flex the imagination in a way that is similar to the visualization of muscle memory in sports. Reading has been shown to help prevent stress, depression, and dementia, while enhancing confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction.

la-mente-e-layurveda-gr

2. Constant Education

I liked The Hunger Games as much as the next person, but I’m much more excited about changing the way I live because of ideas that I find. Reading will develop the ideas, thoughts, and processes inside of you. It also helps with vocabulary and allows you to communicate in a way that is more understandable to people.

I’ll use Warren Buffet as an example. Buffet says, “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

I try to read one spiritual, one business, and one other type of book at all times. Many times, the other is a “How-To” book of some sort. At the time of this post, I just finished a book on being a better negotiator.

businessbooks

3. Habit of Millionaires

Want to know one habit ultra-successful people have in common?

They read. A lot.

They believe that books are a gateway to learning and knowledge (see point #2). Take one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates, who reads 50 books a year, or Warren Buffett, who spends as much as 80% of his day reading. Elon Musk is an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said “I read books.” Mark Cuban also reads more than 3 hours every day.

According to Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individualsrich people (annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million-plus) read for self-improvement, education, and success. Whereas poor people (annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less) read primarily to be entertained. Successful people tend to choose educational books and publications over novels, tabloids, and magazines. And in particular, they obsess over biographies and autobiographies of other successful people for guidance and inspiration.

becoming-warren-buffett-1024.jpg

You are not Warren Buffet, nor do I expect you to be. The key to being great is to take the first step. Give yourself a daily reading goal, such as 30 pages, and you will get a ton of wisdom under your belt.

Block it off. Make an appointment with yourself to read daily. I promise you will not regret it.

 

 

 

 

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5 Things To Do Everyday

We live a busy life, not busy as in stressful, but busy as in we need to be organized in what we are doing to efficiently get things done.

We have an 8 year old, a 4 year old, and a baby. My wife is the head volleyball coach at the 3rd largest high school in the state of Tennessee. As you know, I run my own business, and it allows me a little more free time to go and do. As long as my work gets done, I am fine.

Even if you don’t have kids, you are probably busy.  Jeff Bezos made a comment in an interview one time that the one thing that will not change in society is how busy people are. There are not many people out there that sit around and go, “You know, I really have tons of free time, all the time.”

In my experience with coaching college football, working at a church, and now owning my own business, I have realized that routine and consistency keep me organized in my day. Whether I am working 90 hours a week like I did when I was coaching, or 40 when I was working at the church, routine is paramount for getting things done.

So, I have listed 5 things to do everyday that will make your life easier. Some of these can take 30 Seconds and some may take 20 minutes, but when these are in your daily routine you will be more productive.

exercising-14ijlnd

1. Exercise (20 min)

I always feel tons better when I workout in the morning. A bout of exercise increases your focus on the next activity, because your body is aroused. What follows a morning workout? For most people, it’s the office or school. Hence, one of the advantages of working out in the morning is that you’re more alert during those later hours.

You’re probably familiar with the notion that some workouts release endorphins, feel-good hormones that are increased following exercise of sufficient intensity and duration. This will also help your attitude, as you get ready to take on the day.

landscape-1436197006-making-the-bed-index

2.  Make your Bed (30 seconds)

This seems silly, but it literally takes 30 seconds depending on how many decorative pillows your wife has. I want you to try it both ways for a week. Take the first 2 days of the week and do not make your bed. Then the rest of the week, make sure it gets done. The effect it will have in the evening when you get home is a feeling of peace and relaxation. Trust me on this one.

3. Be thankful  (No time at all)

The formal study of gratitude’s benefits is relatively young, but researchers have found that gratitude can enhance well-being and improve romantic relationships, among other benefits. A 2011 study published in the journal Heart International, found that acute cardiac patients who had positive psychological interventions actually had better outcomes than those who didn’t.

Choose to be grateful. If you are reading this you have 1st world problems. Those are not problems. Not having clean drinking water is a problem. Your kids not having food to eat is a problem. Your favorite pair of jeans that have a hole in them is not a problem.

Be thankful for what you have.

reading-book

4. Read (2-15 min)

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur that is famous for reading a book-a-day. He has invested in numerous million dollar companies and coaches people in business and finance and others areas of health, wealth, love and happiness. He attributes much of his success to the massive amounts of reading he does on a daily basis.

He continually refers to Warren and his reading habits. When Warren Buffett started his investing career, he would read 600, 750, or 1,000 pages a day.

Even now, he still spends about 80% of his day reading.

If you want to get ahead and continue to progress in your area of business and in life, you must invest in the most important asset you have…YOUSELF. Spend time daily investing in yourseld and increasing the value you can give to people. Read about things that will make you better at the life you are living.

5. Pray (1-5 min)

As I was doing some research there were tons of sites and articles from Christian organizations that talk about why prayer is important. Since some of my readers are not Christians I wanted to find something that did not have Christian bias to it. This is what they came up with.

  1. Prayer improves Self Control
  2. Prayer makes you nicer.
  3. Prayer makes your more forgiving
  4. Prayer increases 
  5. Prayer offsets the negative health effects of stress.

If you will take some time (I suggest at least 3 weeks) and consciously do all 5 of these tasks on a daily basis, your day will be filled with a more positive outlook and less stress. Create a plan to make get these simple tasks into your life

  1. Write them down.
  2. Put them on your calendar
  3. Make them happen.
  1. Goldfarb, A. H., & Jamurtas, A. Z. (1997). B-Endorphin response to exercise.Sports Medicine, 24(1), 8-16.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x/abstract

Try these out, and let us know how you feel in the comments below! 

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5 things to do EVERYDAY

Many of us live busy lives—not busy as in stressful, but busy as in we need to be organized in what we are doing to get things done. We’re a busy family: my wife is the head volleyball coach at the 3rd largest high school in the state of Tennessee; I own my own business; and to top it all off, we have two children—a 3-year old and a 6-year old—to take care of.

 

Even if you don’t have kids, almost everyone is busy. Jeff Bezos made a comment in an interview once saying that the one thing that will not change in society is people being busy.

 

In my experience with coaching college football, working at a church and now owning my own business, I have realized that routine and consistency keep me organized in my day. Whether I am working 90 hours a week like I did when I was coaching or 40 when I was working at the church, routine is paramount in getting things done.

 

So I have listed five things to do every day that will make your life easier. Some of these can take 30 seconds, some may take 20 minutes—but when these are in your daily routine, you will be more productive

 

  1. Exercise (20 min)

I always feel much better when I work out in the morning. A bout of exercise increases your focus on the next activity, because your body is aroused. What follows a morning workout? For most people, it’s the office or school. Hence, one of the advantages of working out in the morning is that you’re more alert during those later hours.

Crossfit_group air squat

 

You’re probably familiar with the notion that some workouts release endorphins, feel-good hormones that are increased following exercise of sufficient intensity and duration[1]. This will also help your attitude, as you get ready to take on the day.

 

  1. Make Your Bed (30 sec)

This seems silly, but it literally takes 30 seconds (depending on how many decorative pillows your wife has!) I want you to try it both ways for a week. Take the first two days of the week without making your bed. Then, make sure it gets done for the rest of the week. The effect it will have in the evening when you get home is a feeling of peace and relaxation. Trust me on this one.

bed made

 

  1. Be Thankful (No time at all)

The formal study of gratitude’s benefits is relatively young, but researchers have found that gratitude can enhance well-being and improve romantic relationships, among other benefits. A 2011 study published in Heart International found that acute cardiac patients who had positive psychological interventions actually had better outcomes than those who didn’t.[2]

be-happy-no-thankful-173059-530-353_large
Choose to be grateful. If you are reading this, you have first-world problems. Those are not problems. Not having clean drinking water is a problem. Your kids not having food to eat is a problem. Your favorite pair of jeans that have a hole in them is not a problem.

 

Be thankful for what you have!

 

  1. Read (2-15 min)

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur who is famous for reading a book-a-day. He has invested in numerous million-dollar companies and coaches people in business, finance and others areas of health, wealth, love and happiness. He attributes much of his success to the massive amounts of reading he does on a daily basis.

read book shelve
He continually refers to Warren and his reading habits. When Warren Buffett started his investing career, he would read 600, 750 or 1,000 pages a day.

Even now, he still spends about 80% of his day reading.

kid reading
If you want to get ahead and continue to progress in business and in life, you must invest in the most important asset you have: yourself. Spend time each day investing in yourself and increasing the value you can give to people. Read about things that will make you better at the life you are living.

 

#5 Pray (1-5 min)

As I was doing some research, I found many sites and articles from Christian organizations discussing why prayer is important. Since some of my readers are not Christians, I wanted to find something that did not have Christian bias to it. This is what they cam up with.

praying

  1. Prayer improves your self-control.
  2. Prayer makes you nicer.
  3. Prayer makes you more forgiving.
  4. Prayer increases trust.
  5. Prayer offsets the negative health effects of stress.

 

If you will take some time (I suggest at least three weeks) to consciously do all five of these tasks on a daily basis, your days will be filled with a more positive outlook and less stress. Create a plan to make get these simple tasks into your life:

I really think you need to subscribe to our BLOG.

QUESTION: (Answer in the comments)
What are 3 things you do every day that make a difference in your day?

 
[1] Goldfarb, A. H., & Jamurtas, A. Z. (1997). B-Endorphin response to exercise.Sports Medicine, 24(1), 8-16.

[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x/abstract

TOP 4 must read books

Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your kids frozen sausage and biscuit? If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out: reading has a significant number of benefits such as mental stimulation, stress reduction, knowledge, memory improvement, and we could go on and on.

As a kid I was not a big reader at all. It was not stressed at my house and I was not made to read and retain while I was in school. Thus why I had to take 2 remedial reading classes upon entering college.

It was not until college until I really started actually reading for fun or reading because I was not required. Believe it or not I started reading financial books simply because I wanted to be rich. From there I progressed in to spiritual books then to self-help books and pretty much anything that was interesting to me.

Along this journey I found that I love reading things that make me better. I am not a huge fiction fan but I have read some from time to time.

Here I have outlined my top 4 favorite books of all time.
These are books that I loved reading and have read multiple times.

#4 Bringing Down the House

Bringing_Down_the_House_book_cover

This is the book that inspired the movie 21. Great movie…even better book. Its the story of these MIT students who would fly to vegas on the weekends and count cards playing black jack. The story chronicles them making tons of money and having the time of their life. The book and the movie are similar other than the fact that the books gives more details and tells the whole story. This book made you laugh out loud one minute while making you sit up in your seat with anticipation on the next minute. Great Read.

#3 Love Survivor
lone survivor

Back when I was coaching college football I would go into high schools and create these great relationships with these high school coaches. We would talk about everything. The ones that were big readers I would walk in the door and say “What are you reading coach?”
One day one of the coaches said, “Thomas, go home and order this book, this is the most amazing story of survival I have ever read. You have to force your self to put it down.”
He was right. I read this about 3 years before it came out in the movies. It has been passed to about 5-6 different of my friends and they all said the same thing. Most exciting book I have ever read.

#2 Circle Maker

circle maker
I heard this author, Mark Batterson speak and he was good, but thats it, just good. Someone recommended the book to me and I decided I would give it a shot. Here is why it is so good. Batterson does and amazing job of intertwining old history with practical biblical teaching while at the same time giving you some of the most amazing illustrations I have ever heard. If you read this book it will make you want to be a better prayer.

#1 Travelers Gift

traveleres gift
Same situation as in Lone Survivor. Coaching buddy of mine says that this book called The Travelers Gift will be the best book you will ever read. I said “I don’t even read fiction books, they are a wast of time. Andy Andrews is one of the most amazing writers / speakers around today. In this book Andy take a suicidal family man on a journey of a lifetime. In the midst of attempting suicide he visits some of the wisest and most influential human beings on the planet…Read this at least 2x maybe 3.

Pick up any of these and you will not be sorry

In the comments section….

Please tell me your Favorite book! I am always looking for something good to read.