The Importance of Reading

Aug 1, 2014 | The ONE Thing | 0 comments


Summer is well under way. That means it’s time to dust off the pile of books that’s been sitting on your nightstand since last Labor Day and pick out your summer reads. Turning the pages of a good book give will not only give you fodder for conversation at next week’s BBQ, but it will also foster and cultivate amazing ideas, relaxing that will help it become even stronger.

You could say that reading is the one thing that has potential to open doors for people on every career path.

Make no mistake, taking the time to read can have an important impact on your business. How? One study conducted at Emory University found that reading a novel can trigger measurable changes in the area of the brain associated with language and memory, which linger for at least five days after reading a novel. Another study found that six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent, faring better than other stress reducing activities like listening to music,
going for a walk and sitting down with a cup of tea.

The benefits of a good page turner have a trickle-down effect. When we read, our brains focus, and when we can focus, we are able to de-stress, which helps us retain information. Focus in the workplace, as you may know from reading The ONE Thing, is necessary for you to achieve extraordinary results.

Reading doesn’t only affect our ability to focus; it also subliminally inspires us to do great things. In the words of technology forecaster Paul Saffo, “Basically, what happens is, teenagers read these things, they fall in love with the novel, they get inspired by the technology and they keep [it] in the back of their minds till they’re about 30, and then they build it.”

Janice Voss would agree with Paul. During the summer before sixth grade, she checked out a copy of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time at her local library. She later became so enthralled with the book that it both created and nurtured a fascination with space, eventually leading to a seasoned career as an astronaut.

“I was just fascinated. So it was the most interesting thing I had ever read. I went back and checked out the entire science fiction section when I got back and had been reading science fiction ever since. And that’s what got me an interest in space and [led me on] my path to be an astronaut,” she recalled during an interview with NPR.

The hero’s journey that serves as the spine for almost every fantasy and science fiction novel instills in readers the idea that, though the road to the fulfillment of their dreams may be wrought with trials, success makes it all worthwhile. The warrior returning victorious from battle can be translated into real-world situations like opening your own business or negotiating a tough deal at work.

Now tell us, what book or theme represents your life?