Read and Study to Stay Relevant

Do you read and study to stay relevant? You may think that is a silly question, but the cost of not implementing this is huge.

Read and Read Some More

There are numerous excuses offered for not reading. Among them are, “I don’t have time”, “I don’t like to read”, “Reading is boring”, and a host of others. Although a pretty heavy reader for quite a few years now, there was a time when all three of these were my excuses for reading only infrequently and most of that was trivial. Amazingly, once I made a deliberate effort to read more all of these excuses went by the wayside, and I realized what I had been missing.

Read a Wide Variety

Even if you like to read it is easy to get in the habit of only reading one category of material such as suspense novels, history, or business. Read things that challenge your thinking and your “conventional” wisdom. Get out of your comfort zone. Remarkably reading a wide variety of material may help you absorb more and make connections you might not otherwise make. Even in a broad category there are sub-categories. For example, within business there are books on economics, marketing, advertising, business relationships, accounting, finance, strategy, start-ups, etc. The choices are seemingly endless. Although your business role may mean you need to spend more time reading something like marketing books, it is still a good idea to mix in some of the other areas as well. Doing so will broaden you knowledge base, helping you relate better to others and growing your overall understanding of the business. It also will help you see how your area of expertise relates to others and give you an appreciation for what other people do. When you have more knowledge and understanding and learn to apply it you grow wiser. This is partly what is meant by read and study to stay relevant. We all would do well to remember Mark Twain, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Study

Perhaps you do read a lot. Now the question becomes, are you growing in knowledge and wisdom? If not, maybe you’re just reading and not really studying. Ask yourself some questions such as, “What was the overall point of the book I just read?” or “Have I taken the time to make connections to things discussed in the book?” Of course, in these cases we’re dealing with primarily books on such things as business, technology, etc. A novel is another thing, but even there it helps to stop and think about what you are reading or have just finished reading. What moral issues or concerns were raised and what thoughts did they prompt? Were there character traits that caused you to examine yourself more closely? Basically, study here is very much an exercise in thinking to make sure you get the most out of what you read. In other words, Think for Results.

think for results

A Final Note

Your interests are likely different from most everyone you know. But, don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a routine of only reading a narrow range of material and refusing to consider others’ suggestions. You might be surprised to discover that something someone else mentioned as being enjoyable and/or edifying does the same to you.

So, what about you? Do you read and study to stay relevant, and if not don’t you think it might be time to start?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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