I hated it. Literally, I despised everything about it. Maybe you hated it too at one point. What I discovered was that I was not doing myself any favors by hating it, perhaps I was actually damaging myself. What am I talking about? Reading!!
I got through my bachelors, masters and doctorate without reading a book all the way through. (That should probably tell you something about our "education" system.) Seriously, the only book I ever consistently read was the Bible but certainly not from cover to cover. I never took reading seriously until after I was married. My wife is an avid reader. So reluctantly one year early on in our marriage I decided I'd give the ole' "college try." I set out to read 3 books that year thinking, "That's 1 book every 4 months. That's impressive." You know what happened? I read 6 books that year! It was like a lightbulb went off.
Now I didn't just read anything, certainly NOT fiction, I wasn't going to waste my time with that nonsense. No, I pick books that were things I wanted to understand and learn from.
Now I read ferociously. I devour books like a kid devours birthday cake. I have books lined up on my reading runway. Why? Because reading shapes our thinking. Reading impacts how we view life. Reading literally rewires our brains differently from TV or movies. And for the better I might add.
What you think about is a sign of what you believe. Your belief, whatever it is or isn't, runs your life. Those beliefs are shaped by input and experience. While you cannot always chose your experiences, you can chose what you allow into your mind that will shape your belief.
Let's say you want to consume McDonalds. You know the place you drive thru real quick after your kids ball game or while you're driving on vacation. For this example McDonald's will be "books." McDonald's as with books has a large menu. There is an innumerable menu of books from which you could chose to read. So let move on.
To show that we become what we consume let consider the old documentary "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock. Here this guy eats at McDonalds for 30 days. He ate Big Mac's, french fries, milkshakes, etc. everyday and every meal for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days it was recorded that all sorts of negative side affects happened too Morgan. He gained weight, increased blood pressure, grew more lethargic, and, heaven forbid, nearly all but lost his sex drive. It was a complete catastrophe for his health and his relationships.
What you may not know is another story. Yes, it's about an individual who only at McDonalds for 30 days. A Drexel University Dietician named, Nyree Dardarian. Nyree took a different approach to eat only McDonalds for 30 days. She chose the healthy items from their menu. Nyree carefully chose what she would eat the yogurt parfait, egg McMuffin, Salad, and so on. At the end of 30 days this mother of three had only gained 1 pound, her blood work was the same as when she went on the 30 day McDonalds binge. She had very little negative impact.
Both people chose McDonalds, Morgan chose that which was harmful, Nyree chose that which was either neutral or healthy. One person needed an immediate diet change the other went on with life as usual.
Here's my point, what you read is just as important as choosing to read.
You cannot improve in any area of your life and stay the same. Reading improves your thinking. Reading will change your beliefs. Reading will impact those around you as you become better.
This is why reading is part of the "Core 4" of the 30 Day Ferocious Faith Challenge. We need to intellectually grow and reading is the cheapest and quickest way to begin to make that happen.
If you are interested in taking the 30 Day Ferocious Faith Challenge you can sign up HERE.
You can listen to this podcast episode, "I Hated It! Maybe You Did Too?" HERE.