But here's the thing...
I was recently listening to the CD from SUCCESS magazine in my car, and in it publisher Darren Hardy talked about when he asked bestselling author Brian Tracy, "what's the difference between the 5% who are wealthy and the 95% who aren't?"
Brian Tracy said that those who gain wealth spend the majority of their free time on education, while the rest spend most of their free time on entertainment.
I'm a huge fan of entertainment: fiction books, a few TV shows (HIMYM anyone?), and broadway, just to name a few. There is nothing wrong with entertainment.
But I think it's safe to say we are pretty overloaded with entertainment in our culture, and it is pretty distracting.
Lately I've even found myself having my phone out while I'm casually walking. While walking across campus, to a restaurant with friends, or through a parking lot. And there is no real reason to have my phone out...I'm usually just waiting for Facebook to load. Lately I've stopped myself and asked what am I doing? What am I missing on this walk with actual other people around me?
It's difficult to resist. And regardless of the pursuit of wealth, evolving with this ever-changing economy will indeed rely on your ability to educate yourself in your free time. Those who continually update their skills and spend their free time learning will be the ones who succeed above the rest.
So as hard as it might be to think about now, if you really want to pursue college success, win lots of money in scholarships, and pursue a successful financial future, those habits must start now. You can start small; make a goal to read at least 10 pages of a non-fiction book of interest per day. Print out a calendar and put an X on every day, promising yourself not to break the chain.
The key to your free-time learning is to choose non-fiction books that truly interest you and what you are pursuing in your life right now. Below are my top three recommended books that will impact your pursuits, no matter what they are. In addition to general books like these, I highly recommend reading something that will teach you about your intended career. Half.com has great deals on used books, and never underestimate the power of your local library.
Top three (kinds of) books to read this summer -->
1. (A general success book) The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is my personal favorite. You can read my full review here. If you're really serious, I highly recommend subscribing to SUCCESS magazine. It is packed with the most incredible and inspiring stuff. I am amazed at how incredible it's been as a subscriber for the past year. I can sincerely say it has impacted my life.
2. (A college success book) I am a huge fan of Cal Newport and all of his books - check out How to Win at College (review here) or anything else by him. If you really want to do well in college, it is paramount that you invest your free time in reading up on how to do well. I promise it will be money and time well invested.
3. (A biography) The best thing I read after I graduated college was How to be Like Walt by Pat Williams. This biography of Walt really inspired me, and since I first read it I realize why I was so drawn to the creativity, vision, and child-like whimsy of his life. Reading this book made me feel like I could do anything. Find a biography of someone whom you are drawn to. Get lost in their story, and then reflect on why that person interests you, and what you can learn from his or her success. You'll find you'll learn a lot about yourself as well.
|Final tip: find a favorite place to read. This is mine (okay...so FL beaches don't look exactly like this...but...you get the point ;))|
I found this site put forth by UC Berkeley of summer reading lists for their incoming students. I'm going to pick a few for my Summer Reading! 2008's theme was: Bio-Graphy: Writing a Life. Lots of great suggestions! Thought I'd share.