Here’s an interesting thought. When people thought of their schedules, they always wished they exercised and read more than they did. There was absolutely no one who wished they exercises or read less.
Stories are a huge part of our life. Stories are how we communicate to ourselves. When the going gets tough and when we have a tough call to make, we scan our mind for stories of similar situations. If we find negative stories, we are deterred from taking action. If we find positive stories, we do take action very enthusiastically.
Sometimes, the stories we do have are not directly linked to the decision we need to make but we find key similarities and act on our hunches any way. When this goes well, we call it creativity. The more stories we have, the more easy it is to take these decisions. This, of course, is what we call experience. In essence, I think of experience as a collection of stories in our minds.
We are all capable of creativity in our own fields of interest. It requires a bit of belief and a bit of habit. Experience is of course a different game altogether. If you’ve been around, doing things and learning for 50 years, your life alone probably provides enough stories for that mental scanner. If you haven’t, what do you do then?
There are 2 ways of gaining stories aside from our own experiences – stories from the wise that comes from time spent with them and books.
If you have the opportunity to spend lots of time with the wise, that’s great. Often though, such opportunities are few and far between and they are beyond our control. Books, however, are completely in our control.
So, that would be my recommendation – read books. Read all kinds of books – dabble in history, human behaviour, psychology, philosophy, biography/autobiography, science, self help, business, management, leadership, persuasion. Start with what appeals most to you and then keep testing out new topics. Over time, you may find topics you like most or maybe you won’t. It doesn’t matter.
I can’t thank books enough because they’ve given me something of value to talk about during conversations with people vastly more experienced.
So, read outrageously. Read everyday. It’s not that hard, really. I’ve been doing 30 minutes of reading every day. Some days, this goes much higher but on most days, it’s at least 30 minutes. I’m sure you can do more, and better..
PS: When I say this, I fully recognize ‘reading’ is not for everyone. I ‘listen’ to books myself. If you are interested, do check out an earlier post on Audible.