I have been a constant reader for the past few years and I can really tell the difference it made in my life. I won’t go as far as claiming that I’m smart but I sure feel a change in my mindset since I made reading a habit. It helped me in many ways to expand my knowledge and to be productive in my free time. It has made me be more confident about being by myself, and about being around people. I’ve seen so many positive changes happen to me since I adapted this habit that it amazes me why most people avoid reading.
As I’ve observed, when it comes to learning about a thing, what most people do is they go to their friends or family or someone they know and ask them for the guidance. It does make them feel safe to get that precious advice from a trusted someone and it helps them form better bonds with each other, but unless the ones close to you are expert on the subject you want to know about, I don’t think it is that helpful. People tend to advise based on what they know, and if the people you go to don’t possess the right information, no matter how much you look up to them they would mislead you or keep you hanging.
But unlike the scepticism that comes along when receiving an information from a close friend, or a family member, or from someone you know, you can totally rely on a book to get an accurate information on any subject you want to know about; books are written by proficient authors after all who gain expertise on a specific matter by pondering and researching on it a lot. These authors sure are a better choice than the people you think should know about a matter. By choosing a book you choose to get detailed and precise knowledge about anything you wish to know about. This will help you develop better understanding of the subject.
The second thing that I’ve noticed by observing people is that how random they talk. I’ve observed people jump from one topic to another with no reference to the previous one, it’s like they’ve got nothing to do whether they make sense or not. As an introvert, I think people talk just for the sake of talking. Mostly, their conversations are not meant to lead anywhere.
But unlike people, the conversations in a book are started after properly closing the previous one, and they are always structured and they follow a logical sequence. This logical sequence helps you develop a steady and a composed mind.
I think if you talk too much about random things with too many random people, your mind stays jumbled as you can’t arrange all those random informations. This leaves your thoughts without any direction and it makes you feel frustrated for not being able to think clearly. Reading on the other hand, is a good way to sort out your thoughts, it helps me all the time.
And even more, it helps me to analyse the depth of every situation better.
In the book ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’, the author Daniel Kahneman says that most of the people act based on what they see. He termed this cognitive bias What You See Is All There Is (WYSIATI). According to his description in the book, people perceive things according to the informations available to them, our minds only considers the things it knows to judge and have opinion on anything. This could get tricky if we don’t have proper informations before forming a strong opinion about a matter; we could be horribly wrong, embarrass ourselves, get ourselves in trouble, even go mad if we lose touch from the actuality of things. Reading on the other hand saves us from all of these mishappenings.
I hope most people begin to adapt reading as a habit so that they can understand its benefits by themselves.
I can’t say for sure whether it makes one smart or not, but it sure is worth it. After all, a mindful book never lets anybody down.