The original concept for the ‘52 books in 52 weeks’ project started out as something that I just plucked out of the air. My greatest surges of learning have always come from books – as well as life – and so it made perfect sense to challenge myself by trying to read one book per week. But what started out, as a project has now just become a new way of life for me. That’s what happens in my life these days. I create very positive, healthy and useful habits whilst simultaneously placing my destructive, unhealthy and pointless habits into a locked cupboard.
There were two minor issues that I found hidden amongst the treasures that the knowledge brought me. You need to be selfish if you want to read one book per week. If you have a partner, or children, then you need to make it clear that you need your time and space to read – free from distraction. Some books need a good hour or so to complete your allotted ‘reading time’ in order to keep you on track; and with everything else that modern life throws at you it can be tough. If you think that reading is going to be a new way of life for you – and you should – then get serious about your reading time.
Another problem was the pace at which information; challenges and ‘things to do’ come at you when you are reading one book per week. I would always make copious notes, set myself goals and targets, take notes of recommended books and also note down the various exercises that the authors of some of the books recommend that you participate in. Sometimes these can be swallowed up by even more reading time, because no sooner are you trying to delve into your homework you find you have started reading your new book. It taught me that it’s so important to have a personal organisation system that works for you to ensure you capture everything you need to do, and prioritise each action accordingly.
Looking down the index of the 52 books makes me smile. You can see how I struggled with my relationships through my lack of communication skills; need to always be right and just being a plain old dick. You can also see how much turmoil I have been in since going through my divorce and adapting to a life where I no longer see my son when I want to. Then there is my spiritual journey where I have obviously been seeking for some higher power; and I can tell you that this comes from the need to try and quiet my mind. Sometimes I hate the way I behave. This is good because it helps me remember that I am a good person who just keeps screwing up, rather than a nasty person who takes joy from exacting pain on others. There was a period where I did a lot of work around money and I still harbour fears about money even today. I also learned a lot of work on improving my knowledge and trying to understand how to turn Needy Helper into a business. There were also a few books that I read in attempt to help others by trying to understand problems they were facing that I was ill equipped to handle. Finally, there was a lot of work done around marriage, health, habit and addiction.
Looking back through 52 different books I would have to say the most important learning’s from the year have surrounded my health. The good news is once you start to live a lean life it’s not just the booze that’s cut out of your life. A lean life ensures that you keep on tapping away like a Woodpecker does when he tickles his tree. The bad news is, it isn’t a quick process. I stopped drinking four years ago and only four years later am I truly following a healthy, nutritional diet that is going to help provide longevity.
So that’s a wrap on the first instalment of the 52 books in 52 weeks series. Now it’s time to hold up a glass of water and welcome in the next one.
Did you gain any value from following my 52 book series? If so please share it with the Needy Helper.
Photo courtesy of cogdogblog (cc $ flicker.com)