Reading, a proven path to advance your life

The new year 2016 has come. It’s always the good time to look back. And this is one of the things I would like to share again with you on the reading topic. On the way to work today, me and my wife have talked about the fact that whoever can read and commit to read, that are the very ones to have a lot more potential to grow their career and advance their lives. My CEO, her former CEOs, our top co-workers. They are all great readers.On another conversation with the CPO of KMS yesterday, she and I have come to the same agreement about reading as the critical factor for whoever want to gain in-depth knowledge in everything. Of course, it will need doing, experimenting as well, to complete the learning process. But knowledge certainly can prepare you in advance for what you can do, once things happen. And if you have struggled with some issues before, by spending time reading stories of others, you’ll now be able to see things differently, clearer and you can go back with your problems and solve them.

Unfortunately, as a Vietnamese born in the late of 70s, I found out that our school system hasn’t supported / promoted / or helped build the reading behavior for us since we started our lives in school. That’s a big disadvantage for Vietnamese, I would say. On the opposite side, if you travel, you’ll see that most of Westerners carry with them either a book or Kindle. And they read. That is why they can be that advanced in seeing things, articulating things, and effectively dealing with things. They continuously consume knowledge and learn from people around the world by… reading. And I learned that they have built their reading behaviors very early in their school times.

Well, it’s never too late. Yes, it is never. Vietnamese, you can keep it that way, no reading. Or you can do something about it. It’s absolutely your choice. I started building my reading skill late, about 5 years after my graduation from university. Yet only around 5-6 years ago, once I learned the fact that one of my co-workers reads 52 books / a year in average. And he is someone you’ll be amazed by his deep knowledge in mostly everything, especially technology, if you have a chance to meet him. That was once I knew I need to do more reading. And since then, reading becomes part of my life and I am so happy with what I can get from reading that I even created a slideshare to share with everyone (see below). I posted this once again with the purpose to urge you that START READING, if you haven’t.

And here comes 2016. Once I look at the first 10 books displayed on my Kindle Cloud Reader now, there are quite a few interesting things I can see, developed from the last 7 years reading. This is the extension part to the slide above, I would say.


  • Focus: 7 years ago, my focus reading is about business, entrepreneurship, leadership, personal development. Now, the focus becomes spiritual / meditation with 50% of it. And the rest would go with business. Guess I’m getting old and know what is more important to me :). In fact, time is a limited factor. And I don’t have a lot of options, but to spend time wisely, including reading time. The more I grow up as an human being, the more I learn that it is spiritual to be the more important part of me that I need to learn and practise.
  • Same authors: There are the same 3 authors in the 10 books above. For meditation, I am reading stuff from Monk Henepola Gunaratana. Regarding business, it somehow shows up that Ram Charan there. There are too many books and authors out there. But once again, as time is limited, you just have to pick the best to read. And my finding is that by following just a few authors you find great and reading all of their work, it’s probably more than enough. Not mentioning the fact that they will also recommend the other great books or authors for you to read as well. That’s where you can find great things to read and learn.
  • Re-read: This is the pattern now. In the first few years, I tried to read as many as I can. Now, I limit it to 30-36 books a year only. And I now have to re-read a few books. As I found it could be better than reading the new things. I haven’t understood everything from the first read. And the second read and such will help me to consume / learn more from the author’s work. After reading, changing, practising, I learn / see a lot more new things once re-reading again.

I can’t stress enough through words for the benefit of reading. I just hope that you trust me and start reading, if you haven’t done so. Start with 1-2 books a year, then 1 book a month. I think that’s good enough, compared with none. And you will see what I am trying to say.

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