It's amazing how many people do not read one book in their lifetime after getting out of school (or college). Well, I was one of those as well for several years. Never read a book, never attended a seminar or a workship for a long time!
Until one day, a family friend handed over "The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People" by Dr. Stephen Covey and, that one book, changed the direction I was headed towards in my life. That was the first book I picked up, and since then, I never stopped reading.
Daily reading has helped me improve my self esteem, build some great relationships with people with similar interests and drop some of those relationships that were having a negative influence on my future. Today, I look back and thank God for the friend who handed over that book to me. If not for him, I was all excited in the a rut system trying to be a winner without any direction!
What triggered me to write this post is, an incredible post by one of my favorite authors, Michael Hyatt who recently published his bestselling book "Platform" that impacted me so much. He has been an inspiration for my blogging career.
In this article, he shared his experience of attending Tony Robbins’ Life & Wealth Mastery event. I encourage you to go ahead and read that article as I am sure you will enjoy those 7 lessons. However, the unspoken truth revealed from the article is:
The biggest leaders are humble. They are the biggest learners and always hungry for knowledge.
Why in the world, a person like Michael Hyatt who is best selling author, Chairman and CEO of the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the US would need to attend Tony Ribbins' event for Life & Wealth Mastery?
For many, this is hard to comprehend. But the truth that I realized eventually is – Successful people are truly hungry for knowledge and they never stop learning.
Successful people do not let their ego get bigger than their purpose and therefore, they are willing to spend their money, time and effort in acquiring every bit of knowledge available.
On the other hand, there are those who calculate return on investment for every penny when it comes to investing in their personal development such as reading books, listening to success stories or attending seminars or workshops. It used to frustrate me initially when I saw the same people never calculate return on the investment when it comes to making a trip to Disney World, visiting Niagara Falls or going for live shows.
But I had to understand the fact that we invest our time and resources based on our ambition levels and we set our priorities accordingly. If we believe we can be bigger and have a better tomorrow, we invest in our today. But, if we think there is nothing more to accomplish, then pleasure becomes the priority.
The leadership coach and the best selling author of several leadership books such as Developing The Leader Within You, Leadership Gold, and Today Matters among many others, John Maxwell says:
The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.
What I found eventually is – the habits of the poor class, the middle class and the rich class are quite different. And when it comes to the use of the time and the money, here is how people from each class choose differently:
Time Management by Poor Class
Have you seen people who work so hard to earn money during the day time only for night to come so they could go to bars and spent all that money on drinks and entertainment? I have seen numerous people who lead that kind of life.
They spend most of their time to earn money and then, spend remaining time to spend it all.
They blame the government, their parents, society and everybody else for their financial situation but they have no idea that their poverty is the result of their own daily habits. And even if they do realize, they do not have the discipline and commitment to make the changes.
People in this class have no value for investing, learning new skills, reading or personal development. They have mostly no time for such things.
Time Management by Middle Class
In my humble opinion, the entire television and the entertainment industry is standing because of the tremendous support of the middle class. These are the people who are financially better than poor class though they don't consider themselves in the rich class. They can easily have the food on the table, can save some money at the end of the month and can send their children to college (or at least can easily secure a loan for the purposes that require large capital investments).
They spend most of their time to earn money, spend remaining time in socializing and entertainment.
People in this class work really hard to earn that living, no question. But they like to have fun on the daily basis. They love to spend time in front of the television, socialize with friends, have a vacation or two every year, have lots of parties and attend live shows. They spend good amount of money and their time on such pleasure activities.
But people in this class are very skeptical when it comes to investing in self improvement. They find activities such as reading books, attending educational seminars or participating in personal development workshops, mostly unnecessary. They usually feel that such things have no real value.
Time Management by Rich Class
While for most in poor and middle class, enjoyment of being wealthy means watching a huge flat-screen TV , play lots of sports or get a lot of pampering, rich class people hardly spend their time on such pleasure activities.
They enjoy investing majority of their time in their personal growth, a portion of their time to make money and very little time on pleasure.
In reality, the rich fill their time with activities like exercise, reading, travelling, learning new skills and personal development. They love these activities because they find these, valuable for where they want to be in their lives.
Successful people do not hesitate putting their money and time on improving their health and their self as they consider this as an investment for their future. By doing so, they attract even more health and wealth in their lives.
Question: Do you plan to attend motivational seminars or inspirational workshops in near future? Do you read something positive daily? Would you share your thoughts?
I remember that day when “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” came into our possession first time. Kumar went on getting excited as he moved from chapter to chapter.
Reading books from people like Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Bob Burg, Og Mandino and John Maxwell really had a major major impact on our lives.
Yes, indeed. Thank God for that day. What a blessing to be able to read and then what an opportunity to read everyday and gain new wisdom, new knowledge everyday! Wow!
Kumar, once again a very intelligent, thought-provoking article.
It is amazing the power and influence books have on our lives when we allow them to. One can only imagine the impact if people were to invest as much into their minds as they do on automobile repairs every year.
I love reading primarily because it allows me to enter into new worlds… worlds of creativity, imagination, and hard-earned life lessons.
I love reading because I am better able to understand, empathize and feel compassion
for the human condition.
I love reading because I too am a writer. All the reasons that writers write and readers read come down to these words:
INFORMATION, INSTRUCTION, INSIGHT, INTEREST, IMPRESSION, IMPACT, INFLUENCE and INSPIRATION.
Thank you Bill, for your kind words of appreciation. I am big on reading, investing in self. As you rightly mentioned, most people invest incredible amount of money and time on “neck-down”. But if we could just invest a fraction of that budget on “neck-up”, our lives would be so much more fulfilling, so much more enjoyable journey!
Can’t wait for your new book to come out… I know it’s going to a mega hit!
Kumar, I just started reading John Maxwell and now following your articles. This is really a good article and flashback the day when I had started reading The 7 habbits of highly effective people. This has charged me to bring thoughts together for next couple of months. Thanks !!!
Thank you for your kind comments, Ramesh. John Maxwell ‘s website is a great platform to learn from each other. I am honored that you found this articles, useful. Thanks again.
Nice Article and very good references provided throughout the article with useful links.
Thanks for posting Kumar!
You are very welcome, Irfan. Glad you found the resources useful.
I was able to read “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” when I was still in high school. And it’s truly a good stuff. It’s also a good point that you emphasize in this article the meaning of time in all our activities.
Thanks Chris. Appreciate you dropping by here and sharing your thoughts. Wow, you read that in high school? That’s amazing!
I googled ‘time management’ and Lo and behold, I landed here!
But I got something more: its the set of beliefs you have that would either guarantee success or failure…I think, everyone should think exactly the way the rich does!
Thanks for sharing…do have a great day!
That’s absolutely right. Rich get richer because they think the right way about wealth. Beliefs are critical and rich people are rich in their beliefs.
Amazed to know that you landed here through Google 🙂 Looks like Google has begun liking me…
Have a great weekend!