This is a legacy post from andreiathoughts.com, the precursor to andreian.com. It has not been updated and may not be relevant anymore.
Wait… What? Isn’t reading one of the best ways to spend your time? I though reading was recommended, since you said it’s like “downloading the wisdom of another so you don’t have to make their mistakes” in another post?
Yes. Yes to all of it.
Reading is a great way to spend time.
However, reading books and blog posts is passive consumption of information. It doesn’t make you any money, it doesn’t progress you to any specific destination. Even successful Wall Street Traders recommend to cut back on reading.
It’s taking in information, and who knows how much of it you’ll remember. Don’t stop reading, realize where you’re going to get the best return for your time, at the current situation you’re in.
The place You’ll get the biggest return from is work.
Reading is passive, you aren’t making any money, any progress on your goals of wealth or status. Even worse, when blogs you think you can trust are making money off your attention. It’s a sit back, and… sort of learn concept. Except, when you sit back, so does your mind. Relaxation does not equate to memorization. This is why watching a documentary is not learning, it’s entertainment.
For you to learn a concept, you need to believe it’s important enough so that it commands your attention. If someone broke into your home, right now, you’d stop reading this piece and deal with them. That’s because a situation like a home burglary is more important, than this blog. What is depending on you learning, what you need to learn? If it’s nothing, you won’t absorb much. If taking a course is the difference between feeding your family, or seeing them go hungry, you’ll be much more motivated to learn. Stakes are important.
Or, you can also become passionate enough about the subject that the excitement keeps you hooked, like binge watching your favorite TV series on Netflix.
Active learning is using Duolingo to learn a new language while safely taking Modafinil to improve your retention and focus. The safest way to buy Modafinil is with bitcoin, you can use Coinbase to get Bitcoin securely. For Modafinil, Afinilexpress is the best source.
This is just for entertainment. I do not recommend or endorse you take Modafinil. This is not medical advice. (disclaimer).
Reading a book on the Spanish language will not benefit you as strongly as finding someone to speak Spanish with and actively practicing with them. This is the difference between actively learning, and passively learning.
Pay attention to how active and passive is categorized. You can place nearly all of your activities into one of these two categories, and you know which one is better for you. Hint: it’s active.
This isn’t to say passive activities and passive learning is wrong. It has a place like everything else. Burnout is a real condition, and a passive activity you love is the medicine, the cure.
Think about the passive and active actions in your life for a moment. How do they affect the progress on your goals or mission?
Common passive activities include:
- Watching television or Netflix
- Playing video-games
- Scrolling social media
- Watching Youtube videos
Common active activities Include
- Training in the gym
- Taking an online course while your phone is turned off
- Actively working on finding leads for your business.
The Automotive Mega Challenge Of Learning
I’ve asked you to compete in an automotive challenge against another, unnamed man. We’ll call him Other Guy. Whomever can rebuild the engine of their car the fastest wins a brand new car, and a date with a celebrity of their choice.
Here’s the catch: both of you know nothing about cars and each will learn in a different way.
Other Guy: spends two weeks with a phone book sized auto manual, taking notes, reading before bed, and studying the information thoroughly. Other Guy takes meticulous notes and creates diagrams, reviewing all of the information he took down every night.
You: You spend three full eight hour days working hands on with a mechanic, who is teaching you how to build an engine. You don’t take any notes except what lives within your head.
The mechanic instructs you on the process of building an engine. He does none of the work, and acts as your shadow, never leaving your side, informing you on the moves you need to make. Not before allowing you to experiment first. To fail first.
Who will win a new car and a hot date?
You will win the car, and the girl because you are actively learning a new skill. When you’re fully engaged, you learn more efficiently, and retain more of what you’ve learned. Your brain is an incredibly efficient machine. It wants to save space, like a computer clearing old files. If you cannot convince your brain that what is being taught is crucial, it won’t remember it.
Signaling Value To Your Mind
If only we could speak to our brains, and command them directly.
You can convince your brain to learn anything.
You need to send your mind reasons to listen. To pay attention.
— Vincent Menniti (@vinmenniti) February 17, 2017
We can’t, but we can give our brains signals of importance. Telling our minds that what we’re doing cannot be forgotten.
One of the ways to do this, is by actively learning. Then your brain is fully engaged, and primed to take on new information.
Cornell University defines active learning as: “anything that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing” or “anything course-related that all students in a class session are called upon to do other than simply watching, listening and taking notes” Source.
This is the difference between other guy, and you. By working on the car, you’re actively learning. Your brain has to learn faster. It simply doesn’t have a choice.
You need to be active in your approach to learning in order for you to retain the information you desire. This blog post for example: You can read it, share it(do that one please), print it and comment on it. But, if you don’t do anything with the information other than read it once, you wasted your time. My time as well.
Being All-Read Is Useless
You need to live your skills, not read about them. This is what word warriors are: all talk. They may have read one hundred books on business, but until they create one, they know nothing.
When you’re all read, you have nothing except a Snapple lid mind. You may know a few facts about how to rebuild an engine, but you can’t do anything with that information. An engine is inside a car, not inside a book. Same as whatever else you may want to learn like cooking, marketing, web design or fencing.
Like Mr. other guy you competed against in the competition, and beat, he walked into the garage on the big day and didn’t know how to use a wrench.
If you’re all read, you’re a walking theory with nothing else. Action is how knowledge is retained and implemented. Without implementation, there is nothing.
Here’s an easy rule to follow: If I can’t use the information I’m reading in one month, or it’s not a story that contains some type of parable or lesson, don’t read it. For books, wisdom is everlasting and can be used at any time-even fiction. Need a solid fiction book? Read Musashi.
Keep reading, don’t ever stop. Just make sure this isn’t where you’re spending the bulk of your time, because it is, just words.
The Point? | Reading Is Passive.
Reading is like sleeping-it’s passive. Whether it’s a book, a blog, or the menu at a restaurant. You see information, it’s held not in memory, but in it’s original location. There is no locomotion, no movement, no going from point A to point B in your mind.
However, reading is still important because it expands your mind and gives you new ideas. This is the point of reading: Inspiration & ideas. Quentin Tarantino didn’t become a famous director because of film school, he went straight to films. He did the work, instead of burying his nose in a book like some tenured professor still letting his dreams run away from him.
The ideas you read are to be executed upon. This is where the action comes in. This is the point of reading: Giving you ideas to create action.
You can read in bed at night, or in the morning as these are perfect times. Think of the morning and night as primers to prepare your mind for the day, or prepare your mind for rest. Having a customized morning and night routine will make this process even more effective.
There isn’t a point to read anytime else as this is time that could be used creating or practicing instead of consuming. Some exceptions can be made. If you’re sick, or on vacation, go ahead, crush a book.
Practicing & Creation > Study and sit back learning.
It’s fine to read blogs, newsletters, books, and other texts. That is, if you know how to read blogs and newsletters the right way. We all want to be wealthy, free, and in command of our destinies. In order to do this you need the knowledge. But, you need to act more than anything else.
The time spent creating and innovating teaches you the best lessons, and moves you closure to freedom. Freedom can then be a beautiful reality you wake up in like a sun drenched morning, instead of a distant cubicle dream.
If you found value in this post, please share it with a friend, or leave a comment on why you disagree with everything said.
Why Stop Now?