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10 Reasons You Aren’t Able To Read A Lot Of Books

10 Reasons You Aren’t Able To Read A Lot Of Books

Reading a book has become more tedious than ever for many. According to Goodreads, even some of the most exhilarating books are left unfinished. People are not just reading as many books as they used to, and certainly the numbers are not improving. Here are reasons why you may not be able to read a lot of books.

1. You don’t have access to books

It is easier to gain access to other media outlets like the TV or the internet than getting a book. What you don’t have close to you suddenly becomes less important. Even when people are able to download books online, genuine book lovers are still more content having a physical book. Trying to gain access by registering in a local library or joining a book club to rekindle your interest in books.

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2. You have become a more social person

Book reading requires solitude and isolation. Yet people could start drifting into more social activities with the influence of friends and family. Having more social activities suddenly consumes your time and lures you away from reading that wonderful book. To enjoy that next book in that genre you love you may need to start spending more time alone.

3. You have the wrong perception of books

For some, reading a book seems more of a mechanical activity because it could help them pass their next exam. Thus books only appear to be a means to an end and never a cause of excitement on its own. Readers may find new genres that make the idea of reading becomes more attractive to a reader rather than a pain or a duty.

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4. You are not inclined to finishing any book you start

Clinical psychologist Matthew Willhelm distinguishes between two personality types: those who want to feel accomplished after reading a book and those who do not see enough rewards in reading a book. These personality types are differentiated as we grow depending on the environment, desire and feeling we get from books. If you do not belong to the “completing a book” type, perhaps you have to tilt towards someone who does for support on this.

5. You don’t have enough time

Reading a book requires time, something that you may not have in abundance. People often complete a book while on a bus or a plane, when there is time to be engaged in a fixed spot. But when there are so many things to get done, completing a book may not be on your priority list.

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6. You need to unwind in different ways

Reading a book can be intellectually challenging. Many would find less effort in watching a movie, or playing a video game. Trying to understand what the author is trying to channel through words could be difficult. Perhaps you have to build your intellectual enthusiasm and engage in discussions with book lovers.

7. You can’t afford buying books

Books are expensive. You may enjoy reading a book, but buying one may be challenging. You may be only able to afford a few and go no further. Perhaps you have to sign up at a library or buy used books.

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8. You pick the wrong books to read

You need to read books that you are interested in. Sometimes it is easy to be captured by a title, but when you flip through the pages it simply doesn’t meet your expectations. Also a book could be the craze of the moment and you want to follow the crowd by reading that book, but end up finding out the book is not what you like. It is best to buy books that you are familiar with and satisfy your area of interest.

9. You are heavily distracted

It could be that you have your tablets, gadgets and other electronic devices close to you. It is easier to go through such devices than reading a book. Perhaps you have to go lighter by having fewer e-devices around you.

10. You haven’t made it a habit

Reading more books requires mastering it as a habit. What you do more often becomes something you enjoy doing all the time. Try and make reading more books a goal. Have a book with you anywhere you go, and soon you will be reading more and finding more benefits in reading a book.

Featured photo credit: http://www.stokpic.com via stokpic.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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