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10 Reasons Why People Who Read a Lot Are More Likely to Be Good Leaders

10 Reasons Why People Who Read a Lot Are More Likely to Be Good Leaders

Reading is currently on a global decline. The statistics and polls behind this pattern are frightening because the shortage of readers means there will be a shortage of leaders. There is no disputing it: reading offers you the platform to become a leader. Famous leaders from Steve Jobs to Elon Musk engage in a lot of intellect-building by reading books. This is what reading offers when it comes to leadership.

1. They have better people skills.

According to researchers, reading encourages our brains to try to relate with the characters we are reading about. Even if we go several days without coming back to the book, our brain continues to make neural connections with the experiences and behaviors of these characters. By connecting with several characters of a book, we boost our emotional IQ and become more able to connect with people. These kinds of skills are important for leadership as they help us communicate with our associates.

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2. They have a wider vocabulary.

People who read expand their vocabularies from exclusively verbal to emotional as well. By reading more, one is exposed to a wider span of vocabulary. With an improved vocabulary, a person can have better communication skills which are helpful in expressing desires and thoughts. You can make demands and seek answers as you navigate your path to leadership.

3. They have a more rounded perspective.

Instead of viewing the world from a preferential angle, they see it from a holistic one. With reading you are able to travel to new places, engage in many conversations, and be a part of many plots. Having a more rounded perspective doesn’t make you limited to a particular scope or leave you fixated on one piece of reality; rather, you see the world as a terrain of limitless possibilities and challenges.

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4. They have better associations.

People like to connect and interact with readers because of their ability to converse with an array of word choices. They are more discerning and prove to be more knowledgeable in conversations. Networking and connecting with other people who are similar to them on such ideals sort of triggers and propels them toward leadership.

5. They are more relaxed.

According to a study, reading can help to reduce stress. Compared to other stress relievers like walking, listening to music or drinking a cup of tea, reading was discovered to be the most effective as it lowers heart rates and can relieve tension in few minutes. With a calmer demeanor, readers are more positive and focused for leadership.

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6. They are more intellectually challenged.

Readers are better thinkers according to research. This is because reading builds your intellectual capacity to reason and solve problems. It is also noted that reading something you disagree with could have a big impact on the way you think, both logically and creatively.

7. They are reminded of past actions.

Sometimes, reading serves as a mirror to who you are. Reading certain books could remind you of things that you knew before. Reading filters your thoughts and awareness and keeps important concepts at the top of your mind.

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8. They are more energetic and purpose driven.

Reading makes you feel more energetic, positive, and confident. Readers are better vitalized and aware enough to navigate through different channels for success. Reading positions them to be mentally sharp and active.

9. They have an improved focus.

Because of reading constantly, people who read are able to sustain their focus on a long-term project. Avid readers hate distractions and dislike it when they have to put a book down. This is also an important element for any leader.

10. They are good time managers.

Reading is always available for any reader. Instead of waiting and being idle, reading is always a valuable avenue to manage their time and get more done. Any minute wasted could be put to good use in reading a book. Such awareness is also prevalent in leaders as they see every minute as vital to meeting their goals.

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

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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