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A Single Habit That Will Put You In The Top 1% Of Experts and Income Earners

A Single Habit That Will Put You In The Top 1% Of Experts and Income Earners

Ideas, knowledge, skills, inspiration, and more are available to you through the magic of reading. More than any other single habit, reading gives you the power to learn and grow. I have used my reading skills to learn computer skills (WordPress, website design, Excel), history, and finance. To continue my growth, I have set annual goals to read a certain number of books. I’ve already exceeded my 2015 goal to read 30 books.

There are an abundance of benefits that entrepreneurs, authors, CEOs, and other successful people receive from reading. All reading is helpful in keeping your mind sharp. However, reading literature related to your goals will help you be more efficient in reaching those goals. If your goal is to improve your income, focus your reading on books that relate to your career.

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Do You Want To Learn How To Manage Your Money?

As one of the most successful investors of all time, Warren Buffet’s success habits deserve to be studied. His daily routine includes reading several newspapers, business reports, and books. As Buffet has explained in interviews, reading Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor gave him the foundation for his investment model.

Do You Want To Grow Your Business With New Opportunities?

Before he became known for his charity work, Bill Gates co-founded one of the most successful technology companies of all time. Reading and learning new ideas is one of the secrets of his success. Luckily, we can now read Bill Gates’s reading list on his website. Recent book recommendations include Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty and How Asia Works by Joe Studwell. Reading is a great way to learn about new countries and markets.

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Do You Want To Gain Lessons and Encouragement From Great Women and Men of the Past?

Author and marketing expert Ryan Holiday recommends reading biographies. On his recommendation, I read Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow in 2014 and it was outstanding. As Holiday points out, biographies teach us how real people have overcome significant problems. If you have ever felt alone in a challenge, there is probably a biography that has answers (and inspiration) to help get you through the problem.

Do You Want To Get Started With Reading Every Single Day?

Getting started with a new reading habit is daunting for some people. If that describes you, then start small. Commit to reading one page in the morning from a book while you eat breakfast. You can gradually increase it as you start to read more. As a general rule, I read from a book for 25 minutes each morning — it is a great way to start your day with new ideas and inspiration. If you prefer to read in the evening, you may want to read fiction so that you can better relax.

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Are You Bored During Your Commute? Use Audiobooks!

Did you know that Audible.com has more than 100,000 audio books available for download? It is a great way to add books to your daily routine. For example, you can listen to books during your exercise routine. You can also enjoy audiobooks during your commute to and from work. The average commuting time in the US is 25 minutes — that’s nearly an hour of audiobook-listening time you can use each day!

Do You Want To Get Paid Like An Expert By Reading?

In our economy, experts with specialized knowledge tend to be the most highly paid. For example, specialized doctors tend to earn more money than non-specialist doctors (e.g. in 2011, specialized surgeons in the U.S. earned close to $500,000 per year, more than double what generalists earn).

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How can you apply this concept to grow your income through reading?

Spend one hour every day of the year reading to advance your knowledge. To speed the process along, consider starting a focused program of study. For example, you may want to focus your reading on earning a credential such as the Project Management Professional certification. Alternately, you may also decide to read the best books in a given field (e.g. the Personal MBA’s 99 best business books). If you keep up your learning over several years, you will become an expert in your field.

Featured photo credit: Book/PourquoiPas via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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