“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
– Joseph Addison
Reading is not an avocation but it has to be a vocation. We generally take reading as a hobby and take it lightly and treat it leisurely. In all its balanced thinking it is a bare necessity. Mind needs to flex its muscle and it happens with reading. Reading is not a limited or a close activity. It is vast and an open platform. The variety and volume of books are wide and widespread. The subject and genre could range from a contemporary to classic, business management to bibliographic manifestation, mythology to mystery, autobiography to astronomy to astrology. The diverse and deep we read the critical and creative our thinking becomes. It is this thinking that loads us to lead whatever we choose to do.
To be a leader reading is not just essential but is crucial. Looking back to stories of leader in history, successful leaders have read and in fact have been ardent and voracious readers. Applying the same yardstick today’s successful leaders are no different. They have been influenced and inspired by characters and messages from great books that have triggered their thinking towards to societal transformation and greater achievement. As a leader you are at the top, you have large followers at the bottom. But you are isolated in your living and thinking at the top. You have to be innovative in your action to attract the attentions of the followers. That innovation comes from creative thinking. There are few around you who can provide you with those few new ideas. But it is these books that can always provide you with choice of ideas.
Growth is vital to life. Life ceases the moment growth is halted. Growth is multi-dimensional. Physical growth needs food and mental growth needs food for thought. Food for thought comes profusely from reading making our thoughts profound. Reading cannot always be shallow and simple. We need to get hold of complex subject and convoluted plots and conflicts. Yes, we also need to stretch ourselves to test our hold on language by reading literary masterpieces. These are masterpieces because they have ignited passions and inspired actions over time having far reaching changes. We may not for the first time and may every time we read to get the hang of the meaning and the message, the book attempt to convey. But each time we read we derive newer insights and nuggets of inspirations. Books are treasures of wisdom. Just like we grow with wise age, we also understand better with more reading. Our thinking grows with reading. Intelligence is a factor of thinking. Intelligence is not restricted to age as generally perceived to be; it defies age and advances with our thinking. It is not about how tall we are but how board we think.
We all feel that we should read when we are in peace with us and the surrounding. There is little myth attached to the mythology of reading book. In fact book is all panaceas. When you are in confusion read the right book you will get the fog cleared in your mind, when you in anxiety read a spiritual book to release your tension from your mind, when you are lost in quagmire of life and not getting the right answer read a book on philosophy and get close to your answer, when your personality is acting as a deterrent in your development read a personality development book to personify your presence. In various circumstances and in specific situations in our life we are always are in a better position to battle out and lead in life with a book backing us.
Reading is not an easy task as we perceive it to be. It is a hard task. It takes our time and takes lots of our time. It is hard working of mind. It needs deep thinking to relate and reflect on what we read. Without the right reflection and relating to our behavior and the actions are meaningless. We all mistake it by categorizing reading as a hobby. Leaders are always hard pressed with time. Their schedules are water tight and they are tight lipped. They don’t have windows to peep or gap to sip. If reading is considered a hobby by them it will be kept out of the schedule, but is considered as a habit and a habit like eating, sleep and walking. It is included in the schedule with priority and yes with their preferences.
It is not just leader in certain sphere where reading is more important than other sphere. It is in every sphere. Politics to sports, doctors to engineers, judges to advocates, artists to musician, painter to photographer. In each of the sphere the talent takes you so far and it is your reading that takes you further. So if one wants to lead, sphere is just the pretext reading is the context. The more we read, the higher we go. Space is the place to play. No boundary and no limitation. It is only our thinking which creates boundary and builds barriers.
We all can lead and lead well in our sphere provided we read and read well to influence our thinking and inspire others for purposeful actions.