Push your Lazy Brain

"I don't know how I know what I know but I do know that books help get me here."  

I never had a book until I was in grade school and it taught me their great value when I finally own one.  I most definitely wanted to have books but they were far from my reach during my childhood. By that I mean we didn't have money to buy any. With the years I have not only grown my own little collection (not counting college books that I never sold because I got attached to them) but also married a book hoarder.  He enjoys buying books with "nice titles" then hands them to me. How cool is that? The joy!

I find myself completely depressed and miserable when I don't read.  To me, reading is one of my major keystone habit that when I do it right, it trickles happy and positive changes throughout my life.  First of all, reading gets my creative juices flowing and there's no better way to get ideas rolling in your mind than to first put them in there.  In this stage of my life I am all into books that are filled with knowledge, philosophy and quotes, lots of quotes. They inspire me, educate and me push me to get to the next level.  No, I don't have the life I want right now so I need all the guidance that I can get.

So how do I tackle all this reading into my busy life?  Trust me, peaceful reading time is not readily available to me these days so I always have to find a way.  If you love doing it, you will find a way. Back in college I took a course on speed reading and their knowledge went something like this: the more you read the faster you read.  Wow, yeah, I thought, I paid 300 dollars for this crappy advice? But when I began actually doing their exercises and implementing their advice, it all made sense.  I learned a few tips and tricks to increase my speed and now this has been a life saver since I don't have all the time I used to.  Reading faster and more efficient is key for me.

    Use your hand to read! Yes.  They taught me that sliding my hand across the page to read trains your eyes not to jump around the page and stays focused.  This habit will pay off in the long run no matter how stupid it feels in the beginning.  Now I do this all the time without even thinking about it and now my hand and eyes dance in unison across the page.  It's adorable.  So teach your kids to always use their hand or their finger when they are reading.  It's a good habit to have.
    Always use a pencil when reading.  Don't waste time with a highlighter at the beginning. It will be distracting.  The point is to just flow and go for speed.  You don't have time to stop at every other sentence to highlight, just make a line like this | at the side of the book to make a mark and keep reading.  Then when you finish the chapter and you go back to review what you read, you will only visit those areas that were important.  Then and only then you are allowed to highlight cause this is just for review.  So highlight away, I know I do.
    One important thing to note here is that speed should be your goal.  People who daydream while reading is for one specific reason, they are not reading fast enough which allows their brain to think of something else.  Once you reach your thinking speed, you will not, I repeat, will not have mind capacity left for anything else.  Your brain will be reading so fast, it will need every bit of juice to keep up.  Your mind thinks way faster than it can read, so push yourself to reach this thinking speed and you will be amazed at how much more you retain.  
    One final tip here is that you will know you are speed reading when you no longer read word by word, or sentence by sentence.  Once you can see in your mind the whole meaning of the page at a time you will have reached this glorious stage of mind reading.  As children we start with reading word by word then we can crunch a few words at a time, then move on to whole sentences but once you reach the next lever, which is what our brains are capable and more, you will not be able to go back.  It's a tremendously powerful habit you must train your brain to do, it will pay in dividends.  
Speed reading is glorious once you get the hang of it.  The most important thing is to push your lazy brain to the next level.  Your brain will eventually see the whole page with the meaning of all the words put together to convey a message or an idea or an image in your mind.  Words will no longer be just words, but thoughts.  I can say I improved tremendously using this method and it's something that stayed with me forever.  Plus you don't have to spend $300 to know this.  Reading is the only way to get information is your brain so it's only fitting to learn how to do it faster and more efficient. Your noggin is never too old to learn new tricks.   

This reading thing works better if you actually enjoying what you're reading.  I now read purely for pleasure.  I have always loved reading but in the beginning it was hard to find the one kind of books that was me.  I have found that Self Help books is most definitely my kind of books.  With my psychology studies background, I have a natural undying love for everything mind related, so naturally knowing more of how the mind works, what makes it tick and how to make it better is right up there in my favorites list.

Happy Reading! 


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