It was 1947 and an experimental rocket plane, the X1 was being dropped from a B29 bomber at 20,000 feet. The test pilot was Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, and he told me about his experiences.
At first he had to get the nose of the rocket plane down to prevent stalling, but when that was done, he fired all four rocket chambers and climbed to 40,000 feet. The faster the plane approached the sound barrier, the smoother the ride.
Suddenly the Mach needle fluctuated and went off the scale – Chuck was flying supersonic! In fact, he said it was as smooth as a baby’s bottom – Grandma could be up there sipping lemonade.
Do you believe me when I tell you that Chuck Yeager himself told me this? You’re right – I have never met him personally but he told me in his autobiography.
I want to talk about reading. All those books in libraries, book shops and your own home are a wonderful untapped resource that can help you achieve your goals. Authors spend hundreds of hours writing their books and their target audience is You.
I want to hallenge you with three things:
1. To define your short range goals
2. To go out tomorrow and acquire those books to help you reach your goals
3. Start a daily habit of reading – start with twenty minutes a day.
Now I don’t know what your goals are but there are several reasons why you should become a better reader. Knowledge is power – the power to achieve goals. What we get for free in life – our mind, our health and these free things are what we usually ignore and not use properly.
Imagine if we had to rent our minds for $2000 a month – we would be wanting to make sure we got our money’s worth by reading the owners manuals and other books on how to use our brains more effectively – to be more creative, to be less stressed.
Another very important reason for reading is that it will increase your vocabulary as well as making you a more interesting person.
Once you have identified two or three goals to start on, go out and get the books – beg, borrow or buy. The important thing is to go out and get them.
Take for example, an excellent book on sales by Tom Hopkins. It costs $7.95 – If it helped you add $20,000 to your commission do you think that money was well spent? Just looking at the contents will give you an idea of its value.
Maybe sales is not your games, but instead you would like to hear from one of the world’s greatest scientists – Albert Einstein. How about reading “Ideas and Opinions” – a collection of essays by Einstein?
Dont think of reading as a chore you had to do in school. I had a bad experience of reading D.H.Lawrence at school. I had to force myself to plough through this heavy novel. It wasn’t until I got to university that I started to enjoy reading good literature again.
These days people are watching more and more TV and video and reading less. Perhaps the only reading you do is a TV guide! Television may be fine for relaxing, but generally speaking you won’t learn much. I spend more and more time each week reading.
Set yourself a reading goal – start with twenty minutes a day or a book every two weeks. For the budding entrepreneur, Victor Kiam’s book “Go For It!” us full of good advice. You may not agree with all of it but take the good and reject the bad.
I liked his advice:
“I felt that as long as I was going to invest time, I might as well invest my best effort. We are only on the earth for a limited time. Why waste our precious moments simply going through the motions? I cided that whatever tasks I assigned myself, I would carry them out to the best of my ability. I found out the means of the word boredom. You know what that is? It’s that time in your life when you’ve styopped challenging yourself . How can anyone be bored if they strive for excellence each day? ”
So, set yourself some goals, search out some books to start reading tomorrow and become a constant reader. As you read, keep notes of ideas that speak out to you and can help you.
Who knows what books are out there waiting for you to read? All you have to do is to go out and find them.