How reading books habitually boosted my self-esteem

Published by Hasan Mansoor on

With the internet becoming more ingrained in our everyday lives as days pass, information overload is something that is becoming increasingly stressful. There’s a good chance you’ve subscribed to a few too many places and they send you emails daily. They can be newsletters and just some cold marketing emails. Whatever they may be, they probably overwhelm you, as they did to me. So whenever I got them, I would simply swipe right on the notification and never even bother opening it.

What did that actually do in the long run? Well, it made me feel as if I couldn’t retain information and the more I got exposed to it, the more inferior I felt. This lead to an inability to actually read material that I wanted to. Between the readings, I noticed I had been skipping over words and just tried to get to the end as quickly as I could. Obviously this meant that I wasn’t getting the information through to my head.

This habit made its way into my academic life as well and trust me, it wasn’t helpful. What happened next was a coincidence that impacted me greatly. I was browsing YouTube and a new ad came up from MindValley ( a company focused on unlocking the mind) which featured a guy named Jim Kwik and his speed-reading class. Needless to say, I was immediately hooked to it.

In that class (free trial, obviously), I learned some useful tips that can be applied to ebooks and normal books. Since I don’t have a tablet and my phone screen is relatively small, I practiced those techniques in a book. That allowed me to read proficiently and soon enough, I wasn’t skipping over words anymore.

Realizing that I can read normally again, I kept up with his reading tips and to my amazement, my reading speed has progressed to a rather decent number (55 pages an hour with adequate retention).

Now I can’t stop reading. I’ve read more in the last 4 months (other than university material) than I have in the last 23 years and I can’t get enough. Usually, I take 2 weeks to finish a book now. The goal is to get it up to one book a week.

The new knowledge that I’ve gained has helped me greatly with the work I’m doing and it’s also made me realize that I’m not dumb by any means. I just needed some practice reading again and that is what most of us have a problem with. If we work on our problems instead of letting them take over ourselves, we can achieve great things. No one is an exception to this rule, we just have to first accept that a problem exists.


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