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On Reading


Flesh & Bone and Books

“We are made of flesh and bone—and pages of books.”
— Unknown

Who would you be if you’d never read a single page?

The answer to that question scares me. And it makes me want to tackle, with renewed vigor, the unread stack of books in my study. From time to time, I need to remind myself that I’ll get more out of a book if I do more than buy it.

The books we’ve finished have marked us in deep and permanent ways. We know this. They've become a part of our makeup. What is it about a book that does that?

Let’s make a pack. We won’t let the pile get too high. We will keep turning pages.



Reading's ROI

I love reading because of the ROI. Take Patrick Lencioni’s, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, as case in point. I paid $14 for the book, and spent four hours reading and digesting its concepts. That’s my investment in.

Now, when I think about how long it would have taken me to gain the kinds of insights found inside the book, namely, how to fix dysfunctional teams, 10,000 hours would not have been a bad guess. After all, that’s what it takes to become an expert (so say the experts).

So then it’s $14 & four hours or stumble and fumble as I go for a decade? The choice is easy enough.

What area do you need insight in? Attitude? Leadership? Parenting? Public Speaking? Marketing? Save yourself the time and heartache. Read a book. The ROI is off the charts.



Feed Your Soul

Your body will only last about a week without food & water. After 7 days (give or take) you die. How about your soul? How long can it last before it dies? 

I believe a soul never dies. The soul continues on long after the body gives out because the soul is that eternal part of who we are. But just because the soul cannot die, doesn’t mean it cannot be starved.

Just as you need three square meals a day, so also you need to cultivate soul-nourishing moments daily. You feed your soul when you:

  • Love another & allow yourself to be loved
  • Sacrifice for someone else
  • Read books that expand your mind
  • Reflect on your thoughts, words, and deeds
  • Stretch yourself in ways that make you uncomfortable
  • Lead a disciplined life
  • Open yourself up to a Higher Power


This kind of nourishment doesn't just keep you alive, it's what causes you to thrive. If you have a choice between skipping a meal or a moment to nourish your soul, do your eternal self a favor, skip the former.



Dear Author, Thank You

There should be a national holiday for authors. One day a year we should celebrate these brave men and women who take up their pen and write out their thoughts, observations, and ideas.

To each and every author: thank you. Thank you for taking a risk and making the investment of time. Thank you for persevering even when the words weren’t coming together. Thank you for doing the hard work of mining for insights, for helping us discover what we may not have been able to unearth on our own. And, of course, thank you for passing all of it on for pennies.

Your work is important. We need you. Keep it up.

What about you? What do you need to write? What story do you need to tell? Don’t think for a minute that you have nothing to say. The words are in there. You just have to go digging for them.  We need you too.