Monthly Archives: September 2012

9 KEY Reasons for you to READ

Reading can be a wonderful hobby and your best friend for life – Provided you give it the required time and commitment over a period of time. Looking back at my own life, I can definitely say that my life transformed after I became an active reader. And by reading I mean just about anything – A book, paper, magazine, blog, research paper, publication, mail, tweet, letter, etc. In this blog, I am listing 9 KEY Reasons why you should READ?

1) Reading makes you THINK
The single most important benefit of reading is that it makes you think, and thoughts are vital in the journey of life. Simply because to think you need to read, analyze, reason, question, rationalize and somewhere try to conclude.

2) Reading makes you IMAGINE
One of the reasons I love reading is that it makes me IMAGINE – And imagination is great for enhancing your own visualization skills and creativity. I don’t know of any “TRUE READER” who enjoyed a movie / documentary better than a book. Simply because when you read, you are free to imagine anything and everything; and the sky is the limit to your imagination! Conversely, I don’t know of any Non-Reader who liked a book better than a movie / documentary

3) Reading makes you LEARN
One of the best parts of reading is that you it presents before you a wonderful opportunity to learn. As you read, you tend to notice, you tend to question and reflect, and truly understand; and all of these contribute phenomenally towards your own learning on one / many topics under the sun!

4) Reading improves your LITERARY SKILLS
If you take the time to read, you will definitely improve your literary skills over a period of time. Not only will you learn new words and improve on the Ps and Qs of any language, but you can also learn, appreciate and develop alternate literary forms — from prose to poetry. And the only way to improve in anything in life is to continuously work on it.

5) Reading opens NEW DOORS
Reading can open the door to new friends (I know of people who are exclusively reading friends and those who became friends because they shared views and opinions on topics less spoken by majority), new ideas (Somehow the brain wiring seems to generate more ideas when you read actively – I don’t know why or how? but I have personally experienced this!), new possibilities, new ways to constructively utilize your time, new experiences, new considerations, new contemplations, and new harbingers.

6) Reading makes you DISCIPLINED
One of the best aspects of continuous reading is that it makes you disciplined so that you are able to dedicate some time on a regular basis for reading. It can be once a day or once a week or whatever is suitable in your personal context – But you will start rationalizing some portion of your time on a regular basis for reading! And once you begin to enjoy reading it becomes a habit… a compulsion… a fascination.

7) Reading gives you ME time
Writing gives you time to be with yourself — to connect within, in your own way, at your own pace.

8) Reading makes you view books in a NEW LIGHT
Only when you begin to read, do you begin to truly appreciate books and any reading material. You also begin to value all the books you read in life and also have a new found respect and appreciation for authors / writers! (Both reading and writing are solitary hobbies!)

9) Reading gives you a new BEST FRIEND for LIFE
If you are into reading, you can never really be alone ever in life. All you need to take you through any kind of day / mood / situation, i.e., to cheer up your day, give you some hope, make you laugh, motivate you, give you a solution, break-free from monotony, get a different perspective,……is something to read!

Reading can be your new BEST FRINED for LIFE.. If you only you reach out and pick up the first book – here and now..
So what are you waiting for? Go read something today..

Does your CULTURE influence your BLOGGING behavior?

I’ve been active in the blog-o-sphere for about 5 years now. During this time, I have read zillions of blogs of people from all over the world and from different cultures.. About 2 years back, I had a personal hypothesis which suggested that an individual’s blogging behavior is partly influenced by their culture.

Before getting into details, I’d like to share a broad definition of culture : “Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.” [Src: http://www.livescience.com/21478-what-is-culture-definition-of-culture.html ]

So have you ever thought whether culture influences your blogging behavior? Well I did! And I am listing below the blogging behaviors which are influenced by culture:

  • Awareness on what a blog is – Reflection on your inherent curiosity in learning and being aware of the world around you! (And trust me! There are lots of people who still do not know what a blog is)
  • Whether you start a blog  (it could be private or public)  – A reflection of coming down to “doing things” – Do you want first hand experience? Do you like to try and test the waters? Same can be extended for anything in life!
  • Whether your blog is public or private – A reflection of how much of yourself you like to share and also how confident you are about yourself, your views and your literary abilities!
  • How long you continue a blog – A reflection of your interest, creativity, self motivation, priorities and discipline. All these are vital to sustain a blog in the long term
  • Your habits in reading blogs – A reflection of your personal interest and priorities (which are definitely influenced by your culture)
    • Do you read blogs? If yes, how frequently?
    • What kind of blogs you read? (Topics / Focus. For e.g.: Cooking, Parenting, etc.)
  • Do you comment on a Blog – A reflection of whether you have a view on a subject and whether you are comfortable expressing yourself in public. And even if you do, do you prefer to comment with your own name, a fictitious name or anonymously!
  • Will you share a Blog  – A reflection of your beliefs when it comes to sharing and the value you associate with sharing- Do you like to share valuable / invaluable information / content with others or do you keep it for yourself?
    • With Whom?
    • Through which channel? – Mail, Twitter, FaceBook, etc

NOTE: Above is purely based on my observations and analysis of blogs across the globe. I don’t have hard-data or scientific analysis to prove / disprove my hypothesis. And I definitely believe that this could be a great research topic for anyone to pursue in detail.

What’s your view? Do you think your culture influences your blogging behavior?
Leave a comment to let me know

Should you always make things EASY for OTHERS?

A lot of people I know live with the primary objective of making things EASY for others.. They go through extra pain or difficulty just so that things are simpler better and easier for others.

Classic examples are parents doing home-work for children OR bubble-wrapping them in a world of comfort and luxury far away from the “real world”, wife doing everything possible at home (from timely food to polishing shoes, etc. etc.) to make life easy for the husband, husbands doing everything possible outside home so that life is easy for wife and the kids (from earning to grocery shopping, etc. etc.), over protective managers doing work for their teams just so that everyone succeeds, teachers giving answers to students before they even think or apply their minds,  etc etc etc.. There are a whole range of examples you can think of if you look at the world around you!

And what does easy really mean? Well! To most people EASY LIFE really translates to “GET WHAT YOU WANT with MINIMUM / NO EFFORT“. I mean who does not like to have it easy in life.. Most of us like things to be easy on all dimensions of life – be it at work, play, financially, good health, optimal weight, with friends, family, at home.. in society

Hmm.. Now! Is that possible at all always? Guess not! Unless you are born into royalty and the environment around you fosters such a way of life OR If you are with someone who loves you unconditionally (parents, siblings?, friends?, soul-mates) and will go the extra mile for a lifetime just for YOU!

If you are one of those lucky ones, Good for YOU! Just don’t take them for granted and make sure you say THANK YOU for your lucky stars!

But the point is that “Is it really good to make things EASY for OTHERS always?“.. I guess NOT! Simply because if you make things easy for others all the time, you are actually doing more harm than good in the long run..

You are actually not giving others an opportunity to try, to discover, to experiment, to appreciate the level of difficulty, to value what you do, to figure things out, to find answers, to succeed, to fail, to solve problems, to become more aware, to understand, to improve, to become stronger, to push themselves, to figure out what they are capable/incapable of.. But more importantly TO LEARN! TO THINK! and TO REALLY PREPARE for the REAL WORLD.. THE FUTURE!

So, do you always make things easy for others? OR Do you always have it easy in life? Time to think….

Should you read only ONE book at a TIME?

I picked up reading as a hobby rather late in life – In my 20’s to be precise (I call it late because most serious readers I know started reading when they are less than 10 years old). But over the past few years, I made up for the lost time – Basically by reading anything and everything of interest to me at every single opportunity I got.

Looking back – When I started reading, I used to read only ONE book at a time. And when I was done, I’d move on to the next one.. But today, my reading habits have changed significantly. At any given point of time, I will be actively reading at least 3 books (if not more).

So why and how did this change come about?

Hmm.. Well Looking back, I think there were a few key drivers:

One, it started with me becoming more aware of my own reading habits and every day routine based on my own lifestyle and why reading was important to me.

Two, I usually have more than one topic of interest at any point in time. And somehow can’t seem to wait for too long to dig into it!

Three and most importantly, I go through different phases and moods everyday where I look at reading for different reasons. For e.g.: In the early morning, I like to read anything which inspires me , excites me and gives me positive energy to go through the day. During mid-morning, I like to read something “heavy-duty” as my concentration levels are probably the best. During afternoon, I like to read something light and easy which makes me laugh or just feel good. And late evening, I like to read something which makes me dream or sometime just create a “happy make-believe world in which every possibility is a reality”! So reading has different meaning to me at different times of the day and hence I usually like to read at least 3 books actively at different times of the day! Each of these reading sessions usually are between 15 to 30 minutes. But they make a HUGE difference in what I learn, in what I think, in what I feel and also in what I do!

You may ask “Don’t you get confused with reading so many books at a time?”… Well, honestly NO! It is actually fun because if you pay attention to you reading and think through, you can many times co-relate completely unrelated things , get answers for problems and in my case, also get ideas for my blogs :)

Well that’s my view. And I’ll enjoy this phase as long as it lasts…

What about you? Are you a ONE book reader or MANY book reader? Leave a comment to let me know

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