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Why reading doesn’t make you smarter than a CEO

The average CEO apparently reads 67 books a year compared to less than one of the average American. It’s probably similar in the UK

Whether this is to be taken literally or not, you might need to step up those reading goals 🙂

But reading alone is no guarantee of being more smart, earning more or getting better results

It’s way more strategic than just ‘reading.’ Here’s why:

A great book (for you, at the right time on the right subject) depends on many things. I try to consume the ‘equivalent’ of 100 books a year, and it fires up some interesting thoughts:

1. Just because a book is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right book to read

2. When I started (in property and business) I was reading more technical/how to books. As you get more experienced in your field the ‘type’ of book you need (that benefits you as opposed to simply wanting to read it) evolves

3. Conversely, when I started reading personal development books they were much more generic and have become progressively more technical and specific on niche subjects

4. You can read a good book at a bad time, or the right book at the wrong time

5. A book that informs versus a book that compels to action is often very different

6. You can read books with a view to filling the subconscious mind so that you unconsciously start to perform the actions, or simply for entertainment, or you can read a book with a view to taking specific action steps on it

7. There are different ways of consuming a book to maximise it’s ‘stickability.’ The formats range from books, audiobooks, iBooks but also TV documentaries and biographies, reading and listening at the same time using the triple click method on the iPhone (for maximum retention) and so on

So it’s smart to consider the outcome before reading the book:

**If its general information or to fill the subconscious mind you can leverage through listening to audio in the car, in the gym, on the train, in the headphones, whilst doing easy work; there is no pressure to implement or memorise every single detail

**If its specific technical knowledge then the book would obviously be chosen carefully, read carefully, probably re-read and read again, notes scribbled in the book, action steps set and followed through

**If it’s for inspiration self-help and self-development books can be great, especially if it’s something specific like removing fear or creating a vision, but if it’s general inspiration I find biographies and autobiographies and specific documentaries the best as you get the true holistic essence live and for real

**If its to overcome bad habits or inaction it is often best just to scribble everything off the list except the next book and read or listen to it 5, 10 or 20 times until you actually do it. Ironically I did this with Brian Tracy’s ‘how to master your time’ last January I listened to it over 30 times

**If it’s for entertainment documentaries and biographies are great because you can mix downtime and entertainment, replacing films with inspiring documentaries to further leverage your time to learning.

I’m personally really enjoying this at the moment as someone who loves to watch films yet my hunger for learning is stronger so I feel guilty if I burn 2 hours. I can meet the same needs, and learn a lot, and be inspired, and relax 🙂

Merging these strategies is probably the only way of consuming enough ‘books’ to out CEO the CEO

It’s not what you read it’s how, when, and why you ‘read’ it

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