The secret to all those stories about reading

Every week I see a new article about how famous, rich, powerful, successful people are ALWAYS reading.

This week I read about the "5 hour rule"… which says you must read for 1 hour a day, 5 hours a week because that's what Barrack Obama did when he was President.

The week before it was how 'Great CEOs' read over 50 books a year…because that's what it takes to be a successful leader of a successful company.

Reading reading reading.
The reason you are not happy with your current job, underachieving in your life, or have yet to become the President of the United States is simply that you aren't reading enough.

I call BS.

Don't get me wrong, reading IS fantastic. It has a whole bunch of benefits and, as a rule of thumb, reading more will generally be a net positive gain in your life.

Reading is great...

I read to my kids every night because building the habit and enjoyment of regular reading is a life-long skill which will give them near infinite benefits and unlock countless opportunities in their lives.

And books are the ultimate form of investment in yourself. Most books cost $5 to $20. If each book gives you just one brilliant idea that you can immediately take action on to improve your life then the ROI on a per-book basis is huge.

$20 for one life-changing idea? That's a no-brainer every day of the week.

Except herein lies the rub...

Reading is not doing.

Reading is theory.
Reading is learning.
Reading is idea generation.
Reading is guidance.

Reading can also be procrastination.

Reading is not doing.

If you want to make change in your life, if you want to improve, if you want to achieve more, then you need to be doing more.

More doing. More action.

Otherwise you just end up being an encyclopedia of information with only a vague theoretical understanding of how to apply any of it.

Just having more knowledge wont change your life. It wont make you rich and it wont magically land you a dream job (or make you President of the United States). You still have to take action to get those.

While we're talking about jobs, guess what section I have never seen in a CV? 'Books I have read'.

Why? Because hiring managers want to see what is more important. We want to see your actions.

Skills demonstrated.
Experience gained.
Results created.

Show me what you can do not what you can read.

But this is not a rant against reading. By all means read more.

In fact, if you're like most people whose main pastime is watching TV I'm sure you could do with a healthy break from that glowing box to just curl up on the couch with a good book.

But if you want to make changes in your life you should also be doing more.

Read and do. Read and do. Read AND do.

That's the secret.

Zac Sky