Nowadays finding whatever information you want is easier than ever. A simple Google search will throw at you millions of results for almost any topic.
Being a millennial, I’ve always underrated books because: Why bother reading a book when I can consume the information through a Youtube video, right?
Well, that used to be my mindset until I read the most amazing and simple book of my adult life so far: How to make friends and influence people, from Dale Carnegie.
3 big segments
Even though you can consume the content of those books watching a review on Youtube, or you can easily read a summary online, there is always something more that you can take home if you consume the content directly from the book.
Let’s take as example 3 big groups of books:
- Tales (Drama, Sci-fi, adventures, etc.)
- Technical (food recipe, engineering, medicine, etc.)
- Open-minded (self-improvement)
Every single group has an added value if you take time to read the content directly from the book. (whether it’s digital or physical).
For instance, reading fantasy books develops your creativity as opposed to a video.
On the other hand, technical books can go deeper into details, as opposed to videos that tend to be short (a 40 min Youtube video is a burden, right?), overlooking those details.
But the ones that changed my paradigm about books are the self-improvement ones. I plead guilty! Those books are the ones that I used to underrate the most.
Why books connect so well to our inner self?
The brain is divided in two: left and right hemisphere.
The left part is in charge of things that have to do with logic, like science and mathematics. Its counterpart works on creativity and arts.
I’ve noticed that, even though there are some good motivation videos on Youtube, its effect doesn’t resonate as much as reading the words in a book. How’s that?
When we are reading, we start building images in our mind, activating our creativity and making the right side of our brain (the more creative) to work.
With those synapses having place on the right hemisphere, the information seems to really stick. And without noticing it, if there is an idea that we like so much and embrace, it goes deeper into our personality and we start applying it.
“How to make friends and Influence people” teaches us simple and obvious guidelines. So obvious that we tend to overlook them.
A simple smile can change other people’s mood, and more important, how they perceive you. It seems really basic and obvious, but until we decide to really start doing it, we realize how powerful smiling at others is.
Hearing people advising to smile more didn’t fully click until I read about it in a book. There, I really understood how smiling more affects how people react to you.
Well, maybe our friend Mr. right hemisphere has something to do with it.
Another simple daily practice: When you talk to someone, the other person’s attitude is a reflect of yours. For instance, if you come to your partner yelling and extremely mad, how do you think your partner will react?
Just by realizing this prior, you can be in charge of handling the conversation/ discussion at your own peace. If you are the one calm and your counterpart is the one yelling, by talking at a low pace and with a calm voice, eventually, you will bring the other person to your same pace.
However, the major paradigm shift that I have had reading books is: How to be an easy-talking person. Ironically, the skill that I improved wasn’t the speaking, but the listening.
Deeply listen! Before you start offering solutions at someone’s problems.
“How to make friends and influence people” and “ 7 habits of highly effective people”, by Stephen Covey agree that the key to be a pleasant person to have a conversation with is to really listen.
How awful is when someone interrupts your anecdote to start talking about theirs. Or when you’re telling your friend your problems and he suddenly starts throwing at you solutions based on their autobiography.
It’s like trying to diagnose a disease without really studying the patience.
No pain no gain
Picking a book and start reading it is hard.
It can be annoying and painful to make your brain use the right hemisphere. Opposed to that, it’s much easier to watch Netflix.
But the reward is amazing!
Once I started reading these types of books, I got motivated to start working on my soft skills and I can see the results.
- Books make your right hemisphere work, allowing information to stick to later be used.
- Again, really listen!!