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What To Expect When You Read One Book Per Week

Feb 20, 2017

Neuroscience. Psychology. Mindfulness. Meditation. Money. Marketing. Branding. Business. Trade. Food. Culture. Travel. Religion. Poems. Behaviour. Addictions. Habits. Hardship. Goals. Gratitude. Development. Happiness. Enlightenment.

Over the last 36 months, I've made it my personal goal to consume one book per week. Some weeks I've read none, while others I've read two. When my eyes have been too tired and scratchy to hold open, or when walking through high-traffic areas, I would listen to audiobooks, speeches and interviews. I don't believe I reached my goal of one book per week, but I got pretty darn close. As a result, these are some of the areas I've learned about... I don't think I learned this much over five full-time years of uni!

So, what encouraged me to keep learning? By this stage my life, I'd already completed a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of International Business and Graduate Diploma. Why read more? I was already a lawyer with two years into my practice. Well, to be honest, it was a growing feeling of unease that compelled me. An internal debate was being waged: thinking that I already knew enough, and wondering whether I truly knew anything worth knowing. The unease gave way to bouts of evening anxiety and feeling like I was stuck on a path I didn't want to take. I was stuck. And I was paralysed by a paradoxical fear that, if I'd let it, would keep arguing with itself until it convinced me and everyone around me that I liked my life!

When I look back, I realise how silly I was.

Of course I felt stuck. I'd been through approximately 24 years of life experience (what life experience?), been shaped largely by the opinions of two people (my parents, bless them) and otherwise spent lots of time worrying about how much I weighed, if I'd make it home in time for The Bachelor and whether my crush liked me.

My epiphany was swift and unforgiving. I felt embarrassed for having wasted so much time, and for the first time in a long time, I felt vital again.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." - Lao Tzu

I was limited by what I knew of the world, and that needed to change. I didn't need to re-invent the wheel or be left to wonder about what would happen in an endless string of hypothetical scenarios. The answer was clear: I must learn from the people who have come before me and empower myself to create a new existence - a life with limited fear and anxiety - to create a life that was truly fulfilling! Exciting! Liberating! I'd read the quote by Lao Tzu before, however it's profoundness didn't quite sink in until after my realisation. I was to become a life-long learner.

Over the last 36 months, I'd left the law behind, learned to build websites and a suite of online marketing skills, as well as how to make it in two industries I'd never explored before. I became a digital marketing manager, learned the art of human resources and started two successful businesses. Mostly at the same time. I learned how to build relationships, showcase my talents and turn enquirers into clients.

I learned the power of my mind and body. I learned that we all have a purpose in this life. I learned my true purpose. I learned how to coach people to success, and build treasure trove of online resources to help improve people's lives. To help them get un-stuck. Faster. I learned that anyone who says "I don't have time" is mostly just fearful of the unknown. Or of their abundant power. I learned that I could work full-time and run and successful business. I learned that working full-time and running a business was detrimental to my health. I learned that I needed more balance in my life. I learned how to get balanced.

I learned of my strengths. And more importantly, my weaknesses. I learned that you don't just have energy - you generate energy. I learned that I'm responsible for my experience of the world, and that my thoughts, ultimately, create my reality.

It has become very clear to me that the more I consume, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more confident I become. The more confident I become, the more changes I make. The more changes I make, the happier I feel. The happier I feel the more successful I am.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” - Groucho Marx

When I read one book per week, my perspective shifted and opportunities to further improve my life were abound. My point is that in each and every moment, we make a choice. We either choose to change or to stay the same. How quickly we feel good depends on how fast we can consume information, filter for our need, apply what we learn and have another go (this time with our newfound experience). It is my hope that you realise your power, take yourself to new heights of success and inspire others to do the same.

Tanya Lesley


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