I own more than 500 books and ebooks, but I’ve only read a portion of my collection. Most of them are non-fiction by the way.
I’m quite good at rationalizing to myself why I need to buy a book, even though I already own a similar or better book in my library.
Here, I’m going to list the reasons why I haven’t yet read (or stopped reading) the rest of my books:
I buy books (and ebooks) a lot faster than I can read them. In average it takes me 3-7 days to read a book, depending on the number of pages it has.
I stopped reading because the book is full of fluff (unnecessary filler words) or doesn’t get to the point.
The author said something I find offensive so I discontinued reading.
The author oversells his/her other books or courses. It’s okay to advertise, but not too much.
I figured out that I already know what’s mentioned in the book; reading it will be somewhat of a waste of time.
What is contained in the book is not in alignment with my current beliefs. They say we should read material that contradicts what we know, but sometimes my bullshit detector gets really high while reading a book I don’t agree with.
I started reading another book and I become really engaged; in effect, I forgot about the other book completely.
I became busy at work or other projects.
I lend or sometimes give away books. Hey, it’s nice to share knowledge.
When reading books I somewhat read by chapter or section every day, making it a habit. If I skip a day or two, it becomes easy to stop reading a book altogether.
Some of them are just reference books and are not to be meant to be read completely (by an average person, that is).
There you have it. My reasons (or excuses) why I still haven’t read a lot of my books.
Lately, though, I’ve been reading ebooks exclusively, and I’ve discovered something called Stealth reading.
Stealth reading basically is just reading whenever you have free time, like while commuting to and from work, waiting at a line, or while eating at a restaurant. It really contributes to my reading time a lot.
But even though I haven’t read a lot of my books, I don’t consider them a waste of money or space. They are my valued possessions. I feel I’m surrounded by knowledge when I see them. 🙂
I’m a player of League of Legends. It’s an online game where a group of five players try to beat the other team.
Currently, I don’t have a clan so I get to play with random players selected by the game’s matchmaking system.
But I’m not going to talk about that’s game mechanics or my opinions about it. I’m here to talk about winning and losing streaks.
We can explain how winning and losing streaks happen in various ways:
They say nothing succeeds like success, which essentially means that winners have a psychological edge over others who have less or no experience on winning.
A player’s psychology is important because our thoughts determines our actions, and our actions lead to the results we get. Results that can be positive or not.
We can take advantage of this principle by winning at small tings first before we tackle more difficult challenges. In that way we can build our winning psyche.
Actual material or resource advantage/disadvantage
There’s this concept known as snowballing where advantages are built on top of another. Think of a snowball that gets bigger as it rolls on the ground.
That’s the reason why it’s easier for entrepreneurs that have money to make more money. Money can be used to buy resources that’s necessary in starting and keeping a business going.
Knowing this, we have to keep in mind that small things matter because they eventually lead to big results.
Crowd/peer support or putdowns
This is somewhat related to no. 1, but the former is all about how we view our self. What I’m going to talk about here is how other people view us.
Psychology has a concept known as the Pygmalion effect. Basically it states that expectations of other people affect how one person performs.
Just think who is more likely to win, a team that is cheered upon by the crowd or a team that receives only ‘boos.’
So, if we want to increase our chances of winning better find a supportive crowd, or if you have no choice but to deal with an unsupportive one — just ignore them.
Winners feel better physically, which leads to better performance
Can you remember a time when you won? How did you feel? Aren’t you full of energy and vigor?
Losers on the other hand feel weaker, even though they haven’t really exerted themselves.
Of course, we can condition ourselves physically that we can continue to go on even after disappointments and setbacks, but let’s face it, we’re doing it to win. That feeling of winning is so pleasurable, the reason why we endure hardships.
The other person/team is simply better
In competition we like to think that we’re the best and we can defeat anyone who competes with us, but the reality is that there are people who are more experienced and skillful than us. The reason they are more likely to win.
In those circumstances, let’s put on a good fight, try to learn as much as possible, and who knows we might actually win. Ever heard of upsets in sports?
And, yes, we must become better. So next time we’ll be the one with the definite advantage.
The possible explanations above are my own. There might be a lot more to winning and losing streaks than we currently know.
Sometimes, there simply seems to be a kind of cycle or rhythm on things. It’s like an invisible force, a force that once we know, we can control it to our advantage.
When I was in grade school, I remember a weird ritual that my classmates did; every time a kid has new shoes they would stomp on it (dirtying the poor shoes in the process) and would declare the shoes have already been “baptized.”
I was probably stomped a few times, but I can’t remember if I ever did a stomping; not that I’m defending myself, it’s just easier to remember an experience if you’re the victim as opposed to when you’re the aggressor.
That weird (and cruel) ritual is not unique to our school. One would wonder when, where, who started that ritual.
My guess is that it was started by a kid who’s jealous of his new classmates new shoes, and he thought of a clever way to make himself feel better; that is, by associating baptism (a sacred ritual in most religions) to that rude act.
That’s only a speculation, but would you think a kid who’s proud of his classmate or friend’s new shoes would even consider stomping it?
Still being practiced
Unfortunately, the practice didn’t stopped. (Habits we learn in school lives long.) Although there are probably worse rituals in other schools around the world.
The practice has to stop once a kid gets older, of course, or he would get himself into trouble by getting himself sued or risk retaliation from the person with the stomped shoes.
Most people will dismiss it as something minor or even a “part of growing up.” I’m not sure about that. Who knows if the kid who stomps the new shoes will someday be the person who scratches the new car of his colleague. Oh no.
The good news
Most of the shoe stompers classmates I knew grew up normally and have happy lives. People change.
I just hope they don’t pass that stupid ritual (shoe stomping) to their kids. The only one benefiting from it are the companies who make shoe cleaning products. Wait… maybe those companies started that ritual? Oh boy, I’m speculating too much.
Writers, and bloggers alike, sometimes argue whether a writer’s skill is more important than the message itself (content) or vice versa.
Which is more important?
The best answer is that both of them are important.
Writing skill gives you credibility and the ability to communicate your message clearly, precisely, and concisely.
Your message, on the other hand, is what the reader will remember long after they have forgotten the exact words you used to communicate your message.
Writers may favor one over the other and that’s all right. The important thing is not to become obsessed with one aspect and totally ignore the other.
The bridge and goods metaphor
If your writing skill is the bridge, your message is the goods.
In a sense, the goods are more important, but without the bridge the goods won’t be delivered to their recipient, which is the reader. Aside from that, the bridge also needs to be strong, so heavy goods can be transported through it.
Furthermore, no matter how strong the bridge is, if the goods are incomplete, spoiled, or broken, then the recipient won’t be happy. In short, the goods must be good.
In writing this post, I was pondering whether to use “… Your Message Is the Goods” or “… Your Message Are the Goods.” Fortunately, I found the answer in this page.