A beautiful mind. Perhaps you’re now thinking of Russell Crowe; I’m thinking of Chris Archer. Too dramatic? Maybe, but it’s how I feel. Next time Arch is on TV or conducting a radio interview, listen closely. His thought processes, regardless of topic, are not typical for anyone, let alone an elite professional athlete. His mind is different. It’s beautiful. Read for yourself.
10 pages a day, 1 book a month, 12 books a year can change your life. A change in your life is a change in the world.
For me, life isn’t about getting your college degree and then going to work in whatever field you studied. Learning isn’t spending years in school and then never stretching your mind again. Take a step back and look at our education system. I’m not trying to knock it; it serves a purpose. However, it’s very bland, basic and, most importantly, limited. The things I learned in the public education system were barely the tip of the iceberg. There is a universe of truth, history, knowledge and wisdom that is actually out there.
My mentor always told me the only thing in life that is constant is change. I have found that to be true. Science and our worldly perspectives are evolving at a rapid pace. How can we stand still and never do further research, never crack open a book, never search for the latest articles, never watch documentaries?
I didn’t always find reading essential. I never had a desire to even step foot in book store. I despised reading and made any and every excuse not to read. “It makes me tired,” “I don’t have the attention span,” “I don’t have the time.” When I was 17, my mentor gave me a book. I’m not going to mention the book’s name; it’s irrelevant. What is relevant is how I suddenly fell in love with what reading has to offer. I discovered there was so much more than memorizing and regurgitating information for tests. I felt like I could add more to conversations after being exposed to other people’s experiences and ideas. I was sharper and more articulate when expressing my thoughts. Most importantly, I learned to look inward and recognize the difference between what my actual thoughts are versus what society tells me to think.
How are we supposed to know if we agree with the things we’ve been taught (or have been programmed to think) if we never delve into other philosophies, deeper into science or further into history? Some of your thoughts will be confirmed. A few (maybe significant, maybe not) will not be confirmed. It is essential to make sure your current thoughts are updated, but it’s also a challenge. It can be hard to accept when you come across something that contradicts what you’ve always believed to be true.
I’ll leave you with this: the physical side of human evolution is over. We are not going to develop extra limbs or new sensory organs to help us navigate the land. But we have only tapped into the slightest portion of the strongest muscle any of us possess, our brain. It’s our job to strengthen our brains as much as we can through reading, applying new thought patterns, discovering new experiences and passing those things to our next generation. The great thinkers and philosophers of the past did those things for us, and we can do them for others. All it takes is a little effort.
Thanks to all who took the time to read this and a special thanks to Gabe Kapler for the challenge of writing. You were right; it was a great experience to take the thoughts swimming through my mind and put them down on paper.