A.B.L. - Always Be Learning

There is a term commonly used on Wall Street known as A.B.C., which stands for Always Be Closing. Well, I've decided to put my own spin on it. I'd like to introduce you to A.B.L, Always Be Learning.

You should set a goal of learning something new everyday. It doesn't have to be anything major, like nuclear physics, but give it a shot. Take up a new hobby. Study a new language. Try out a new recipe.

There are two men who I admire for not only their business success, but also their philanthropic endeavors. They are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. They have many things in common when it comes to charitable giving. Buffett even pledged the majority of his fortune to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization which aspires to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. They are dedicated to discovering and disseminating innovative approaches to addressing extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries and improving the U.S. education system.

But, the reason I mention them is because the other thing they have in common is that they are always learning. Both Gates and Buffett spend hours everyday reading. In the new Netflix documentary "Inside Bill's Brain; Decoding Bill Gates," you can see Gates carrying a bag full of books almost everywhere he goes, virtually sucking up an astronomical amount of information like a sponge.

I used to despise reading. It was probably one of my least favorite things to do in school and until recently, I still held on to my disdain. It wasn't only until recently that I figured out why I hated reading so much. I determined that when I was in school, other students read a lot faster than I did and I became embarrassed because I was a slower reader, especially if I was forced to read out loud in front of the class. This caused me a great deal of anxiety and as a result, I developed a hatred of reading. It was a negative experience that caused me to shy away from books completely after grad school.

I realized that if I take away the educational requirements of reading: tests, book reports, reading out loud, etc, I actually enjoy reading. I now find it calming and a great way to relax after a long day. I've started buying books on business, travel and other interests from Goodwill. Yes, you can get them on Amazon, but search your local Goodwill first. Recently, I found 4 great used books in the business section which I was able to purchase for $8 total. That's less than the cost of 1 new book.

I turned a need into a want and it has made a world of difference. I don't need to read anymore...I want to read.

You'd be surprised how much more pleasurable something is when it's not required of you. There are people who love to cook, clean, and do laundry. They don't view it as a chore. They genuinely enjoy these tasks. Everyday I can't wait to read. Sometimes I read in the morning as I watch the sun rise, other times at night as I wind down my day. I love reading now. Plus, I learn something new everyday.

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