A literary challenge turned lifestyle change

In my last blog post I wrote about an idea that had come to me in the form of a tweet by Jack Canfield. In less than 142 characters he ignited a challenge in me – to read one book per week, and by doing so becoming an expert in my field in 20 years. Yes, 20 years is a long time, but at the same time reading is something tangible, something I can do. As opposed to the other, more amorphous or just plain irritating post-grad advice I’d gotten such as “build your personal brand online” and “network your way to success”. Fired up and excited, I set about my challenge.

book love

3 months on, and I can’t say that I’ve yet measured up to this tall order. What started as a book a week eventually became the less hectic and more pleasing mantra to “always have a book in my hand”. So far I’ve read some fantastic books and in the process have also changed some other, less than useful habits. I got into the head of Mahatma Ghandi pre-Indian independence struggle in his “Ghandi: An Autobiography”, was riveted by my ride alongside journalist Michele Shephard as she documented the post-911 world (any wannabe journalist should read her “Decade of Fear”) and fell in love with Kofi Annan’s unwavering optimism and belief in the United Nations in his “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace”.  More importantly perhaps, I’ve begun to move away from staring into the screen for hours on end, have become slightly allergic to the instant, short, sweet and catchy bits of information that, when flung into my mind, refuse to stick. Instead I yearn for depth, history, strength and story.

Oh and did I mention I’ve also given up Facebook?  Perhaps that’s a story for another day…

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