We live and practice in a distracted world full of a few characters, short sound bites, highlight videos, and superficial conversations. It requires intentional and consistent effort to change our behavior in a way that allows us to learn and grow on a deeper level. Mark Shepherd described his strategy in a blog post a couple of years ago which is still relevant today. I recently had a conversation with Rob Wainner who re-energized me to get back to true reading for understanding and personal and professional growth.
Very simply here is my spring growth plan.
The two strategies I have committed to are:
- Studying “How to Read a Book- The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading” by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren. This book was first authored and published by Adler in 1940. In this clear and focused book, the authors lay out clear strategies for improving our reading across all levels from elementary, to inspectional, to analytical, to synoptical (comparative). The book focuses on the art of reading at each of these levels and in developing the habit of asking the following questions in the right order.
What is the book about as a whole?
What is being said in detail and how?
Is the book true, in whole or part?
What of it?
- In order to actually learn something from Item 1, I have also committed to 30 minutes of active reading every morning prior to any other activity.
I hope this stimulates others to continue to dig deeper into understanding the fascinating time that we live in.