“Every time I read more, I feel I’ve become wiser. But that’s an illusion – reading doesn’t always make me better.”
Reading isn’t an antidote.
To believe that you’re wiser, understanding and superior only because your bookshelf is larger than that of others – is a huge fallacy.
In fact, I’m trying to get rid of the thought that there’s no better way to grow in life except reading. I believe there are finer practices and habits which can make me a better person.
Reading books has changed my life, no doubt. I even write because people read. But somewhere inside, I know it’s not the only way to wisdom or contentment … and I don’t want to lie.
This post is simply about those ways – the alternatives to reading which can make you better in life.
Here’s a list of ways to become a better person without reading books.
Do what you want to, and take a road to your passion. Prepare yourself for the outcome, even if it’s failure. You’d be more audacious, and your self-belief would strengthen.
Stay with authentic people who help you build up a character. Those who expose you to the unseen sides of life, and teach you morals and values.
Do unusual things which you think you cannot do. Find something you haven’t done but matters to you – and then do it. I sang on the stage, traveled alone, and jump-roped a thousand times for no significant reason (does this count?).
Take the blows when uncertainty strikes you. Life pushes you to grow up – when you aren’t prepared. Your vulnerability gives you a chance to show up and take charge. You can either confront or back off.
Be curious enough to scratch the surface. Dive deeper, have questions and perceive beyond what exists. That’s how Newton discovered gravity, and also how Columbus found America.
Make your own mistakes instead of trying to be smart. Be willing to risk and explore – because you’d learn your lessons better this way. You can only feel alive when your pursuit includes falling and getting up again.
Observe intensely and soak up the world. Extract knowledge, ideas, and lessons from even the smallest interactions. I drink the details of the world around me until I contain it within me. Just saying.
Connect the dots as if life’s a puzzle. Teach yourself to see a bigger picture and relate all elements to each other. In short, you can learn one thing from another, without getting confused.
Be a good, genuine person and you’ll have almost no burdens to carry. You won’t need to cover up lies, yearn for love and respect, or need to behave indifferently to please others.
Rely on your experiences and you’d automatically fix a lot of things. If your hand burns once, you’re careful next time, right? This simple habit works in life, too. Every experience can teach you something.
Be willing to improve and you’ll prosper eventually. The intention of rising itself can take you closer to the right solutions. Like, you can’t give up smoking unless you decide to quit. You need to have an aspiration.
Be morally and rationally aware to develop your soundness. It helps you make better judgments and decisions in all aspects of life. Know what an appropriate action is when life’s messed up and tangled.
Shake up your life to end the ordinariness. Step out of your comfort zone, throw away your schedule and let life happen. You may feel a little insecure, but your life will be memorable.
Strengthen your intuition. What do books do, anyway? They make you think, open up new perspectives, and demand you to contemplate what they teach you.
If you have the courage to face what’s within you – to understand yourself deeply – then you’d find what you seek. No reading or Google searching life is always needed.
Finally, I wouldn’t say reading is too hyped or something. It’s a valuable habit that pays-off. But don’t make it your only source of wisdom. Don’t be dependent on printed opinions in books – because there’s a lot more than that in this world to explore.