Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 12

READ MORE BOOKS WHY I JUST STARTED A PODCAST TO HELP YOU READ MORE BOOKS BY: NEIL PASRICHA I just started a new podcast called 3 Books. It’s the world’s only podcast by and for book lovers, writers, makers, sellers … and librarians. On each chapter of the show, I uncover and discuss the three most formative books of an inspiring individual. And I’m doing 333 chapters for a grand total of 1,000 formative books over the next 13 years. The show makes no money! Takes a ton of time! And involves me flying all over the place talking about books of all things! Am I crazy? The answer is yes. But there’s a Game of Thrones quote I love that says: “THE MAN WHO READS LIVES A THOUSAND LIVES BEFORE HE DIES… THE MAN WHO NEVER READS LIVES ONLY ONE.” I say we need to read books — real books on real paper — more than ever before. We’re spending over four hours a day on our cellphones right now! We are addicted. And research shows we touch our cellphones over 2,500 times a day. When was the last time you went to the bathroom alone? In a world of endless dings and pings we need a giant and great big single task that focuses our minds, challenges our assumptions, shapes our values and fuels our passions. 12 The Annual Review of Psychology published an incredible report in 2011. You know what they said? Books are medicine! They create empathy and intimacy and happiness. Why? Our brain’s mirror neurons fire when we read about experiences we have not lived. Our minds think we’re there. When we’re the boy in the boat, the man searching for meaning, or lying with Margaret talking to God … we develop empathy, insight and contentment in our lives. Science magazine published a formative study in 2013 which showed that reading literary fiction improved test results measuring social perception and empathy. Translation: You become a better parent, boss, student … and human being. So am I the preacher, then? No, I’m the parish, too. Because for most of my adult life, I read maybe five books a year. I had plenty of excuses. Books are dry, boring, slow … and heavy. College forced me to read too many textbooks so now my brain is full. Plus, no time! The classic one. Time, time, who’s got the time? But then I published an article that went viral on Harvard Business Review last year called “8 Ways To Read (A Lot) More Books This Year.” I listed a series of small changes I was making to dramatically increase my reading intake. Cancelling cable. Installing a bookshelf at the front door. Making a public commitment. Quitting books with no guilt. And you know what happened? I read a hundred books last year. And I have never felt like a better husband, father, writer and speaker. So read more? Not a surprise I’m saying that. But then there’s another huge problem. And you know what it is? There are way too many books! Over 1,000 new books are published … a day. Over 500,000 a year! You have no chance of finding the ones that will actually shape your values the way you know a book can … so you grab whatever’s in a big pile at the airport and chalk up your lack of interest in it to you. But it’s not you! It’s the book. And that’s why I started 3 Books. Because I want to uncover and read and talk about the 1,000 most formative books from 333 inspiring people. So far I’ve interviewed Judy Blume, Seth Godin, Dave Barry, Gretchen Rubin, Frank Warren, and the world’s greatest Uber driver with a 4.99 rating and over 5,000 rides! I have no ads, no sponsors, no interruptions, and no profit. But I want the world to read more. Much more! I want to help myself and others who itch to read more actually find those books that will truly inspire and lift us up and into our greatest possible selves … and help us live our greatest possible lives. Are you with me? + * Originally written for the Toronto Star, Reprinted with Permission