One of my closest friends once said to me that we become what we read. I could not agree more with him. Honestly, it took me until the lockdown last year to start reading, and why not? I had ample time at my disposal, so I decided to put it to good use. Looking back, I genuinely feel that it was the best decision I have made in my life so far.
The first book I read was Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. I have no qualms about admitting that it was the best, most life-defining financial book I had ever read. For a book of such nature, it was unbelievably easy to understand. It taught me so much in terms of what we need to do to lead a financially independent life. By the time I was done reading it, I was asking myself one simple question: just what took me so long to start reading in the first place? If one book could teach and influence me so much, imagine what change two or three books could bring to my life! Fortunately, I wasted no time in putting this mantra into practice.
You see, I was always a slow learner. In fact, I was far from what you would call a good student. I hardly received any appreciation for anything. My introverted personality did not help matters, either. I did not even pursue graduation after high school. However, my newfound reading habits instilled a much-needed self-belief in me. Today, it is hard to tell that I do not hold a graduate degree, and that is all down to the books I have read. However, as grateful as I am to the people who regard me as someone rather smart or intelligent, I would like to believe otherwise.
I am someone who likes to constantly challenge himself to learn something new. Some of the recent books I have read, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, Shiv Khera’s You Can Win, Brian Tracy’s Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, and Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, have helped me a great deal in this endeavor. The best things about the books I read is the real-life ideas they offer me, which I then try and implement in my real life.
If books have been instrumental in changing my life, they were quite magical in my sister’s case. Actually, she was diagnosed with lung cancer more than two years ago. She has put up such a brave fight so far, one that defies her years. However, there is this one date I specifically remember.
September 10, 2019, it was. I received a call from her doctor, who informed me about her illness and how the cancer cells had started affecting her brain and chest. He added that her chances of survival looked rather bleak and that she would be lucky to see out another four or five months. My eyes were flooded with tears, which choked my throat as well. I had never felt more dejected in life. I had no idea what to do. However, I needed to be strong for her and my family.
I went over to my sister, who was sitting all by herself on her bed. Her face was withered and she had tears in her eyes. Seeing her in that condition made me really emotional. I asked her to not lose hope and just believe in God, herself, and her doctors.
She had to go through chemotherapy and MRIs. She had lost her hair. Her face was no longer as beautiful as before. Then came a time when she even stopped looking at herself in the mirror. Now, I remembered reading a book titled You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. I strongly recommended her to read this book, and so she did. Not once, but twice. She instantly fell in love with the book. After all, it had given her a new perspective on life.
Apparently, her attitude was changing. She grew more positive. She knew no fear. I gave her another couple of books about the power of positive thinking and the subconscious mind. She learned that healing occurs when we saturate our mind with good thoughts. Nobody knows what the future holds, so it is better to live in the present and be grateful for every new day. These are the tips she has followed throughout her treatment. I really hope God will heal her soon and reward her for her faith and fortitude.
To sum up, I feel that reading is a wonderful habit. It gives us a new outlook on everything. It transforms our negative ideas into positive ones. In fact, you can become a completely new person just by giving books a try.
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