I never really enjoyed reading growing up. In fact, I dreaded it. Maybe it’s because I was never really exposed to books that I enjoyed. Reading is such a commitment, It takes time to digest a whole book, and for me, if I wasn’t into a book, it felt like such a chore. It makes me sick just thinking about laboring through a book that I have no interest in reading.

I didn’t take a real interest in reading until I was 25. I was playing for the Falcons at the time and one of my teammates got up in front of the team to share a few words, the Saturday night before the last game of the season. I don’t recall all of what he said but the one thing that stood out to me, that I will never forget, was how big an impact reading had on his success. That man’s name was Tony Gonzalez, arguably the best tight end to ever play in the NFL. During the 3 seasons I played with Tony, he never really addressed the team like that before. I guess when you’re about to suit up for your last game of a 17 year, hall of fame career, you feel like sharing a little wisdom to the younger generation.

I’m so glad he did because I picked up reading after that and you know what, he was right, reading has had a profound impact on my life. I can say with out a doubt that reading is one of the most important things you can do to level up your life. I didn’t start out reading a ton, it was a habit that I needed to cultivate and I’m not going to lie, it was a hard one to pick up. But now, 5 years later, I read close to a book a week and absolutely love it.

“The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page.” – St. Augustine

The big reason I love reading so much is because I’ve finally found books that I enjoy. So I’m going to share some of my favorite books below to give you an idea of where to start and what I like. Hopefully you can find something here to get you started or if you’re already an avid reader, something new to expand your mind. Thats what reading does, it creates new neural path ways in the brain, so you not only learn something new but you also, literally, expand your mind.

Before you get started, I want to share one of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve learned when it comes to reading. If you don’t absolutely love the book by page 20, put it down, stop reading and find something else to read. Like I said before, reading is too big a commitment and if you’re not completely enthralled with the content then whats the point. For some reason, a lot of us feel that once we start a book we need to finish it. DON’T! If you were watching something on Netflix that you didn’t enjoy after 20 minutes would you continue watching it, the answer is no, you would probably reach for your phone or just pick something else to watch.

I get books from the store all the time that look interesting and for some reason I just can’t get into. I put them down as soon as I lose interest and find something else to read. By doing this, you will always enjoy reading and it will become a habit more quickly and lead to exponential personal growth. Also, another thing that will help, don’t watch the news. =]