Someone asked me this question – why should I develop the studying habit? The person who asked this was a student. First thing I told her was to broaden the question to cover not only studying but reading as well. Studying refers to what we do as students but reading is something that we should undertake for the whole of our life. As soon as we are done with studying, most of us give up reading as well. Hence, we fail to use reading as a continuous development tool for ourselves.
Why should we read? This is a genuine question and believe me, most people struggle with this. The answer may be a bit straightforward for students but not for people past their student life. Like any good habit, reading or studying can be painful, at least to start with. Other good habits that are painful in beginning are waking up early, eating good food, avoiding intoxicants, being punctual and so on. The thing about good habits is that they are difficult to develop and that’s why majority of mankind doesn’t have them. But the great thing about developing any good habit is that as soon as you have it, you are a few notches ahead of rest of the society. And I don’t mean that in a competitive or ‘dog eat dog’ sense. I mean it in the sense that as a species and as an individual it is our objective to improve ourselves everyday and we are closer to this objective the moment we start doing something better. And this objective of self-improvement applies to us humans more than any other known species. In fact, we are the only ones who do it consciously.
Coming to the issue of studying and reading, I can share with you that I spent first twenty-five year of my life studying in the traditional sense. Passing tenth and twelfth stds as a topper, preparing for IIT JEE, completing my B.Tech from IITD and MBA from XLRI at the age of twenty-five, I felt like I was at top of the world. These degrees have served me very well and have enabled me to get ahead in the corporate race. After I started to work, my studying or reading came down drastically. I didn’t feel anything for first ten years but then I started feeling a vacuum in my life. It was difficult to define but I had stopped growing as an individual. I had a feeling that I wanted to read some books but I was not clear what kind of books. I started visiting bookstores frequently. Picked up a variety of books, liked some and discarded some after reading first few pages.
With this trial and error, I understood that the books in the area of human behaviour, psychology, spirituality, self-development, health etc. appealed to me a lot more than anything else. From then on, I actually want to devour these books. My dream life is to be able to read 4-5 hours everyday. Not known to me, this reading habit gave birth to a writer. I wanted to share my experiences, understanding and feelings with a large number of people. Started writing tit-bits about my travel. Slowly, I developed a book idea and started working on it. Having read a large number of self-development books, I realised that there was a gap. Most books focus on a particular aspect of our well-being. I was doing something distinctive for my own well-being and realised that if I share this with people like yourself, it can be so much beneficial. I also observed that many such books tend to be drowned in jargon or intellectual language. Hence, I started working on a book that shows people how to take care of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being, written in simple language (not like a literary work), and containing practical tips. I worked on this book for three years, piece by piece and finally published with a globally renowned publisher. I started my own blog and have written about 100 posts already (www.ashutoshm.com). All this alongside my full-time job as a banker, a husband and a parent. (my book is called – Happiness is All We Want! and it is available on Amazon)
So, you see the point- just redeveloping the studying or reading habit has given me immense personal satisfaction, developed me further as a human and has opened new avenues for success. Today, I am developing as a public speaker, motivational trainer, life coach and author.