How many of you will have a book on your Christmas list?

This year, for a Secret Santa, I gave a book and received a book (if you’re interested, I gave ‘1984’ and received ‘What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20’).

In my opinion, books, podcasts, interviews, videos etc are some of the most valuable tools for learning. Exposure to different ideas, stories and experiences. Yet very few people utilise them. Here’s why I think such things are invaluable.

1 – You can learn from the mistakes of others

They say failure is a lesson to be learnt – make mistakes, learn from them, don’t make them again, and improve.

Well by hearing the failures of others, you can learn the lessons without having to go through the hardship. You can recognise situations before they happen, you can learn what to expect or how to prevent things – or on the flip, how to encourage and force a positive situation.

2 – You can see a new perspective

One of the biggest challenges we face is the blinkered view we have of the world. It can be hard to see and understand alternative views and opinions. We can have our minds expanded through experiences, but those can be few and far between.

An example that is recent for me on this topic is a podcast from Malcolm Gladwell – revisionist history. He covered the topic of Toyota’s out of control accelerating cars. Toyota paid out billions for cars that accelerated out of control and lead to deaths. It was a huge story and a dark time for the company. It would be easy to have a negative view of the company from this, however after listening to this podcast you’ll learn that the car actually had zero faults, the cause of the out of control acceleration was something else – listen here to find out what the cause was, it will shock you.

3 – It’s a distraction and an enjoyment

Some books will teach you lots through facts and stories, others will take you to a new, sometimes make believe, world. Don’t underestimate the power or importance of either of these. Facts are great, they will teach from those that have been there and done it. Yet, a fiction story can be extremely powerful. Sometimes it’s an escape and a relaxation from day to day life. Sometimes it’s a thrill that stimulates your mind, other’s it’s a pick me up – it’s will just help.


All I say is don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, and be committed. You don’t have to read, I listen to audio books. Youtube is full of amazing material, iTunes podcasts the same. Find aseriess you enjoy and follow it!