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Building a Reading Habit

When I was a young kid, my parents would have to bribe me to sit down and read a book. I used to get paid 10 cents per page that I read and I would only read about 35 pages. Rather than reading to learn, I read to earn.

It was challenging to read growing up. I would try to read (not just to earn money haha) but because I wanted to learn and see what others were seeing in books. The learned readers would say that reading is like watching a movie for them. While they would see images and movies, I would see words and distractions. This did not make sense to me and I would grow up reading less. Perhaps it was due to how I was taught but I also had no previous desire to read.

Why would I read a book when I could go outside and play?

At a young age, I knew I was an experiential learner, but I did not yet experience the world of information and imagination I later found in reading various books.

About three years ago I started to awaken the joy of reading. This spark of inspiration to learn created a learner personality in me and I began to find my voice and many of my thoughts by reading others. The first book I read that really ignited the passion in me was Dale Carnegie’s renowned book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Thanks to a dear friend who gave it to me, I read it thoroughly and really enjoyed it. What I was reading seemed to reflect exactly what I was thinking. One could say that I had one of my first real Aha moments.

I wonder if mom and dad will still pay me to read because I found what I love to read and I am going all in.

Over the next couple years, I read different books on nutrition, fitness, psychology, business, self, autobiographies, and more. I came across so many different books I wanted to read it became overwhelming. I did begin to see the pages as movies, but I also wanted to read more and more. I read that the authors and influential figures I wanted to model after would read a book a week.

That would be incredible.

At the time, I also began to listen to podcasts. Thanks to The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson I was introduced to world speed-reading expert, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance coach Jim Kwik. I did not jump into one of his programs just yet, but enjoyed listening to him and his Kwik Brain podcast until this past summer.

At the beginning of this past August, I started Jim Kwik’s 21-day speed reading program because I wanted to build my passion for reading even more and get, as Jim says, “decades of knowledge in days.” I went from reading 210 words per minute (wpm) where I was blocked by many learning obstacles - that I was unaware of until this program - to reading around 880 wpm where I applied several great practices, was more focused, and had a higher comprehension. In 21 days, I read Fahrenheit 451 and the first 2 Harry Potter books. Fiction books were best to begin with because they are easier to read, but I did learn how to read non-fiction books better as well. The course helped a lot but now is only the beginning of my refined skill.

Throughout 21 days, Jim guides his viewers not only with building a reading habit but building any type of habit, which should always start with a core reason. I am inspired to optimize the life in me through various ways and reading is one of those ways. I believe reading faster will not only boost my ability to learn but also improve the quality of the life I get to enjoy and the lives of those around me.

The course took old reading habits and transformed them into an optimal way to read. I learned several great techniques from warming up before reading, being in a comfortable position, quieting sub-vocalization, reading with the right brain, and daily speed drills. Some of my favorite techniques are the infinity technique, juggling to improve peripheral vision, using my left hand because left handed people are in their right brain, super-brain yoga, the power of reading backwards, and the 5 levels of reading.

Kwik reading became an exciting habit. Not only was my learner personality restored, but it grew rapidly and the knowledge I had gained became a core memory.

I highly recommend Jim Kwik's speed-reading program. After each day, I recorded a video of my progress with reading (and juggling) which really helped me track my progress. Maybe I'll put it on Youtube.

I am eager to learn more from Jim Kwik :)

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