Episode 41: Are You Feasting on Mental Junk Food

Good morning! Oh! Another beautiful day as we start off 2020. Man, looking back, who would have thought in our lifetime, that we would have reached the year 2020? You know, I was born in the 60s, and I’ve got to tell you, I think back of the changes I’ve seen in my short lifespan of almost 55 years and realize that we are just breaking the edge of the capabilities of the future. I am excited to see what unfolds for 2020, and I hope you’re excited about this year as well.

We’re gonna start off 2020, now, sharing with you today a secret that I use to keep me motivated and inspired in reaching my potential, no matter what others around me or the environment around me may dictate. You see, you are in control of you. You’ve heard me say it many times on these episodes, and today is the day of fulfillment.

Hey, this is Jimmy Williams, your Monday morning motivational host here for Live a Life by Design. This is the opportunity, today, to get a hold of a brand new change in your life that will take you to the next level. As you define it. I have loved doing what I’m going to share today with you. And I have been a voracious reader since I was a mere child. As a matter of fact, when I was very very young, and we were living in a home that didn’t have as probably good lighting as we should have. I would get in trouble because my parents would send me to bed on a school night. I would actually have a flashlight, hide underneath the covers and read encyclopedias, read anything I could get ahold of. Library books, whatever it would be. I was just so hooked on the fact that I could learn from these pages of wisdom that I held in my hand.

You know, this new year, in 2020, is a time to start fresh. A time now to forget about 2019, it’s in the books. In history, as they say, and today is a new day. A new year. As a matter of fact, it’s a new decade. This is an exciting time for you and me to build on the foundations we’ve laid in the first 40 episodes, believe it or not. 40 episodes in 2019, and now take that step, that basis, that foundation and let’s start building you a bigger, better, and bolder you.

You know, a lot of people tell me, well, Jimmy, I am just not a reader. You know, I’ve got to be honest with you. I would like to say to you that most people don’t grow up being readers. It’s a skill like anything else, it takes a little discipline, like anything else to really become a good reader. You’ll be rewarded exponentially by following the simple process I’m going to give you today and read only 12 books this year. That’s it. Just 12 books this year. I’m going to give you a step by step process that will empower you to gain understanding, enjoyment, and capability from reading the books listed in the show notes, and I’m gonna give you a secret location on where to find some more great books for this year.

So if you want to be a better leader, you must become a better reader. The old adage of “All readers are not leaders, but all leaders are readers” is very true. Instead of my prior act of reading 52 books per year, yes you heard me correctly 52 books a year. In 2020 I’m going to change my approach to exercise greater understanding, implement the learning from the books and to gain more wisdom per book. You will find 12 books for 2020 on our website at livealifeby.design. Click on the link at the top of the page that’s labeled “Jimmy’s Top Reads“, click on the book you desire, click on the button labeled “Buy on Amazon” et voila, you’re done. It’s that simple.

You could be three clicks away from changing your future in a profound way. Now let me say we do not get paid anything. No commissions, no referral fees. We get nothing from you clicking off our website. It is there gratis of us. We don’t charge anyone for that use, we’re simply giving a motivating tool to you, all you have to do is take the instance of clicking that mouse and there you go. Your future could unfold for you. Our goal is to just simply put books in the hands of people who say to themselves they can’t do something.

Man, how I love a challenge. You know that from listening to our prior episodes. I like to have challenges in my life. When people say I can’t do something, that really just stokes the fire within my gut to really want to do what they say can’t be done. And we do it all the time with our team at Compass Capital Management. With our team here at Live a Life by Design, we break down barriers for the world that says you can’t, and we turn it into the world of I can.

According to Pew Research, Americans are actually reading more books, they’re just doing it in different ways than the traditional hardcover or paperback format. On average, Americans read 12 books per year and the typical American has read 4 books in the last 12 months. So you’re not talking about a book a week, we’re talking about a book per month. And although Americans are reading more, libraries and bookstores continue to struggle with a lack of funding and closings. Now one of my greatest fears in life is that we will not respect that bastion of knowledge known as the library and it will go the way of electronics.

There’s nothing better than holding a great book in your hand, and if you own it, one that you can highlight. One that you can draw in the margins, one that you can make notes. I just use them all the time for everything in my world of speaking. And what I do with our clients on Compass Capital Management, we use books all the time. I just love paper books. But the reason for the funding issues is that readers of today utilize audiobooks and other formats rather than paper. Based on the research, Americans listening to audiobooks has risen from 14% in 2016 to 18% in 2018. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans now listen to audiobooks with 29% of the readers now reading some combination of both print and digital books, versus 39% who read only physical books. Well, I guess I’m pretty much going to be in the minority. Most of what I read are physical books. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a Kindle with several books on it that I travel with, so I don’t have to actually take a physical book, but I do participate in physical book reading primarily.

And I don’t have a particular recommendation in the format of the book, I just simply want you to gain some traction in life through reading good books. And the first thing I want to say is this, I want you to think beyond the 12 books. I don’t even want you to think of that number. I sincerely want you to think of one book at a time. I literally want you to think of one chapter of the book at a time. This does not have to be insurmountable. You know the best way to eat the elephant right? One bite at a time. That’s the same thing with a great book. It is something that you do not have to sit down in one sitting, carve out 10 hours and read the book. I will give you a secret here in a moment that helps me read easily a book a month. Easy, easy peasy, you’ll get this and I promise you, once you get started on this process, you’re gonna love the results.

So one of the most outstanding books I’ve read in my lifetime is actually titled, don’t laugh, it’s titled How to Read a Book. It’s How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. The book was originally published in 1940, but uncannily the logic from the book is applicable today. Although the authors are Ph.D. credentialed writers, the methods, the prose, the process of reading the book lends itself to an easy flow that allows the reader to learn at an incredible pace. And of course, this book can be borrowed from your local public library if you don’t want to own a copy for your personal library. This is a book that I have worn the cover off. You will see it on our website, under “Jimmy’s Top Reads” but I will tell you the book, to me has been a resource guide. Within the pages of this outstanding book, it gives you the approach to reading different types of books.

For example, science books have to be approached differently than a history or government book in terms of capturing facts and dated information that you should glean from that page. At the end of the day you just simply have to understand there is a skill that needs to be attained or grown, if you already have a skill of reading, and learn to read and to comprehend what you’re reading in a little bit better fashion.

As a matter of fact, if you were told you could get this at the library. And I’m going to give you a secret here, the cost of the library card is FREE! You heard me man, it doesn’t even cost you a dime. No, I hear what you’re saying, how do I have to go down there and get this thing? Do I have to physically go to the library? Well, yes, you have to go to your library, and fill out a little form, probably online, and they’ll give you a library card. Again, it’s FREE! If something is so inexpensive that it cost you nothing but a little bit of time and it could open the doors, literally to the world for your imagination, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it. So, go down to your local library if you don’t wish to buy these books. Don’t go to our website, go to your library.

The point I’m making is, just start reading. And the first book that we ask you to read that’s outstanding in these three episodes of books that I want you to consider, the first one is A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino. This small paperback book has sold millions of copies, and been published in many languages. One feature of this book that I have copied for some of my daily affirmations, is Mr. Mandino’s “17 Rules to Live By”. Mandino is masterful at causing the reader to stop for a few moments and realize that a fulfilling life is not that far out of reach if the proper attitude and action is undertaken. This book will help you shape your thoughts based on abundance thinking, which is the mindset of leaders, versus the scarcity thinking which is the basis for keeping you in the group of people known as the “average”.

You see no one wants to be known as average. We’re always trying to make sure we are above average in all that we do. So for example, Zig Ziglar used this analogy, that being average is not that comforting to a person when they stop and think about it. If you were to take one foot, lets say your right foot and you placed that in a bucket of ice cold water, you’d be uncomfortable. And then you would take your left foot and you would place it in a bucket of boiling water, you would be uncomfortable. However the average temperature between freezing and boiling would be a comfortable temperature of water. But standing with one foot in the extreme and the other in the extreme does not make you an average comfortable person. Now that seems a little mundane, but the point I’m making is is you are not average. You are someone special with tremendous potential that we’re gonna help you yield.

The second book I recommend is titled Leading an Inspired Life, by Jim Rohn. Now you’ve heard me mention Jim Rohn many times before, but this book I read every three years over and over. So every year I read this book for the past three years and I still gain new information from it. You know, people ask me, why would you read the same book again and again? It’s just, it’s so filled with excellent advice, strategies, solutions to issues, overcoming the challenges that I may have missed the first time through, or even the second time through. So I like to read this book every year so I’m in the middle of that here in January of 2020.

As you have heard me state on many episodes, I consider Jim a mentor of mine. Having read every book he has written, and listened to every audio he has produced, I can truly tell you that this business and life philosopher was a gift to mankind and particularly to me. To name just a few of the topics covered in this book, the qualities of skillful leadership, the road to financial independence, the keys to powerful communication and building exceptional relationships. Don’t those topics just reek of power and giving you capabilities so you can change any area of life? To me, that is the most critical issue with reading books. You have to have the mindset that, I don’t want to live in yesterday. The purpose of reading the book is to gain wisdom and to gain insight. And you will gain that and you will move forward to the title of life changed as opposed to average. You will then move into greatness, as you’ve heard us on a previous episode discuss, as opposed to just simply getting by.

So the first book that we recommend A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino. The second book, Leading an Inspired Life by Jim Rohn. The third book, and final book today we’re recommending. This book is called The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg. This book explains in layman’s terms why we do what we do in business and life and then how to change the inputs or the triggers that generate a more positive and rewarding life. After reading this book, I clearly discovered the areas in my life that I wish to improve and change some of the processes in my habits to create more productivity, clarity, and creativity in my day.

As recited in the book, the process of converting a negative habit to a positive habit is as easy as following the step by step manual explained by Duhigg. You do not have to lay captured by your negative habits. You do not have to, in essence, give up on life. There is a new way to do things, it takes a small amount of commitment. A small amount of energy and you will reap powerful results. It is early in 2020. Make the commitment to create a bigger, better, and bolder you in 2020. Don’t be like all the average people of the world. You are special, you’re unique. You are capable. To tap into your potential you must do something to move you into the discomfort zone.

You can’t sit on the sofa, six hours a night watching that old boob tube, and finally realize, hey, my life’s not changing for the better. I’m not against watching some of your favorite tv programs. But by reading only 15 to 30 minutes per day you can complete any of the books I’ve mentioned in about a month. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you sacrificed only one tv program per night to gain insight, knowledge, and inspiration by reading a good book. Perhaps you’d find something within the pages of the book that triggers a means for you to increase your wealth.

Ask for that pay raise you deserve. Or guide you to becoming an entrepreneur. To take your own life, your own world and to fix around you and turn them into something positive that others desire. You know, don’t allow scarcity thinking to rule your life anymore. Those days are over. You have a bright, shining future ahead. But it will take some effort, a small sacrifice and a vision to see above the clouds of doubt and mediocrity. Do not allow yourself to be around those that are going to live in scarcity. You were made for abundance. Now go to livealifeby.design and click on the tab at the top right of the page. “Jimmy’s Top Reads” and transform your life.

Something new we’re offering here at Live a Life by Design in 2020 is our “Live a Life by Design Community Page” on Facebook. This will be the page that will allow us to communicate ideas, share books, ask questions, etc with others in our community. It gives you a place, a voice where if you have questions pertaining to a particular podcast topic, you need additional information, we can provide that through this page. We can also provide you additional coaching as a group through this page, and we plan on doing so in the next few weeks.

Our goal is to add solutions and deliverables in the future through this page. So go to “Live a Life by Design Community Page” on Facebook. All you do is simply request to be a member, and we’ll certainly get you approved and through that private page as quickly as possible.

You know, we’ve talked a lot about good books today. Let me leave you with some additional comments regarding what I consider are not books. For example, if we’re reading Harlequin Romances or Fifty Shades of Grey and these are the only types of books we’re reading, we’re taking ourselves from the world of reality and placing ourselves in the world of imagination. A world of fantasy, if you will, not the good type of fantasy but those that could be negative in our life. As a matter of fact some of those books, and I’m not knocking them I’m just telling you that a steady stream of those types of books will not render you a bigger, better, and bolder person. It will do just the opposite. It gives you a false image of what the world looks at as human beings interacting with one another. Instead, I’d rather you throw that stuff away, give it away, do whatever you have to, and just read these three books I mentioned and go to “Jimmy’s Top Reads” on our website, find something good that’ll feed and nourish your brain. Get your mind in the game for 2020, that this will be the most powerful year you’ve ever experienced.

And it’s an honor to start my new year with you. Do a good deed to start your year off right by going to iTunes and subscribing, rating and writing a review of our podcast. We have a goal in 2020 to receive 250 ratings before March 31st. Now folks, that is a big hairy audacious goal. But at our lifestyle, we do not set timid and meek goals. If Live a Life by Design does nothing for you but teach you this one phrase I would love for this to be soaked in to your mind. You have potential far more than you’ll ever realize unless you take action today. You’ll be stuck in the days of the past, the days of mediocrity, and you are not that kind of person. If you are listening to this podcast, you are the kind of person that says, I want to live the fullest life possible. I want to impact positively to others, and I want to be a person that people will look to when they need answers about life. That’s what you can do by listening to this program and reading these books.

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