Friday, February 17, 2012

Read Right Now

My resolution for last year was to read a book a week.  I made this resolution because it dawned upon me that if I lived to my statistically expected life expectancy, I only had about 40 years left.  And in 40 years, that meant I’d only read another 2080 books in my life, if I managed to read a book a week that entire time.  Out of all the millions of books in the world, only 2080 more to go, and that many only if I was super diligent about reading a book a week?  Better make that two books a week!!!
Happily, I kept my resolution, completing 56 books in 52 weeks last year.  Doing so taught me several important things.  One, achievement required constant, disciplined attention to the task.  If I slacked off for even a week or two, catching up required herculean efforts.  I soon realized that my goal was only going to be met if was disciplined, and worked towards excellence every day.
Second, even though reading is a solitary endeavor, I was helped towards my goal by many people.  Dozens of people gave me great book recommendations.  Many more offered encouragement.  And one true friend suffered through reading a monthly book report, which kept me accountable to someone for completing my task and where I could share my thoughts on my reading.  My “team” made me better than I was alone.
Third, and most importantly, I learned that I should do something worthwhile with every limited minute that I have.  Rather than wasting time playing Guitar Hero, I could be reading.  And through reading, I could broaden my mind, live multiple lives in multiple places, and rehearse empathy by living the emotional lives of others.
If I knew now to constantly read, I would have had a book holster to draw a book in my spare moments.  I would have the quickest knowledge on the block.  Be disciplined, Luther Ultimate, and work towards excellence every day.  Be great individually, but be greater as a team.  And do something worthwhile with every precious minute that you have.

David Lietz
Washington D.C. Lawyer 
Luther Board of Regents

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