Being busy should not be an excuse to stop reading and learning, says one training consultant.
“When I get in the car, I can either listen to the news – which is probably the same as last year's or the year before or the year before that – or educate myself,” explains Guy Williams of The Training Guys.
According to Guy, reading, learning and self-educating have long been – and continue to be – one of the most common traits among wealthy and successful people.
“I'm from the UK, and they talked about this, the wealthy and the landed gentry, and the owners of these great stately homes, and all these incredibly wealthy and successful people from way back, they all had a library – in their stately home, they had a library,” notes Guy.
“We don't need a library these days, but what is, I think, encapsulating that is that they had places where they read and they grew, and they learned.”
Guy points to the likes of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as examples of prominent people in business who are strong advocates of reading. Yet with time constraints causing many people to put down their books, Guy recommends listening to podcasts and ebooks instead as a means of ensuring that ability to learn isn’t lost.
“That's why the podcast is a beautiful medium: some people do like to absorb information via [the spoken word]; they're more auditory, they like to hear it. I prefer to hear it rather than read it,” he says.
“Other people quite like reading it, but it's not hard these days to get information, and it's not hard to find it and have then having the discipline to listen to it or digest it.”
According to Guy, the reason these successful people continue to actively absorb information, like a sponge, is because they remain curious.
“I think the reason children learn so quickly is because they're curious. I think as adults we can, if we're not careful, fall into the trap of, ‘Well, I know it all now. Been there, done that’,” he says.