One of the common things I find when reading the stories of prominent figures in history is that they are voracious readers. Bill Gates maintains a summer reading list. Churchill was a known bibliophile. The list goes on and on. The message is clear, if you want to do well in life, you need to read a lot.
But that’s not enough. You could read a hundred books on strategy, and if you don’t change how you approach strategy, it was a waste of time. You need to find ways to take action on the books. Take time to digest their lessons, think strategically, and allow these ideas to influence your life.
The Stoics cautioned against reading too many books. That was the sign of an unsettled mind. Always seeking for answers from others. Always trying to find new ideas. Never sitting and allowing the mind to process ideas and plan for the future. Rather, the advocated for finding a select few books and reading, on the premise that a mind that was prepared would find new insights in well worn paths. It’s not a bad strategy. Think of the books that have made history, that have left impressions on generations of people. Meditations, The Art of War, The Prince. A few works that have influenced the course of human history. It’s worth reading less and thinking more.