You may have noticed that I haven’t posted on the blog recently. It’s because someone told me not to.Read More
I recently read a book that was interesting and I was finding value in it but roughly halfway through, I lost interest.
Now to be clear, the book wasn’t the problem. This was all me. And I couldn’t figure out why. The book started off great; I had been enjoying it, and I was learning things. So what the heck happened?
This isn’t the first time I’ve had this issue. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen.
Usually, I keep pushing forward, a page here, a page there. Because, while I will tell you there are too many good books in the world for you force yourself through a book you’re not enjoying, I have problems following my own advice.
Then one afternoon, while scrubbing out the bathtub (of all things), it occurred to me—what if I didn’t need to finish the book? What if I had learned the lessons I was intended to learn from that book? And having absorbed the lesson, the universe was telling me to move on?
If this sounds out there, hang with me. The idea that God, the Universe, or Fate is that involved in my reading life feels woo-woo to me, too.
But I wouldn’t completely discount the idea either.
Either way, is it necessary to finish a book for it to have value?
You can see from the picture that I found lots of things to take notes on. What was to be gained by pushing on, reading a book I was no longer enjoying? Do we have to absorb ALL the ideas in a book for the book to be of value?
I don’t think so. First, it’s way too easy to read a book and then not apply any of what we’ve learned. I’d guess that implementing what we’ve learned is a problem for many of us. So if you read a book and act on even one thing you’ve read, you’re ahead of the game.
Second, don’t you think an author would rather you take away one big idea from his/her book and be excited and ready to use that idea than for you to keep reading and be “meh” about the book?
Third, what if the universe was telling me something? What if I had learned the lesson I needed, and it was time to move on to another book?
(Caveat—if a book is about a system, you likely need to read the book in its entirety and implement all the steps for you to get the desired results. But that’s not what I’m discussing here.)
Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” (Bolding mine.)
So if you find yourself in a similar position of not wanting to finish a book, I give you permission to quit the book. In fact, I insist on it.
By the way, the book I was reading was Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From The Greatest Self-Made Business Icons by Lewis Schiff. I recommend you check it out. Some ideas are counter-intuitive. Reading Business Brilliant will make you aware of your where mindset is and any changes you need to make in your thinking.
And the big lesson I learned from the book? The one that was my A-Ha moment?
“… about 7 in 10 middle-class respondents agreed that ‘cutting back expenditures to help accumulate wealth’ is important to their financial success. About the same number cited ‘cutting back on little luxuries’ as being important... Self-made millionaires, though, take the extreme opposite view... To self-made millionaires, financial success is achieved by increasing what comes in, not restricting what goes out. Savings are a fine thing, but those who have gotten wealthy didn’t get there by saving."
Huge mindset shift for me. Focus on bringing more in.
What are your thoughts on not finishing books? What book have you learned from even if you didn’t finish the book? Let me know in the comments.
You may recognize Rachel Cruze as Dave Ramsey’s daughter and part of Dave Ramsey Solutions. But did you know that she refers to herself as a “natural spender?” Yep, in Love Your Life, Not Theirs, she talks about her own struggles with budgeting and spending.
And while she is Dave Ramsey’s daughter and teaches his plan, Rachel has a less confrontational, in-your-face approach which might make her more palatable to those who shy away from Dave. She comes across as very authentic and understanding, like she’s right there with you, trying to spend her own money in the best way.
However, Rachel's book isn't about the Dave Ramsey method. It’s about stopping the comparison trap and learning to love your own life and not covet someone else’s.
In Love Your Life, Not Theirs Rachel identifies 7 Habits that will help you live the life you want.
1. Habit 1—Quit the comparisons.
Keeping up with the Jones’ has always been a thing, but social media has increased the problem tenfold.
2. Habit 2—Steer Clear of Debt.
Debt is bad. Period.
3. Habit 3—Make a plan for your money.
This is one of my favorite habits because this is where I need the most help. And this section is filled with good stuff. Including my favorite quote from the book:
“You can accidentally lose a lot of money, but you don’t keep, build, and multiply dollars by drifting into it.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sentence gets me every time. You (I’m talking to myself here) have to have a plan for your money!
4. Habit 4—Talk About Money (Even When It’s Hard)
There are many important conversations that need to take place concerning money. So this is an important chapter. Talking about money can be difficult but we have to do so to be financially successful. You need to talk to your spouse or partner. Managing your money and reaching your goals is going to be very difficult if you aren’t in agreement and headed in the same direction.
If you are single, she recommends finding someone you trust and are comfortable with helping to keep you accountable. This needs to be someone who will be straight with you and who values what you value.
Parents are children’s first teachers about money. Parents need to teach their children about money.
“Many parents are hesitant to talk with their kids about money because they feel guilt or shame from their own past mistakes. If you’re a parent, you need to talk to your kids about money, even when it’s hard.”
And then adult children need to talk to their parents about money. “These can be awkward conversations, but they will help you eliminate a great deal of stress…”
5. Habit 5—Save Like You Mean It
This is the area where she discusses saving for those life events you know are coming. Retirement, a new car, college, weddings, babies, homeownership. These things are not emergencies and we need to be saving (and planning) for them.
6. Habit 6—Think Before You Spend
My key takeaway from this chapter—Don’t $25 yourself to death. This is my personal battle, especially with books. $10 here, $15 there, $20 more, and before I know it, I’ve spent $100 on books. $100 that I didn’t intend to spend. You can’t do that. Be intentional about your purchases and think before you spend.
7. Habit 7—Give a Little… Until You Can Give a Lot
It’s not about how much you can give. It’s about the giving itself. When you focus on the needs of others you change. “You learn what it means to be truly happy.”
If you want to get your financial life back on track and stop the comparison trap, you can order Love Your Life, Not Theirs today.