How reading can change your patterns of thinking


How reading can change your patterns of thinking

No matter how set in your ways you may be, there will always be room for you to grow and develop further. For a lot of us to feel satisfied and fulfilled in the lives we lead, we need to continually learn and test the ways in which we think and feel. We need to encounter those who feel differently to us and challenge what we once knew about anything and everything.

If we were to remain exactly the same from our teenage selves all the way through to our last days, never changing a single thought or belief, never encountering anything new or different, could we really feel content? 

One of the ways we can challenge our thinking and experience whole new ways of perceiving the world is through books. We’re able to read about other people’s lives, both real and imagined. We can learn about concepts and subjects far removed from our actual lives. You could be certain of something for your whole life, but then one line in one book plants one seed of doubt that ends up blowing everything you once thought you knew apart.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

I’d heard great things about this book, hence why I decided to pick it up. I hadn’t previously strayed from fiction into the realm of self-help books, so to say I was sceptical is an understatement. My patterns of thinking were pretty well established by this point and I didn’t know they could, or should, be challenged. 

The book’s premise is clear from its title. It’s a guide to everyday life that promotes living in the current moment and avoiding any influence from the past or present. It’s written very well, satisfying a desire for beautiful writing while still being simple and factual. It’s structured in the form of questions and answers, so it feels a little like you're having a one-on-one conversation about life.

What I took from it

It ended up being a book that now sits with so many little book tabs poking out. Multiple times per page I would read something that made me stop in my tracks. It’s full of such simple and straightforward concepts that in retrospect seem so obvious. But up until the point of reading, I’d never even thought of them, or at least thought of them in that way. And it blew my mind. I’ve always known that books are important and hold a lot of value in our lives, but I didn’t realise how much one book could change how someone fundamentally thinks about life. 

It doesn’t come across as preachy but rather opened my eyes to how simple life should be. It so matter-of-factly outlines how important being present is, and how nothing beneficial comes from worrying about what previously happened or what might happen further down the line. 

The specific lessons I got from the book aren’t really important here. Maybe it would affect you in a similar way, or maybe there are other subjects you’d need to explore to experience a similar effect. The point is, years and years of my own patterns of thinking unravelled as I read it. It laid everything out in black and white and disapproved of how I used to allow myself to think. It completely broadened my mind and challenged it to be better and more refined. 

The power of reading

Anyone who says books aren’t powerful clearly hasn’t experienced reading the right ones. They are imperative to our development and shape us to be who we are. Reading is such a simple pleasure yet has such significant formative effects. 

As a nation, our literacy levels are not where they should be. 31% of adults don’t read in their free time. A surprising part of this won’t be because of lack of interest but rather because they lack the literacy level to be able to do so. 

At Coster Content, we want more people to experience the powerful effects reading can have. If you have any questions about the literacy problem or want to help, get in touch on 0161 413 8418.

Alia CosterComment