My mom did a lot of things right; I am so blessed by her. I was reading a book this evening, The Essential Wooden, and something hit me and hit me hard. …and something I realize my mom, whether she knew it or not, was doing very, very right: She got me books I wasn’t ready to read.

Have a few books on your bookshelf you’re not ready for. One day, maybe not tomorrow, you’ll be ready for them…and when you are you’ll be glad they are there.

My mom filled my bookshelves at home with books I wasn’t ready for. When I was a little kid I remember being so frustrated at how hard they were to read and would huff about when I couldn’t read them. …but you know what? There came a time that I could read them and when I was able to read them I was glad that my mom believed in me even when I didn’t.

Tonight, this book on leadership, was one that I’ve had for many years. I read through the first few chapters but it just didn’t resonate…so it sat there…but tonight I was ready for it. …and when my mom got this book on leadership for me I know she knew that I wasn’t the leader that might fully glean all this book had but she believed in me that I would be the leader that this book would resonate and I’d grow into. Whether she knew it or not…she was investing in future me.

  1. Have there been people in your life that “got you books you weren’t ready for”? If so, give them a call and thank them.

  2. Have you ever got a book for yourself that is so above your head it’s confusing? If not, go get one.*

Read for the life you want, not the life you have.

I think it is an extremely valuable skill to anticipate where you will be. I’ve heard the phrase “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” and I think that can easily be ported to reading. Aspire for beyond the now and let your bookcase get you there.

There you have it. A huge thank you to my mom for always believing in me even when I can only imagine she wished I’d get my act together sooner than later.

…and a few words of encouragement:

Have at least one book on your bookcase that intimidates you.

*Don’t be silly, though. If you don’t care about astrophysics don’t get a book about it.