Why Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg & Donald Trump Do Not Read Many Self Improvement Books.
I happen to purchase the following from Amazon:
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
- Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday
- Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon
- 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do by Amy Morin
- The Culture Code by daniel Coyle
- When by Daniel H. Pink
- The Power of Moments by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
- Life & Work Principle by Dalio
Given that I can read (or listen) to only one book at a time, I choose Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. As I was listening to the book — I received a linkedin notification on my iPhone.
Apparently, my friend Richard (let’s keep his name at that) just got appointed as the Director for a Multinational Bank. To verify, I checked his facebook. There I saw him standing next to his new baby — a nice $100,000 Silver Maserati
For a minute I thought about Richard versus myself.
Richard has never ever ever read a single book in his life.
While LM (that me) constantly reads books everyday.
Richard doesn’t believe in Self-Improvement, Productivity or Hacks.
While I constantly research, study and try to discover new means of self-improvement, hacks, diets, new methods of studying, learning and growing.
Richard is not a brand, doesn’t believe or preach Personal Branding and isn’t interested in developing himself as one. While me on the other hand is always focused on Personal Branding, Brand Development & discovering creative ways to reposition, reinstate & rebrand myself.
So then — why is it he is earning so much more than me?
In fact, lets look at it on a world wide view:
Think of any of your heroes — Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk & Larry Ellison — I doubt they read many books on Self-Improvement. I am not saying they do not but given how busy they are with their business & their lives both professionally and personally, I doubt any of them can take a book and sit down to read. They may do it from time to time to relax or kill time but given how important, vital and expensive their time is — I have my reservations. Unless of course you are retired like Bill Gates with a net-worth of 92 Billion — then of course you would have all the time in the world to read books. (Personally, If I had even 1% of that — I would also be reading ONLY books.)
But then —the question is — why do these people who earn so much money hardly read books versus the ones who read many books but hardly earn any money?
Is there a connection between success, money, fame, power versus reading books? Or is it the reverse = the more books you read, the less you earn?
After reading over 800 books, I’ve realized the following:
Learning new things, educating ones mind, being exposed to new methods of self-awareness has nothing to do with money or power or success.
So what does reading many, many, many books give you?
This is what I have discovered.
Reading books gives you 2 things:
- A PRIVATE sense of fulfillment
- THE ILLUSION of self-improvement, self-learning & self-realization.
Why do I say PRIVATE sense of fulfillment?
When you read, you gain knowledge, wisdom and a perspective. Just like a monk, you will enjoy your moment private. And those who are truly happy & feel a sense of joy & fulfillment, don’t go around advertising it to the world seeking approval or virtual social media likes.
Ask yourself this — Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk & Donald Trump advertise which book he completed reading or show off his amazing library collection?
Which is why I always know for a fact, those individuals who have to advertise, post & show the world each and every picture, message & event of their lives on facebook (can I be included in this list?) — are seldom happy. And relationships advertised on Social Media seldom last for more than a few months.
And why do I say THE ILLUSION of self-improvement, self-learning & self-realization?
Because what you cannot measure is always an illusion.
Tell me — can you measure self-improvement?
The fact is — What cannot be quantified or measured, cannot be accurately validated or improved upon. Its more like saying “I’m feel or I believe or I know — I am getting in shape”.
Personally, I know a lot of people like me who read tons of books like me. But what does that do?
So is there any point in reading a book apart from:
- Sounding more smarter,
- Appearing more intelligent
- Enjoying a self-baptized feeling of Enlightenment, Inner Happiness and Spiritual Growth
- Having an Intellectual discussion
- Sharing yet another book review?
This is what I feel……
When any personality on Social Media or the Internet advertises how successful he has become because of some new course he studied or some book he read and he is asking me to check another video or download an ebook or join another webinar — He is doing it earn YOUR money.
Because this piece of information he is advertising to you will eventually lead to a ‘sign-up-for-my-program’ and change your life. And yes with add-ons like $9,997 worth of content for $97 only (super mega discount which is too good to be true). And that too for the 1st 3 people to sign up within the next 3 minutes (the sense of urgency & loss — remember?).
I have realized such sources of knowledge make only one person rich — the person who is selling the package. No one else. And most of the knowledge is re-used & re-packaged from the Internet.
So now — Does reading books, going for self-improvement seminars, watching motivational youtube videos & listening to empowering MP3’s do anything in the money, success & power department?
I look at myself.
Sitting in my small room in my underwear in a forest in Koh Samui, Thailand. And then I look at my friend Richard’s picture on facebook.
I purchased 9 books from Amazon.
My non-reading friend Richard purchased a $100,000 Silver Maserati.
No wonder Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg & Donald Trump hardly read any self-improvement books. After all, what do you think they would rather do with their time — read a book or change the world?