Somehow I have written two books, but I absolutely hate to read. Ask anyone who knows me well enough, and they will confirm that for the majority of my life, I hated reading. Yet somehow, I have a bookshelf with 89 books that I have read since I left the military a few years ago. Yes, I actually counted all of the books on my shelf when I was writing this post because I wanted to know the exact number. Why? Because if you asked me when I was 10 if I thought I would read 89 books over the course my entire life, I would have laughed hysterically.
What changed? I was injured. When I got hurt in the military, I spent a lot of time in bed. Honestly, towards the beginning, I spent that time feeling sorry for myself. I couldn’t run or workout for months at a time as I went through the multiple surgeries and lengthy recoveries. I hate the thought of not being able to develop myself physically. Eventually I had a choice to make; continue feeling sorry for myself that life threw me a curve ball or find another way to better myself in the interim.
Sometimes we have to try new things to overcome the obstacles put in our way. I hated reading but it was the only option I saw for myself to continue my personal growth.
If I couldn’t better myself physically, I would do it mentally. I picked up a book and hated it, but not bad enough to put it down. I had come to far to quit now. It would be easy to make excuses and blame for disability for the sudden halt in my progress but I was done making excuses. Nothing would prevent me from growing in some capacity. I wanted to be a better man today than I was yesterday. I wanted to learn. I started reading books about finance and the stock market and I taught myself to invest. I read books about how to help people and be a stronger leader. I read books and articles about my injury and how to cope with it. I read books about pretty much anything that could help me become a better version of myself.
Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes, against our will, life requires us to make adjustments. Sometimes the adjustments we have to make suck. This is when most people give up and just let life take it’s course. Sometimes the avenues and routines that we have grown accustomed to are no longer an option. We either sit at the base of the roadblock and wait for our time to run out or we try another path. Sometimes drastic changes happen in our lives and we must decide where to go from there and this requires creativity. Pain aside, it sucked when I got hurt because it disrupted my routine. It forced me to become creative and improve myself in ways I hadn’t explored before, like reading. I hated reading, but it was time to try something new. 89 books later, I try to read a book every week.
Honestly, reading is what led me to writing. The books I read changed my life and I became addicted to the thought of doing that for others.
Perspective is everything. If you think you have it bad, look around you. I guarantee that someone has it worse. Take the time and to be frustrated when life throws you another obstacle but then dust yourself off and drive on. Being frustrated serves its purpose but only for so long. Then you must pick your head up to evaluate what to do next. Do you curl up in a ball and quit, or do you adapt and overcome?
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