The Riches of Lifetime Learning

Photo: The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee taken by my Step-Father in the summer of 2015.

I have heard people talk about the importance of being a lifetime learner.  I had never really understood this concept and used my free time watching TV or playing video games.  I had heard many co-workers mention the importance of lifetime learning and teaching our students to be lifetime learners.  I didn't understand this, because I didn't want to be continually in college classes.  I had a major misconception about lifetime learning.

Ironically, you don't have to take classes and take tests to be a lifetime learner.  You can be a lifetime learner by simply reading books and listening to podcasts.  You don't have to attend classes, you just have to be trying to better yourself.  I have recently started listening to podcasts on my way to work.  This time, which used to be used as a way to listen to music has turned into a time that I use to learn.  We as humans should always be trying to better ourselves, and I use this time to learn about the world, finances, sports, health and God.  

One of the podcasts that I listen to daily is the Dave Ramsey show.  Dave likes to talk about the correlation between reading non-fiction books and becoming a millionaire.  Dave states multiple times on his show, "The average millionaire reads 12 nonfiction books a year."  This quote made me think and I started to research the importance of reading nonfiction books.  

I found a couple of sources stating the importance of reading.  For example, I found an article titled, "A Book or a Lottery Ticket" on Freedom Academies.  This article is a very good read about why some people are so successful and others are not.  One quote from the article that stood out to me was the following:

“It is estimated that 70% of people that acquire vast amounts of money suddenly, often as a result of winning the lottery lose it all within 7 years and never make it back.”
— Kemi

Oppositely, this article states that self-made millionaires that lose everything, remake their millions in half the time that they made the first million.  Why is it so different between the two types of people.  The article suggests that millionaires see themselves as the asset.  They are the one that can make the money and make the decisions.  So, these millionaires understand that they are the asset and therefore want to learn as much as possible to better themselves.  There is so much truth in this statement, and the article states one more thing: 

“On average a CEO of a fortune 500 / FTSE 100 company reads 60 books per year. In contrast the average American reads less than one book per year.”
— Kemi

There you go, Dave Ramsey was on to something, but his estimate was a little low.  This article suggests that the average CEO of a major company reads 5 books a month.  That's a lot of books to find time to read.  I am lucky if I get one book in a month.  These leaders understand that their wealth comes from inside them and thus they must continue to improve their skills.

Next, I read an another article titled, "How many books does the average self-made millionaire read?" on Rich Habits.  The author, Tom Corley, has researched many self-made millionaires and has found that 85% of them read on average two or more books a month and it takes them on average 32 years to become a millionaire.  His research has also shown that they don't just read any type of book, but they read books that will help them learn and grow.  These types of books are:

“Career-related books.
How-to books.
History books.
Biographies of successful people.
Self-help books.
Health-related books.
Current events books.
Books on memory improvement and learning.
Psychology books.
Leadership books.
Science books.
New age books that offer inspiration and create a positive mental outlook.”
— Tom Corley, Rich Habits

The above list was compiled by Tom Corley and I think is a good list of books  for anyone looking to better themselves.

Earlier I mentioned that lifetime leaning seemed like a foreign concept to me.  I would get home from work and watch TV and waste hours upon hours living someone else's life.  I don't think there is anything wrong in watching the occasional TV show or movie, but know that there are better things that you could be doing with your time.  

Do you want to be wealthy enough to support your family needs and wants for years upon years, then you have to start doing things that wealthy people do.  Wealthy people read books and continually better themselves.  So, stop worrying about who got thrown of the island or who won American Idle and start worrying about improving yourself.  You are living your life and should be more worried about it, than someone else's on TV.  

Once I understood this principal, I have been a changed man.  I watch less TV, read more, clean the house more, go for more walks and started my own blog.  I feel better and more productive.  It is amazing what a little research and a little motivation will do.  If you don't believe me, go find out for yourself,.  Just remember that somebody who invests time in themselves is more likely to be successful than somebody that hopes to win the lottery.  Those lottery winners don't hold on to their wealth very long, because they don't know how to control themselves.

Contact the writer here, or follow him on twitter @summitofcoin.