Be the Top 1 percent
What if you could become an international expert and top earner with ONE habit for only ONE hour per day? What can you do to be the top?
This one strategy changed everything for me.
I used to be a huge TV junkie. I still have a few favorites on Netflix that I turn to when I need a distraction.
But once I learned that doing this instead could make me more successful and open up tons of opportunities, I made the switch.
Before I get to that, check out these statistics:
- 25% of people have not read a book in the last year
- 46% of adults score in the lowest two levels of literacy
- Reading frequency declines after age eight
What’s the message?
That most people don’t read. Half of adults are basically illiterate, and 1 out of 4 adults haven’t read a book in the last year. Here’s one more: “Reading one hour per day in your chosen field will make you an international expert in 7 years.”
In other words, reading leads to expertise. And expertise leads to success.
See where I’m going? The magic formula is to be among the very few adults who actually read. It’s no secret that if you read, you will learn.
But you can do even better. What if you commit to reading at least 1 hour every day? How about 1 book per week?
According to Brian Tracy:
“If you read only one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society. But if you read one book per week, 50 books per year, that will make you one of the best educated, smartest, most capable and highest paid people in your field. Regular reading will transform your life completely.”
What have we learned so far?
- Most people don’t read
- If you read 1 hour per day, you can quickly become an expert
- If you read 1 book per month, you can be the top 1% of income earners
- If you read 1 book per week, you can be one of the most successful people in the world
You: “Great idea. But…I have no time to read one book every week!”
Ah, there’s that problem. The whole “not enough time” thing. I’ve found that if I know why I want to do X instead of Y, it makes X more important, which motivates me to do it.
Try this. Write down a list of 10 things you do every day that take up at least 30 minutes. For example:
- Watching TV — 3 hours
- Browsing the web — 1 hour
- Using social media – 1 hour
- Playing video games (or game apps) — 2 hours
- Driving to get lunch or coffee (instead of making your own) — 1 hour
You’ll be surprised to discover that you probably have 3-6 hours of things you could easily do less of.
Then, imagine yourself 6 months from now as an expert in your field. Idle conversation won’t get you there. Watching TV won’t get you there.
But reading will get you there.
Successful German film director Werner Herzog said, “Those who read own the world, and those who watch television lose it.”
Now that you know that reading (X) is more valuable to you than your chosen time-waster (Y), take these steps TODAY to start reading more:
- Identify 1 hour every day where you can eliminate or reduce one of your time-wasting activities
- Create a daily “Read for 1 hour” calendar reminder that blocks off that hour
- Go to your bookshelf and find 4 books to start reading (or buy physical or ebooks online)
- Stack the books next to your favorite reading spot to make it really hard to ignore
- Move all of your digital devices AWAY from your reading spot
- Read every day for an hour
- BONUS STEP: Put a pen and notebook (waiter’s pad or Moleskine) on the stack of books so you can write down the hundreds of ideas you’ll get from reading
You: “OK, but what should I read?”
In his book The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth, James Altucher (one of the most successful people out there) shares his daily reading formula. It’s a great place to start. Every day, read:
- 10% of a nonfiction book to get ideas
- 10% of an inspirational book
- 10% of a high-quality fiction book
- BONUS: Read a game-related book (or play a mental game like chess)
This should take you about an hour (or two if you’re feeling ambitious). If you do the math, that’s 30% of a book every day, or 1-2 books per week.
As for the specific books, here are some ideas:
- Google the “favorite books” of your favorite successful people
- Ask people you admire what they read
- Follow your interests
- I put together a list of resources if you want some more ideas
As Thomas Corley puts it in Rich Habits: “Successful people are slaves to their good daily habits.”
Become a slave to your new reading habit. Then you’ll be smarter. That will make you an expert. Which leads to success.
Philip Pape is an author, software engineer, public speaker, and life-hacker who helps smart people become totally confident. He specializes in effective, counter-intuitive strategies for success. Check out his approach and get free content by clicking here. Follow Philip on Twitter @philip_pape. He is the founder of howtoattainsuccess.com.
What are you reading today? Do you want success or are you just paying it lip service? Leave a comment and share how you are doing and what challenges you face.