What does Reading Comprehension and Washboard Abs have in common?
No, it is not a fitness magazine or the biography of David Hasselhoff.
To get washboard abs, it takes time and dedication. Same with reading comprehension! Now, before you go “Pft. Reading. Totally not doing that,” Here’s a few reasons you should read:
1) It makes you smarter: The human mind can read nearly four times as fast as a human can speak (unless you’re an announcer for a car sale commercial). That means, if you read, you can know 4X AS MUCH AS A NON-READER! Knowledge indeed is power, my friend.
2) It makes you a better debater: Ever get in debates with your friends or parents? By reading, you’re not only filling your mind with wonderful facts and stories, but also subconsciously recording how different characters and individuals debate and solve problems. Maybe you wanna
be a Tom Sawyer who could convince his whole neighborhood to paint his fence. Or maybe you wanna be Edmond Dantes, who escapes from prison and transforms himself into one of the wealthiest men in the land, which is all part of an elaborate plan of revenge. All this and more is within your grasp.
3) It makes you a leader: Readers are leaders (cheesy, I know). But it’s true! Everyone great who has come to power (at least the good ones) all were readers. Reading newspapers. Reading books. Reading biographies. Ask any successful person “what book are you reading right now?” and they’ll always have an answer. Follow the example of millionaires and billionaires. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel on how to become a leader. You just need to read more.
So, with the reasons out of the way, you may wonder, “Alright, alright. I’ll read. But is there an easy way to do it?”
The answer is: yes and no.
Just like with getting those coveted abdominals, there are exercises that are more effective than others but, whatever you do, it’s going to take time and dedication. Abs don’t pop out overnight (darn it). So here’s a few tips, taken from the fitness world, that can be applied to transforming your “weaker mind” into a “reader mind.”
1) Be consistent: In order to get abs, guys (and girls) will make it a point to do abs after every workout or maybe on certain days of the week – depends on how ambitious you are. With reading, you gotta set aside time that you’re going to do it. Great thing is that you don’t have to get dressed down for it or drive somewhere. If you ride the bus, there’s a comfy 15 minutes. Nice.
2) Watch your diet, but you don’t need to go crazy: Many fitness gurus have a saying – “Six-pack abs are made in the kitchen.” Eating quality, low-junk food is a necessary element in getting those abs – just as important as the exercises themselves. With reading, if you want to become a quality reader-leader, you gotta read quality books. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t read People magazine every now and then or something like that. But, if that’s all you read, pretty soon you’ll be like the guy who eats 1,200 calorie burgers everyday while trying to get a 6-pack – aka people think you’re an idiot. Here’s a great list of classic, awesome reads. Pick one that interests you!
3) Take pictures (but don’t post them!): Almost anybody who starts a workout program takes before/after pictures. Why? So you can see the results! Keep a journal after you read a book. Doesn’t have to be hand-written, if you don’t want to. But right maybe a paragraph reflection about it – “One thing I noticed about Tom Sawyer’s character was…” This is exercising your comprehension. And pretty soon, you’ll start seeing your paragraphs not only getting longer but becoming deeper and deeper – like Barry White’s voice. Again, some people don’t take pictures when they start a program so this isn’t a must-do. But, it certainly helps you see results and keep be quite encouraging in the long run.
So, in closing –
Dominick Cooper, Director and Lead Creative Tutor of Launch Academy, Winner of the DaVinci Scholarship Award, and University Guest Speaker
PS. If you liked this “fitness-related” article, be sure to check out this ONE!