Friday, November 16, 2007

You are what you read

Some people say the glass is half-full. I generally reply that not only is the glass half-empty, but it has a leak. My personality tends to be melancholy, yet I have noticed a growing optimism creeping into my worldview. What could have caused this?

Certainly it is possible that my growing energy (in spite of my full time work, husband, father, and PhD student responsibilities) comes from the joy of focused study (and yes, I really am that nerdy). However, I suspect something else is at work.

One of the benefits of studying leadership is that the tone of what I read is so amazingly positive. When I say "positive" I do not mean that it is Pollyanna-like fluff, but that leadership studies assume that the choices we make have real consequences, and that our actions can contribute genuine good to the world. The books I am spending lots of time with are constantly reminding me that the way I live matters intensely because of the way it can influence others.

I must now confess that I have not recently done a good job reading what some consider to be the sourcebook for this kind of thinking: the Bible. The good news is that I have recently discovered a reading plan that allows a person to read the entire New Testament in just 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I am now working this plan into my daily schedule so that I can follow the apostle Paul's advise in Philippians 4:8 and focus on the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

IDEA LEADER: What are you reading and how does it affect you?


connie said...

Hey Stan, I agree completely about the energy derived from reading books on leadership. One of the greatest energy boosters I've had over the past 3 years has been the time spent in my grad studies.

When so much of the daily grind is consumed by solving one crisis after another or putting out fires, it is truly invigorating to focus my time- reading and writing - on something that gives me hope and a sense of purpose.

(This is my first visit to your blog. I hope to visit often. Keep up the good work!)

Stan said...

Thanks for your comment, Connie. I would add that your argument also implies the benefits of a great books curriculum like what we have at Brook Hill.

Interacting with some of Western Civilization's "great" ideas becomes a fertile seedbed for "great" ideas of one's own.