Bring back your inner child imaginative ability
There is an increasing pressure in our society to act like one another. Once you are considered an “adult”, you are immediately assumed to act like one. There are expectations for you to behave in certain ways of showing more wisdom, rationality, etc. While these qualities are important, these societal pressures can easily weigh your inner child-like imaginations. In other words, you do not feel comfortable in your own body. You would not feel satisfied with yourself in most of the things you have accomplished even if it’s an envious thing.
Due to such high expectations from quite everybody in our society, many people feel the need to read books in order to fit those standards. This is perhaps one of the major reasons to why you are not so interested in reading. Everybody has their own level of interest, but for those who think that they are just not great readers – think again! Most likely, you just have not picked up the right book yet. Who said that you must only choose books that are philosophical, such as Plato’s Republic or written works by Socrates? Nobody but yourself! That is just your ego trying to make you do things that are not at your level (let’s face it). All of that is also because of the societal pressures to make you feel validated for reading the most advanced books. CHANGE THAT MENTALITY!
Go for it, choose Percy Jackson series or Harry Potter series. Literally, anything that you think would enhance your reading habits. It does not have to be an educational one at all. I repeat – READ ANYTHING.
Let out that inner child imagination skills that we all once had but lost as we grew up in this society. Pick up a book that you genuinely think would interest you.
Escape reality. time travel. explore.
Oh, we looove to run away from our problems. This act comes out like an instinct for us. Unfortunately, many people turn over to maladaptive behaviors (for e.g. smoking cigarettes, drugs) that turn into bad and unhealthy habits.
With reading, there is no harm. In fact, you can absorb more knowledge. It is a healthy coping mechanism that many people turn away from in times of difficulties. This relates to my previous point, release that imagination! Don’t worry, you’re not going to be stuck in another dimension. You will always be present, yet your mind can take your soul to places unknown. Isn’t that awesome?!
how to build my reading habits
Besides letting go your high ego and all the societal expectations, you must realize that what you are reading is something that draws you in. This sounds easier said than done. I get it. You can’t just pick up a book and say, “wow, this is it for me”. But one way that you can do this can be quite simple!
drop it and search again.
If you have been reading the book for hours and it still doesn’t grab your attention, then seriously drop it and move onto a different book. For me, I know that it isn’t interesting to me if I have been reading for hours and the words just go into one ear and out the other. What’s the whole point of continuing then? If it is boring to you, then simply find another book that would interest you. Otherwise, you’d just be wasting your precious time. Find that spark in the book! It won’t come to you immediately, but you’d know by your own gut-feeling that the book isn’t fit for you.
intentions and not resolutions!
Setting up your resolutions won’t be as effective. Why? Because you’d just feel rushed in the process and not enjoy the actual reading. That means that you are not reading. Instead, it’s a bucket list that you want to check off.
Everybody has their own reason why they enjoy doing something. This could be because of anything from curiosity to health issues. In fact, many studies have shown that reading can actually be an effective way to cope with depression and anxiety. I won’t go deep into that here, however my point is that reading is a healthy brain exercise for you to cultivate your creativity and critical thinking! Setting resolutions for other purposes may bring you the full benefits, but do you really feel that you have accomplished something out of reading the books? Probably not. You would just feel satisfied on the surface that you were able to get that out of your way and make yourself feel that you have done something.
Additionally, that’s just forcing yourself to doing something that you don’t quite enjoy. You would try convincing yourself that you are indeed interested in the book you’re holding, but deep down you would know that you are only motivated by the fact that you are getting closer to checking it off your to-do list.
On the other hand, setting up your intentions will give you a purpose for doing so. This is not just for reading actually. I am speaking in terms of every other thing you do in life. It could be for setting intentions in your career or future education.
Ask yourself why it is that you are reading this book or want to read it. The answer does not have to come to you right away and that is totally fine. What’s most important is that you should understand that you are reading a certain book for a reason. For instance, I decided to start reading because I had a realization that I can use this new quarantine lifestyle as a time to develop my writing skills and even just to see if I can learn something out of books. If you have not known, I used to not like reading at all. I thought it was boring. Now, I get why I was so against reading. It was because I felt pressured to read those books that are all classical and philosophical. I found absolutely NO motivation to flip onto the next page in those. Until I recently started to read articles and some short stories that I specifically chose for myself, I began to realize that reading is not as bad as I thought.
What you can do instead of making a resolution is to create a list of books that you would like to read in the future. Making this list can encourage you to keep up the reading habit as you look forward to read the next book and so forth.
READ. HAVE FUN. BE IMAGINATIVE. LET LOOSE.
- stop feeling the pressure to choose books that don’t appeal to you
- don’t feel obligated to read books to satisfy others’ expectations
- know why you are reading the book and if you truly enjoy it
- don’t get the rhythm still after hours reading the book? Drop it. Find another.