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Reading Isn’t the Panacea to a Lack of Knowledge

Danny Forest
Nov 12 · 2 min read

If you’d enter my apartment at this very moment, you’d likely be taken aback. The first thing you’re going to notice is a bunch of books and notebooks lying around in pretty much every corner of every room. When my wife is away for work, I simply drop books and notebooks at the last place I used them.

Somehow, in the past year and a half, I’ve become an avid reader of non-fiction. This is a strange fact, considering I’ve been writing for almost two years now. I’ve been going in the opposite direction of pretty much every writer you know.

Is it possible for a writer not to read? Yup!

I was that guy and had some decent success even from the start. But here’s why it worked, no one could know more than I did on the subjects I was writing about, because they were all coming from my life experiences.

I’ve never been the most astute with my words or my syntax, but if you overlook that, the content is good and authentic. People care for that, especially people with English as their second language.

Reading books is great when you take action on what you read. After all, we retain at most 10% of what you read. Put it into practice, however, and you can easily increase that to 50%. Teach it, and you’ll increase it to 90%.

As someone who had lived as a nomad around the world, worked in multiple industries and learned a wide variety of skills, I’ve come to similar conclusions to other great books. The only difference is that I had lived it.

Don’t like reading books?

That’s fine. Go out there and live. Experience what life has to offer. You’ll fall on your ass many times in the process. That’s what they call learning. For maximum results, incorporate books into your practice, but it never needs to be the center of your knowledge acquisition.

So, go out there and explore my friend. There’s a vast amount of knowledge you can get from experience!

You can do this!

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

Danny Forest

Written by

Viking Polymath writing for today’s knowledge economy, building a more skillful tomorrow.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

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