I’ve been having more trouble with my vision getting worse as I age. I know, it just stinks to get old… but it beats not getting old, so I’ll deal with it. One of the challenges that presents for me is that I love to read, so I end up reading less because it gives me headaches between the times I buy new glasses and the time I need new glasses again. But when I do read, I’ve learned that someone doesn’t actually have to be smart to write things down. So with the limited time my meat sack has left on this rock hurling through space, I want to be a little more picky about WHOSE writing I spend my time reading. Then it hit me… READ SMART PEOPLE.

Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” History is full of people, both living and dead, who took the time to write down their thoughts. They recorded their musings on comedy, art, politics and the human condition. Some of these “smart people” have been famous philosophers, political leaders and inventors. Others were warriors and poets. Yet all of them left behind written legacies for us to consider adding to our body of wisdom, should we choose to do so. Think about these things as you consider your own growth path.

READ SMART PEOPLE- Choose the wisdom of the ages that has stood the test of time. Read things from the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Spend some time reading Marcus Aurelius and Mark Twain. Find comfort in the writings of C.S. Lewis, and pleasure in the deep truths of the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien. Study Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt, Shakespeare and Einstein, Thoreau and Seneca… each bring a wealth of wisdom, and depth of insight not common to all people. Read broadly among the greats of history as you expand your own horizons of intellectual diversity. Read. Read something. Especially read from SMART PEOPLE.

READ SMART PEOPLE- More than just choosing SMART PEOPLE for your content, I encourage you to READ SMART in the way you read. Reading daily is a part of reading smart. Can’t afford to read for two hours a day? Then read for fifteen minutes, but read consistently. READ SMART by choosing to read someplace and some time when you can focus. Reading in front of the blaring TV is a futile exercise. Find a quiet place where your mind and your attention will not be distracted. Read there. Beyond that, READ SMART by understanding you are more likely to read if you are enjoying what you read. Start there. Choose a topic, or choose an author that piques your attention. From there you can build the habit of reading consistently. READ SMART PEOPLE.

READ SMART PEOPLE- This is simply an invitation to that sleeping smart person inside of you. It is an invitation to grow, an invitation to blossom, to become a more intelligent, interesting and impactful person on the planet. Do you want to make a difference in the lives of those you touch? READ. Do you hope that your life can impact your family, your friends, your work or your culture? READ. Mark Twain said, “The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” Hear me again! READ, SMART PEOPLE!

READ SMART PEOPLE- Ask the people you respect which authors or books they have read or are currently reading. Learn from the people whose opinion you value where the best ideas, best authors and best content can be found. There is such an incredible glut of content in the world, it is wise to narrow your reading field by “reading the smart people” in your life for the best books and thought leaders they have already encountered! READ SMART PEOPLE!

Napoleon Bonaparte was quoted as saying, “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” Lead the way for your family, for those you mentor and lead. Model what being a life long learner looks like. Take the time, and start today building what could be one of the most powerful habits of your lifetime.

You’ve got this. Go READ.