HabitWall

How to Read Faster

When I was in college I was in a hurry to get somewhere. Metaphorically and literally. It was a cold, frosty night. Snow was on the ground. My destination was a mile away and I had ten minutes to get there.

On my way, I tripped and chipped a tooth. I managed to arrive on time with a bloody lip. 

The classroom was nearly full, but I was lucky enough to find a seat in the back row. More students trickled in late and out of breath. 

Forty students voluntarily packed into a thirty person room. Each of us had sacrificed Thursday night happy-hour to attend a speed reading workshop.

We were all in a hurry to read faster.

Reading faster wasn't my only hurry in life. On Monday mornings, I couldn't wait for class to end. Once class ended, I was in a hurry to finish homework. Soon after, I was in a hurry to get to Friday.

In other words, I spent 4/7ths of my life in a hurry. 

Think of your favorite song. You probably didn't make a deliberate attempt to memorize the words. Nonetheless, you memorized them. Not a big deal.

If you make a deliberate attempt to speed through books you're being a huge asshole. As a consequence, you will experience difficulty retaining the information you're reading.

In the event that you need to miserably stuff your brain with thousands of words you don't want to read, here's what I learned at the speed reading workshop: 

I learned that you must develop your peripheral vision by scanning each row of text vertically instead of horizontally. Don't worry about retaining the information during this phase because you won't. You need to do this enough times until your mind is able to adapt.

Additionally, you shouldn't ever lip read because it causes your brain to process information as slow as your lips can move. You brain has the ability to process information much faster than your lips can move. So don't lip read. 

Look, reading isn't always going to be as enjoyable as listening to your favorite song. I get that. But reading is an important part of life so you should pursuit the art of enjoying what you read.

Just do this: Read every morning first thing when you wake up. It'll shield your mind from toxic information that doesn't deserve your attention. You'll become a proactive person without trying to be. 

When you read and learn something new to begin your day, you'll actually be a little annoyed that you haven't always lived your life this way. Don't sweat it -- happens to everyone.

Your brain will inevitably start to process words faster and faster. You'll have better conversations with people. People will find you more attractive because you'll develop a better vocabulary. You'll ask better questions. 

You'll realize that it's not about how interesting you are but how interested you are.

And there you have it. Enjoy what you read. You got this. And don't buy a single speed reading course. I've done it already. They're all total bullshit. Don't buy into any bullshit hack.

It's a superficial world we live in, but don't give in. Seek substance. Seek depth. Pretend you're a video game character and make your character the best in the game.

Life punishes you when you behave like a loser. Enjoy the process. Make things a habit. Better yourself. It'll make you a better person. You'll start to enjoy all the little things. Positive. 

- HabitWall