As a mother of an energetic young toddler, there is nothing I would like more than to rest my head on a pillow after a long day. Instead, I find myself reading ebooks in the dimly lit room while my toddler is asleep next to me or while I'm breastfeeding her.
I read because there is so much I don't know and need help with. I'm sick of dealing with a messy home day after day. Sick of wondering where my money went. Sick of being angry and dissatisfied all the time. Sick of being totally clueless as to how to raise my baby. I want to know how to have a tidy home once and for all, how to be happier, how to have financial peace, what is the right way to raise my baby…
So I read. I have read countless articles thinking it's a shortcut way to gain such knowledge but i ended up feeling like a failure. It seemed so easy – step 1, 2, 3. But time and time again, I couldn't do it. I realised that it's because while the articles summarise the main learning points, only reading the entire book cover to cover allows you to fully grasp what the author is trying to tell you. I believe that every author wants to share his or her vision exactly like how it is in their minds. So they write and they write and they came up with a book to hopefully give others a glimpse into their minds.
Take for example Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. There are just seven baby steps to financial peace.
By looking at this, sure it seems easy enough. But without understanding why he proposes these steps, knowing what made him come up with these seven steps, why he wrote this book, and reading about all the success stories in the book, how can I follow these steps and expect success? He says that personal finance is 80 percent behaviour, 20 percent head knowledge. I think this ratio applies to more than personal finance. It really isn't about the know-how. But about our behaviour. If we can change our behaviour, we can change our life. And to change behaviour, we need to change our minds first.
I see a clear trend in these books – that the authors are painstakingly trying to convince the reader the WHYs, and not so much on the HOWs. By reading word after word, sentence after sentence, it really gets drummed into the head. It starts to create lasting changes in the mind and we start looking at things differently. Suddenly I see things that I have never noticed before.
Screenshot of my Facebook post dated November 2016.
I would like to share a simple example of the Montessori journey I took after reading "Teaching Montessori at Home". That was back in November 2016. I have read several books since and only in May 2017 did I start to actually implement some of the ideas. It took half a year to get my butt moving. 😱 But the concepts have been brewing and concocting in my mind ever since I read about it.
Screenshot of Facebook post after Montessorizing my home in May 2016. This was shared with a Montessori Facebook group. Emma has grown so much more independent since then!
I began to incorporate more ideas, and even came up with my own based on an understanding of the WHY which I would never have been able to if I hadn't gained a firm grasp on the principles by reading the book. The most impactful change was in myself – I had a complete change in mindset. I saw her in a different light. Not as a naughty toddler who is bent on wreaking havoc, but as a wonderful, inquisitive and capable human being. Slowly but surely, I am able to see things from my toddler's point of view and what a wonderful view it is.
Reading and re-reading a book gives me a glimpse into the author's mind and allows me to have a taste of what he or she desperately wants to share with the world. I am so grateful for their work and hope you will benefit from this too! I know it seems like such a chore – but it has been the catalyst to many of the biggest, most positive changes in my life.
You can do this, by the grace of God! 🙂