I spent nearly 20 years studying to be the best lawyer I could be. It meant reading many reported cases, masses of (mind-numbingly boring) documents and manuals on professional practice.
But did it elevate me or my (prosperity) consciousness?
It is hard to say definitively.
On the one hand I felt comfortable and sometimes slightly smug in being able to recite the latest and most meaningful exposition of the law, but, in hindsight, I recognise it my have had a limiting effect on my consciousness.
As long ago as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by success. More particularly why so few people make it to the top in their chosen field. This issue is dealt with in the opening passage to the Master Key System written by Charles Haanel. Yes, we could debate the issue of class but in essence we are all born equal but yet some people go on to achieve great things whilst others live a life which prima facie seems way below their ability.
The trouble with law is that it takes you down a rabbit hole where your consciousness is not mind-expanding (in the wider sense) but limits your purview to the point where, in my case, I became distant and remote from some of the real things in life. In a sense this is no different to all of us. If you are a police officer you tend to be on duty all the time. If you are in medicine you only look at the downside of risk. And so on.
Success consciousness is built upon a number of fundamental precepts, one of which is the thinking process. I am a fervent believer in the notion that we attract the things to us by the person we are or have become. This is very much the same philosophy as the late Jim Rohn adopted, as well as countless others.
Now that I have stopped practising as a lawyer, I have made a point of trying to read one book a week. I have read nearly all of Seth Godin's works, The Domino Project Series and have also started to devour the works of Tom Peters (see his excellent article in yesterday's Financial Times).
Books alone will not change me; but what I have noticed is how they have started me on a journey to reconnect with myself. I know this might sound pompous and less than self-effacing but it is the truth.
One of my mantras is taken from Neitzsche:
"To become what we truly are."
I first came across this reading Michael Gerber's masterful book, The E-Myth Revisited. He talks about it in the context of freedom. And I suppose that's just it. I felt constrained both emotionally and physically before but I now feel I am in with a Big fat chance of becoming what I truly am (for good I hope!)
I am not sure how many books I have (now) read but I definitely feel as if I am making up for lost time. Importantly, I am focused on trying to take something out of each book which I can apply in my every day existence. Some are business focused. Others much more spiritual but I feel that each one takes me further along a path of consciousness.
There is of course no substitute for real life and most importantly listening to and learning from others. But I know that without my reading I would be stuck right now, and the compass that I have set for myself to explore, being prosperous and helping others would be the worse for my avid reading.
What is your own experience of reading? Has it helped with your consciousness?
~ JS ~